Messi's Barca overpower Milan

Lionel Messi ended his mini goal drought with a brace as Barcelona booked their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League following a comfortable 3-1 win over AC Milan.

Last Updated: 07/11/13 at 00:27 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Celebrates his second goal against AC Milan

Lionel Messi: Celebrates his second goal against AC Milan

World Cup Promotions

Daily World Cup Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

Messi had not scored in his past three matches in La Liga but broke the deadlock against the Italian giants after half an hour from the penalty spot.

Sergio Busquets doubled Barca's lead 10 minutes later and although Gerard Pique's own goal gave Milan hope, Messi settled matters in the closing stages.

The result moves the Catalan club six points ahead of third-placed Ajax with a far superior goal difference, while Milan - who have endured their worst start to Serie A in 31 years - remain second in Group H.

Milan came into this clash desperate to put their domestic woes behind them but they seemed content to sit back and wait for the chance to counter-attack.

That allowed the Spanish champions to set the tone and while they predictably dominated possession, they struggled to break down their opponents in the early stages.

Neymar came close when he latched on to Messi's throughball, but the Brazilian's shot was blocked by Urby Emanuelson.

Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati sprung into action in separate Barca attacks to deny Neymar and Alexis Sanchez, who then narrowly failed to add the final touch at the far post from Adriano's low left-wing cross.

The breakthrough arrived on the half hour mark as Messi ended his goal drought from the penalty spot after Xavi had expertly chipped over the Milan defence for Neymar, who was tugged back in the area by Milan defender Ignazio Abate.

Messi then fired straight down the middle from the spot for his first goal in four games, with his last strike coming in the reverse fixture against Milan two weeks ago.

Riccardo Montolivo fired a warning shot to Barca, shooting narrowly wide from just outside the area as Milan sought a leveller.

However, they fell two behind in the 40th minute although they may feel hard done by as there was a strong suspicion of offside against goalscorer Busquets.

Xavi curled a wonderful free-kick in from the left wing allowing Spain team-mate Busquets to head past a helpless Abbiati.

Adriano then forced the Milan goalkeeper to tip over but the Rossoneri got themselves back into the match on the stroke of half-time.

Former Real Madrid midfielder Kaka dribbled past Dani Alves on the left wing and his cross cannoned off an unfortunate Pique and past Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who had been a virtual bystander up until that point.

Under fire Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri sought to address the balance by bringing on Mario Balotelli on for the ineffective Robinho.

Barca still remained on top and only a good save from Abbiati prevented Andres Iniesta from doubling the home side's advantage once again.

Sanchez missed a glorious chance when he saw his shot from point-blank range excellently tipped away by Abbiati.

However, Messi settled matters seven minutes from time after exchanging passes with substitute Cesc Fabregas before chipping over Abbiati.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

There are no results at present.

Footer 365

Transfer news: Newcastle agree fee with Montpellier for Remy Cabella

Newcastle have agreed a fee with French club Montpellier to sign midfielder Remy Cabella, according to Sky sources.

Transfer news: West Ham keen on Chelsea winger Christian Atsu, say Sky sources

West Ham are interested in taking Chelsea winger Christian Atsu on loan, according to Sky sources.

Transfer news: Luis Suarez will sign for Barcelona next week after fee agreed with Liverpool

Liverpool have agreed to sell Luis Suarez to Barcelona in a deal which could be worth as much as £75m.

Mail Box

Alexis Sanchez: Really Not THAT Good

The backlash has begun: Why are Barca letting him go if he's any good? We have mails on Alexis Sanchez, Luis Suarez, the World Cup and the wonder of F365...

Stop Your Sobbing And Man Up...

Oh and honey, put the kettle on. We have more World Cup mails but it's mostly an orgasmic explosion at the signing of Alexis Sanchez. Could this be Arsenal's year?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property