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Feb 21, 2013

FC Barcelona are facing a rather surprising Champions League exit after going down 2-0 down at the San Siro against AC Milan. On the paper this was a complete mismatch with us flying and Milan struggling to find their foot. But on the field the roles were reversed. We were absolutely clueless and created nothing for all the possession we had. It was inevitable considering our defensive record that we will conceded at least one goal, but the second goal and lack of away goal effectively has sealed the tie. We now face a daunting task of reversing the scoreline, but going by our recent performances against defensively minded team it's going to be a really uphill task. We were unlucky to concede the first goal as their was a clear handball which directed the ball to eventual scorer Boetang's path. But before and after the goal we had done nothing to take anything away from the game. Roura went with a very much expected line-up - Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Pique, Alba, Xavi. Busquets, Cesc, Pedro, Messi and Iniesta. The Milan line-up was Abbiati, Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Constant, Montolivo, Ambrosini, Muntari, Boaetang, Pazzini and El Shaaraway.

We started very slowly, considering the state of the San Siro pitch it wasn't much of a surprise. AC Milan midfield was very organised in the opening stage and we were finding difficulty to move the ball into the box. Our foray into the attacks were majorly happening via the flanks and Iniesta dropping into midfield was creatinga bit of spce for us to operate. In the 16th minute El Sharaaway broke and showed the real effect of his pace on the right flank, it took a bad second touch and a very crucial Puyol intervention to stop him. From the resulting corner AC Milan almost scored. That twin chance showed the real danger this AC Milan side could produce especially exploiting the space vacated by Dani Alves on the right. In the 20th minute Xavi had our first shot on target from a long range attempt, but that was too easy for Abbiati. We were having all the possession in the first half but had nothing creative to show for. Milan had three good chances in contrast. The state of pitch was slowing us a bit, also the fact that Iniesta had to leave the wing and drop into midfield was taking away any attack from the left. Bringing on Tello for Fabregas would be good to restroe the threat from the left.

Regardless of the absence of threat on the left, Roura went with an unchanged side after the break. In the 56th minute Milan won a free kick outside the box and AC Milan took a shock lead from that with Kevin Prince Boetang scoring after a deflection put him through. Barca should consider themselves extremely unlucky after there was clear handball in the build up to that goal. Roura reacted to the goal by taking off Fabregas and bringing on Sanchez. After the goal Milan had definitely upped the tempo a bit and we feeling the pressure on counter and pressing. In the 76th minute Iniesta flashed a shot from outside the box wide off the far post. In the 80th minute Xavi had a free kick going just high over the bar. In the 81st minute AC Milan doubled the lead from a brilliant counter attack with Munatri finishing off from a good El Sharaaway lay off.

It was clear that the players expected AC Milan to roll down to our attacking strength. They were not prepared for the kind of work rate Milan player's did. They closed everyone of our midfielders with speed and precision. Going forward we had nothing to offer. The lack of attacking threat apart from Messi this season, clearly said on the pitch. Roura made the mistake of starting with Cesc in middle and he was absolutely a misfit for this kind of match. Instead of replacing him with Tello who could have added a bit of pace, we had Sanchez coming in. And that was it. In the end it was a brilliant performance by the Milan boys and we could offer nothing at Milan.

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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