There will be three Spanish sides in next Friday's quarter final draw after Barcelona and Málaga both came from behind to win their respective ties! Barcelona became the first team ever to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit in the Champions League, an epic 4-0 victory over AC Milan on Tuesday night taking them through to join Real Madrid in the last eight. Once again Messi did the damage with two goals in the first half, and David Villa and Jordi Alba added two more after the break. And on Wednesday debutants Málaga joined the elite club, Isco cancelling out Porto's first leg lead shortly before half time, and substitute Santa Cruz making it 2-0 on the night with a header from Isco's corner late on. (13.03.13)
Málaga joined the big boys on Wednesday evening, a 2-0 victory over Porto taking the Andalusians through to the quarter finals. Pellegrini's side had the better of things early on, with Joaquín and Saviola just failing to convert chances, and Helton tipping a long shot from Antunes over the crossbar.
The Portuguese team replied with shots over the top from Danilo and Defour, but with five minutes to go to the break Saviola felt himself unlucky to have a goal ruled out for what the referee considered to be a previous foul by Baptista on the keeper, when in fact the ex Real Madrid and Arsenal forward had been pushed over by a defender.
Before half time however Málaga took the lead, Isco picking up a short pass from Iturra before lifting an angled shot over the keeper. And things swung further in their favour when Defour was sent at the beginning of the second half after picking up a second booking for a foul on Joaquín.
Either side could have scored after that, Saviola having a shot blocked and Jackson Martínez getting on the end of a long free kick to poke a shot just over the top. However with a quarter of an hour to go the locals went two up, substitute Santa Cruz heading Isco's corner inside the far post within three minutes of coming on.
An away goal would still have turned the tie in favour of the visitors, and there were some frantic moments as Maicon headed another free kick past Caballero only to be pulled up for offside. Santa Cruz and Isco had shots saved at the other end, and Martínez was pulled up for offside again in injury time. But after a last gasp Porto free kick was cleared, the referee signaled the end, and Málaga were amongst the best eight teams in Europe. The dream lives on! (13.03.13)
Xavi said it this week, "this Barcelona side is still missing an epic comeback!". Well they have it now after the Catalans overturned a 2-0 adverse scoreline from the first leg with a massive 4-0 victory against AC Milan on Tuesday evening!
Messi gave an early indication that the fans in the Nou Camp were in for a special night when he picked up Xavi's short pass to fire a shot past Abbiati in only the fifth minute. The visiting keeper had to be at his best to push another shot from Iniesta on to the bar soon afterwards, Messi heading the rebound wide, and Xavi struck another effort just past the post minutes later.
Milan came close to that vital away goal though when Niang got behind the defence to shoot against the upright, but almost immediately Barça went up the other end and Iniesta passed across for Messi to make it two.
The Argentinian forward came close to a third straight after the restart, and ten minutes in to the second half Mascherano won the ball in midfield, and quick play by Iniesta and Xavi put Villa through to score a third.
An away goal would still have taken the Italians through, and with Robinho and Bojan on the park they gave the home supporters some nervous moments. However with the game in injury time Messi and Alexis combined for Jordi Alba to wrap things up, and Barça will be joining Real Madrid in next Friday's quarter final draw. History in the making! (12.03.13)