Tiki-Taka & Great Finish! Lionel Messi (Barcelona) vs AC Milan | inside World Soccer

Lionel Messi scored a brilliant opener to inspire Barcelona to reach the Champions League quarter-finals with a 4-2 aggregate win over AC Milan at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal against AC Milan
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal against AC Milan

Photo: Getty Images

The Rossoneri won the first leg 2-0 at San Siro, but they were simply no match for the Catalans on Tuesday night.

Messi had never scored from open play in nine games against an Italian club, but he broke that curse after five minutes.

The Argentine forward gathered the ball on the edge of the box, after a period of intricate one-touch football from the hosts.

And, surrounded by white Milan shirts and with almost no back-lift, he curled a stinging drive arrowing into the top corner, leaving Christian Abbiati rooted to the spot.

Despite a serious scare when M'Baye Niang hit the post, Milan were unrecognisable from the team that had caused Barça so many problems in the first leg, and when Messi thundered home his second of the night on 40 minutes, it already looked like curtains for the visitors.

David Villa put Barcelona 3-0 ahead 10 minutes into the second half and Jordi Alba sealed their passage with a cool and collected left-footed finish in injury-time.

"We wanted that opening goal as soon as possible to cut the deficit and to make the fans feel it was going to happen," Messi told UEFA.com

"It was lightning quick movement of the ball to get it to me and, happily, I put it away. That's why we celebrated with such joy."

Barça assistant coach Jordi Roura said at the post-match press conference:
"Leo gave us a majestic lesson in what it means to play football.

"He's an extraordinary player and when he's surrounded by the best he has no limits."

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