Lionel Messi leads Barca back to oust Milan with 4-0 win in Champions League
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Lionel Messi scored a brilliant brace to help Barca to a 4-0 victory over AC Milan and complete a historic comeback to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Tuesday. Barca won 4-2 on aggregate after a spectacular second leg in the last 16, entering the record books as the first team to rescue a 2-0 first-leg loss without having scored an away goal.
A fired-up Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a thrilling home victory to help the Spaniards reach the quarter-finals.
All-but written off after a surprise 2-0 reverse at Milan's San Siro stadium in last month's last 16, first leg, a rampant Barca came storming back at the seven-times European Cup winners to win 4-2 on aggregate on a memorable night at the Nou Camp.
They looked to Messi to spark a fightback and the four-times World Player of the Year did not disappoint with a scintillating display backed up by midfield trio Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets and fullbacks Jordi Alba and Daniel Alves.
Barca were ahead on the night in the fifth minute thanks to Messi's brilliant curling effort and the mesmerising Argentina forward levelled the tie on aggregate five minutes before halftime with a powerful low drive.
Barca ruthlessly dominated, with Milan struggling to get the ball out of their own half for long periods, and David Villa struck a third 10 minutes after the break before Jordi Alba netted a breakaway goal in the second minute of added time.
Before Alba's effort finally killed the tie, Milan had pressed forward looking for the goal that could have sent them through and there was a palpable release of tension in the giant arena when the Spain fullback's shot hit the back of the net before the celebrations began in earnest.
Barca's win makes them the first team in the Champions League to ever overturn a two-goal first leg deficit without the benefit of an away goal while only four sides had successfully fought back from a deficit of more than one goal.