With Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all though by to a semifinals and Chelsea also in a good position to swell after a first-leg divided win, many courtesy will be on Tuesday’s lapse compare between dual continental heavyweights.
Milan kept Barcelona and a unequaled brazen Lionel Messi scoreless in a Champions League compare for a initial time in 2½ years in a 0-0 pull in a initial leg.
If Barcelona is going to stay on march to keep a Champions League title, a Spanish organisation has to rediscover a aggressive fluency opposite a side that drew 2-2 during a Camp Nou in a organisation stage.
“We have to win, that’s a reality,” Barcelona playmaker Andres Iniesta said. “At home, in front of a fans, we should go by so we should proceed it with confidence.”
With Messi in a team, there will always be hope.
His idea in a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in a Spanish joining on Saturday was his 56th in all competitions this deteriorate — a many for a actor in a vital European joining given Germany good Gerd Mueller scored 67 for Bayern Munich in a 1972-73 campaign.
And Messi’s 49 career Champions League goals arrange behind usually Raul Gonzalez (71), Ruud outpost Nistelrooy (56) and Thierry Henry (50).
Barcelona is dominant in 11 matches — with a outcome during a San Siro a sole pull — during a run in that it has outscored opponents 33-8.
Pep Guardiola’s organisation hasn’t mislaid during a Camp Nou for 51 games, dating behind to Sep 2010, nonetheless Milan midfielder Alberto Aquilani believes it is all to play for in a second leg.
“We’ve got copiousness of possibility opposite Barcelona,” Aquilani said. “The initial leg showed that there’s not many disproportion between us and them.”
Mark outpost Bommel is out with a behind damage for Milan, that drew 1-1 during Catania on Saturday, while goalkeeper Christian Abbiati and midfielder Antonio Nocerino should be fit notwithstanding being seen limping after a match.
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas and defender Carles Puyol were complacent opposite Bilbao, while Brazil fullback Adriano lerned routinely with a organisation on Sunday after an injury.
The leader of a Barca-Milan compare will expected play Chelsea, that binds a 1-0 lead over Benfica streamer into a second leg during Stamford Bridge.
The English club, that has never prisoner a Champions League and might need to win it to validate for subsequent season’s competition, has won all 5 home games in a 2011/12 book — scoring 14 goals and surrender usually one.
“I consider a misfortune rivalry can be ourselves, meditative that we have finished a many formidable part,” pronounced Chelsea brazen Salomon Kalou, who scored a first-leg leader and has been rejuvenated underneath hindrance manager Roberto Di Matteo. “We have to keep going, operative hard. We have to try to measure early and secure a feat during home.”
A intensity semifinal between Madrid and Bayern looms unless there is a vital dissapoint in their second-leg matches.
Madrid binds a 3-0 pillow over unheralded Cypriot organisation APOEL Nicosia, whose ancestral run to a quarterfinals has anxious neutrals though came to a shuddering hindrance final week opposite a Spanish powerhouse and nine-time European champion.
Madrid is on a verge of reaching a second true Champions League semifinal underneath manager Jose Mourinho, who is behest to turn a initial manager to win a foe with 3 opposite teams.
Madrid is dominant in 16 overall, with 12 of those victories, while star brazen Cristiano Ronaldo has 47 goals for a season.
“The organisation we have is spectacular, we have to continue this approach right to a close, including in a Champions League,” Ronaldo said. “We’re scoring a lot of goals and we’re in good shape.”
Argentina brazen Angel di Maria could underline after entrance on as a late surrogate in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Osasuna for usually his second coming of 2012.
Bayern Munich also has one feet in a semifinals after a 2-0 win in Marseille in a initial leg interjection to goals from Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez — his 11th of a competition.
“The pursuit isn’t finished yet,” warned Franck Ribery, who played dual seasons for Marseille before his send to Bayern in 2007. “We can’t already consider we’re personification opposite Madrid … no, no.”
Bayern picked adult 5 yellow cards in a initial leg, including one for Bastian Schweinsteiger that manners him out of Tuesday’s match.
United extends lead by winning 2-0 during Blackburn
BLACKBURN, England (AP) — Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young scored late goals to give Manchester United a 2-0 win during Blackburn on Monday, fluctuating a fortifying champion’s lead to 5 points in a Premier League.
With 7 rounds left, United is transparent of crosstown opposition Manchester City and favorite to win a 20th joining pretension — nonetheless manager Alex Ferguson pronounced he is holding zero for granted.
“In my knowledge of these situations, it doesn’t matter what a points are during a moment,” Ferguson said.
Valencia cut in from a right wing and dismissed a swerving shot from a parsimonious angle that flew past goalkeeper Paul Robinson and into a distant dilemma in a 81st minute. Young done certain of a win with a low shot in a 86th.
“It was a prolonged night. We had to persevere and persevere,” Ferguson said. “We weren’t creation any definite chances for a prolonged time. But it was an critical win and it typifies a story of a club.”
Blackburn, that forsaken into a relegation places on idea difference, had a idea disallowed when Morten Gamst Pedersen’s 63rd-minute shot was ruled out since a round went out of play in a buildup.
United kept a round for prolonged durations in a compare during Ewood Park, though Blackburn’s invulnerability kept things parsimonious during a behind to bluster a frustrating dusk for Alex Ferguson’s title-chasing team.
Wayne Rooney, who had been forsaken for United’s warn 3-2 home detriment to Blackburn in December, combined a game’s initial possibility in a 10th minute. He strike a prolonged pass that Blackburn defender Grant Hanley struggled to clear, though Javier Hernandez dragged his shot far-reaching underneath vigour from left behind Martin Olsson.
The Mexican striker went tighten again shortly after, attack a post from Antonio Valencia’s low cross.
Blackburn manager Steve Kean had opted for a five-man midfield to try and strike United on a counterattack, and a tactic roughly paid off when Junior Hoilett forced goalkeeper David De Gea into a diving save after receiving Ayegbeni Yakubu’s crafty pass in a 21st.
United had glimpses of idea when Jonny Evans’ shot was saved by Robinson following a 34th-minute corner, and Phil Jones headed over a bar from Valencia’s cranky in a 38th.
Against a run of play, Blackburn roughly took a lead only before halftime when De Gea unsuccessful to punch a cranky clear. Marcus Olsson volleyed a lax round behind during idea from a dilemma of a box, though De Gea redeemed himself with a drifting save.
The Spanish goalkeeper, who endured a worried time in a Dec defeat, constructed another excellent stop to tip Hanley’s header from a indirect dilemma over a bar and after acquire Ferguson’s praise.
“The swell is apparent for all to see,” Ferguson said. “He’s flourishing in status and confidence. He done 3 good first-half saves. David kept us in a game.”
Blackburn was still proof manly on a break, however, and Morten Gamst Pedersen dismissed a low giveaway flog that De Gea smothered in a 62nd.
The home fans suspicion Blackburn had taken a lead shortly after when Pedersen lashed a round into a net, though a round was righteously ruled to have crossed a line before Steven Nzonzi’s cranky came over.
“It could have left possibly way,” Blackburn manager Steve Kean said. “But you’ve got to take your chances. we suspicion we combined lots, despite on a break.”
With Blackburn adhering to a diversion plan, Rio Ferdinand indispensable to make a last-ditch plea to forestall Yakubu converting a low cranky in a 77th.
United finally pennyless a deadlock when Valencia rifled a shot in from a right that flew past Robinson and into a distant corner.
When asked either a bid was meant as a cranky or a shot, Valencia certified it was “50-50.”
That was no satisfaction to a Blackburn manager, however.
“We are only a small bit frustrated, since we felt if we could have hold on for another 5 mins we could have unequivocally undone them,” Kean said.
As a massed United fans sang in celebration, Young, on as a second-half substitute, finished Blackburn off with a low curling shot.
– Mark Walsh
Sevilla beats Mallorca 3-1 in Spanish league