'Barcelona is a phenomenal outfit and will take some beating even away from home. Nevertheless, IN MY VIEW, Milan has the quality to do it. Them executing a perfect game plan will make all the difference for them. Barca plays the same way all day every day; they don't hide their strategy; suffocate you with ball possession. The only way of a Milan victory is to force Barca to make many mistakes and make very few of their own'.
Well today Milan showed their class and quality when it mattered most. This will give them more than a fighting chance to eliminate Barcelona in the return leg in Spain.
Milan showcased a clinical display of suffocating defense and disciplined play. They forced Barca to make mistakes and capitalized on those mistakes. This was a well deserved win for Milan, and although the calls for handball were rampant when the first goal was scored in the 57th minute by Prince Boateng against Barca, I think the Barca fans would be singing a different tune if a Barca player handled the ball and Milan got a penalty.
The telling stats in this game were the ball possession and the shots on target. Barca had 65% ball possession to Milan's 35%, but Milan took 6 shots on target to Barca's 2; if that is not stifling defence, well I don't know what is.
All the attacking force of Barca was kept in check today; this was a herculian task performed superbly by Milan. The likes of Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Pedro, and Fabregas were all covered ably by Montilivo, Muntari, Ambrosini, and the African Prince Boateng. A 2 nil defeat (although away) was not a foreseeable outcome to this game. However, Milan showed why they are the most successful team in the Champions League as Muntari sealed the deal in the 81st minute of play.
Referee Craig Thomson from Scotland did a superb job. He let play flow and it augured well for the game. He was ably assisted by D Rose, A Ross and G Chambers all of Scotland as well.
Coach Allegri is sitting pretty but he knows a quality team like Barcelona won't role over and die. He has an idea of what he will come up against in the second tie.
Well played Milan as you send me licking my wounds until the return leg March 12 at Camp Nou - Spain.
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© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved
DisclaimerAll the commentary posted in this publication are my personal view(s) and do not reflect the view(s) of any Association, Federation or Governing Body.