Skip to main content

Milan stun Barcelona in Champions League

February 21, 2013 -- Updated 1601 GMT (0001 HKT)
Goalkeeper Cristian Abbiati and Kevin-Prince Boateng celebrate Milan's unexpected 2-0 win over the tournament favorites
Goalkeeper Cristian Abbiati and Kevin-Prince Boateng celebrate Milan's unexpected 2-0 win over the tournament favorites
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Milan win 2-0 in first leg of Last 16 tie to stun tournament favorites
  • Ghanaian duo Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari fired home in second half
  • Turks Galatasaray held 1-1 at home by Schalke despite fielding Sneijder and Drogba

(CNN) -- Barcelona stand-in coach Jordi Roura suffered another agonizing display on his competitive return to the stadium that effectively ended his playing career.

Twenty-four years on from suffering a cruciate ligament injury while playing for Barcelona in the San Siro, that same old sinking feeling returned for a man holding the reins as regular coach Tito Vilanova undergoes medical treatment for a tumor in New York.

Fielding a strong side against a Milan team that failed to beat the Spaniards in last season's four European Champions League meetings, Barcelona lost the first leg of the last 16 clash 2-0.

After a tight first half, Kevin-Prince Boateng broke the deadlock after 56 minutes when drilling home from the edge of the box after a Riccardo Montolivo drive was deflected into his path.

Read: Bayern overpower Arsenal

Nine minutes from time, fellow Ghanaian Sulley Muntari sealed Milan's first Champions League win over Barca in 13 years after he stylishly finished off a sweeping move involving Stephan El Shaarawy and new signing M'Baye Niang.

The victory was especially satisfying for the Milan hierarchy and club president Silvio Berlusconi, who may hope the unexpected win represents a good omen as the 76-year-old tries to return to office in this weekend's Italian elections.

Mendieta: Barca, Real out in front
Football tactics: Xavi vs. Schweinsteiger
Piers Morgan: Wenger has made mistakes
Jerome Valcke: Match-fixing a 'disease'

Following last year's comprehensive 3-1 aggregate defeat against Lionel Messi and colleagues in the Champions League quarterfinals, Milan overhauled their squad -- with Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Alessandro Nesta and Zlatan Ibrahimovic among those moved on.

A total of eleven players who took part in the 2012 clashes were sold, reducing the average age of the squad from 30 to 27, and the team has slowly overcome a difficult bedding-in period to rise up to fourth in Serie A.

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri had spoken of the need before the game to find a way of blunting Barcelona's attacking threat and his plan worked to perfection thanks to the on-field discipline of his players.

"We played as a team and we listened to our coach," said Muntari, whose goal was his first ever in the Champions League.

"He did a fantastic job by setting us up us very well on the pitch -- and we were very disciplined and managed to close every angle."

CNN Football Club: Send in your questions for Ian Wright

Even though Milan are seven-time European champions, their tally second only to the nine of Barcelona's great rivals Real Madrid, exuberant celebrations spread out across the stadium as the four-time winners fell without scoring an away goal.

Roura has never made any claims to wanting to be a permanent coach and he suffered in Milan where the home side's impressive defensive discipline smothered the usual attacking prowess of a side standing 12 points clear in the Spanish league.

His side were unable to formulate an alternative to their usual fluent style until the stand-in coach chose to use defender Gerard Pique in a makeshift attacking role for the final minutes.

Mustering barely a shot on target worthy of the name, Barcelona's limp display -- with Lionel Messi's impact wholly minimized by some efficient defending -- must have made Roura, 45, wish he could never return to the San Siro in a competitive capacity again.

In 1989, he was an aspiring Barca midfielder when the then 22-year-old suffered a serious knee against Milan in the European Super Cup - an injury that would bring his career to a premature end four years later.

His side are now in danger of failing to reach the Champions League semifinals for the first time in six years and Vilanova may discover that his team is out of the competition when he returns to the fray in late March.

Elsewhere, Galatasaray fielded both major January signings -- Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba -- in their home clash with Germans Schalke but were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw.

The hosts appeared to have made the perfect start when Burak Yilmaz slammed home a fine individual goal after 12 minutes, with the striker now having scored seven of Galatasaray's 8 Champions League goals this term.

That was as good as it got for the home side, with Jermaine Jones leveling the scores shortly before halftime as the visitors finished the game the stronger.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is provoking huge media interest and the hungry attention of Europe's top clubs.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT