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Sunday, 24 August 2014, 16:00

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Milan v Barcelona

Highlights from when AC Milan played Bayern in the group stage of the 2011-12 Champions League.

Last Updated: 20/02/13 at 14:30

The UEFA Champions League last-16 first leg encounter between AC Milan and Barcelona really is a match that is the crème de la crème of European football at it's very best.

The clash will pit Milan, who have lifted the famous trophy on seven previous occasions against the four-time winners and their talisman Lionel Messi at a sold-out San Siro Stadium.

In fact it could be a match befitting of the final itself at Wembley Stadium in May, but when the Rossoneri and Blaugrana go head-to-head on Wednesday night, it will no doubt spring a few memories of past encounters between the two giants.

In 1994, fans got a dream final of the flagship competition when Johan Cruyff's 'Dream Team' met Fabio Capello's Milan in Athens. The sides boasted players such as Paolo Maldini, Pep Guardiola, Romario, Hristo Stoichkov, Dejan Savicevic, Daniele Massaro, Marcel Desailly et al and it was the Serie A giants who were crowned European kings after a 4-0 demolition job.

Since that night, Barcelona would have to wait until 2006 for their shot at another final, and they haven't looked back since and have had the edge over their opponents.

Milan have failed to defeat their opponents in the past seven meetings, with Barca having claimed four victories in that time and twice knocking the Italians out of the Champions League.

It's becoming a bit of a regular match-up as this will be their fifth encounter in the last two seasons of the Champions League.

In 2011, Barca won a pulsating group stage match in Milan 3-2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on target against his old side for the hosts, but the magic of Messi and Xavi won a lung-busting clash in the end.

Look back on that encounter in our highlights video as Milan look to avoid another repeat on Wednesday evening.

Last season, the teams drew twice in the group stage before the Catalans claimed a 3-1 aggregate victory in the quarter-finals with the majestic Messi converting two first-half penalties.

Massimiliano Allegri's Milan are currently on a six-game unbeaten run, including four wins but they have only won one of their last 10 knockout games in the competition.

Meanwhile, Barcelona have only lost two of their last 24 games in Europe's elite competition and Messi is playing like a man possessed having scored both goals for Tito Vilanova's side over the weekend taking his season tally to 46 and 12 in his past nine games for his club.

He will look to add to his tally of 56 goals in 74 Champions League games on Wednesday in what should be another mouthwatering contest.

You can only watch the best UEFA Champions League coverage here on Sky Sports. Watch AC Milan v Barcelona exclusively live on Sky Sports 2HD and through our interactive Events Centre from 7:00pm on Wednesday 20th February. Click here for more details and watch our magical Messi goal compilation

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Readers' Comments

C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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