FOOTBALL: Barcelona send message with comeback in Champions League

The Barca boys entered the second leg of their Champions League tie with AC Milan having dropped three of their past four matches and with a two-goal deficit hanging over their shoulders.

But inspired by the freakish Lionel Messi, who struck twice, the Catalan giants turned up the heat at the Nou Camp, answering their critics in the best possible way with four unanswered goals to progress to the last-eight.

And such was the ease of their demolition of the Rossoneri, Villa, who himself produced a stunning strike, believes the four-time European champions are now unbeatable.

“We do not care who we get in the quarter-finals,” the 31-year-old said. “When you go through that, the bad days are forgotten.”

Villa’s comments were echoed buy team-mate Jordi Alba, who sealed the result just before time.

“We have seen the return of the old Barcelona and now we need to continue in the same vein,” the left back said.

The victory wasn’t just ridiculously impressive, it was also historic, with Barca becoming the first club in Champions League history to advance through to the last-eight after overturning a two goal deficit with no away goal in the bag.
Barca’s performance was clinical and smacked of class.

But stand-in coach Jordi Roura, although impressed with what he saw, attempted to hose-down expectations after the triumph.

“Before we weren’t so poor and now we are not so great and I wouldn’t describe ourselves as favourites for the competition,” Roura said.

“At any stage of the game until the final goal we could have gone out if we had conceded, and I would have said the same, that we played well and were composed.”
Meanwhile, AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri was disappointed but admitted his side simply had to take the defeat on the chin.

“To lose and go out after the first leg we produced at home upsets all of us but the lads shouldn’t beat themselves up,” Allegri said.

Messi has last laugh

Barcelona boss Jordi Roura believes star forward Lionel Messi made a laughing stock of his doubters after returning to form in the best possible fashion.

“He has shown once again that he is extraordinary and that on the big occasions, surrounded by great players, he can do amazing things,” Roura said.

Prior to the match the Argentine ace received plenty of criticism for his goalless performance in Barca’s 2-0 defeat in the first leg at the San Siro.

But Roura was quick to hit back at Messi’s detractors after his brilliant brace at the Nou Camp.

“People speculated that Messi was not in a good moment,” he added. “But if anyone had any doubts about Leo, they only have to look at tonight.”

FOOTBALL: Barcelona send message with comeback in Champions League

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