BARCELONA: Lionel Messi took his seasonal tally to 58 goals, his overall Champions League total to 51 and his European strikes this term to a record-equalling 14 with the double which drove Barcelona to a 3-1 win over Milan in their Champions League quarter-final return.
Barcelona thus won by the same score on aggregate, following the goalless first leg in Italy last week.
Messi converted penalties after 11 and 41 minutes in Camp Nou to equal the 14-goal Champions Cup record set by Jose Altafini – ironically, of Milan – back in the 1962-63 season.
Antonio Nocerino pulled Milan level briefly with a 32nd-minute goal but, after Messi had given Barsa a half-time lead, the world, European and Spanish champions extended their advantage in the 53rd minute through midfiedler Andres Iniesta. Inevitably, the opening arose because Messi had just had a shot of his own deflected into Iniesta’s path off Philippe Mexes.
Barcelona will face Chelsea or Benfica in the semi-finals.
The other semi will match Real Madrid, almost certainly after their 3-0 win over APOEL in Cyprus last week, against Bayern Munich. Bayern progressed 4-0 on aggregate against Marseille after winning their second leg 2-0 courtesy of two early strikes from Ivica Olic.
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