CL Group H: FC Barcelona vs AC Milan [P+R]

Tosiek

Słowiańska Dusza


GROUND:


Barcelona
Coach Josep Guardiola
Carles Puyol is fit to play but we will decide tomorrow. We have played two league games and now we start the Champions League. But it's great news that the captain is back. Milan always play 4-4-2, but I don't know if they will field one or two centre-forwards. I imagine they will attack and create problems for us, and come out to play their football so it should be a great match.

It's an honour to defend the title and it's great to be in a position to be able to win it in consecutive seasons. San Sebastian [Saturday's draw with Real Sociedad de Fútbol] is in the past. I reached my conclusions and I'm keeping them to myself because they'll serve me in the future. The players are fully aware that we're facing a great team in Milan: great players, great coach, great club and we're fortunate to be able to face such good clubs.

Andrea Pirlo is an extraordinary player. He was born in Brescia and all players from there are great. He has tremendous quality. Alberto Aquilani I met at Roma together with Daniele De Rossi. Players come and go but clubs carry on being great.

Weekend result
Saturday: Real Sociedad de Fútbol 2-2 Barcelona
(Agirretxe 59, Griezmann 60; Xavi 10, Fàbregas 11)
Valdés; Alves, Busquets, Fontàs (Iniesta 80), Adriano; Thiago Alcántara (Messi 63), Xavi, Keita; Pedro, Alexis Sánchez (Villa 32), Fàbregas

• Víctor Valdés made his 401st appearance for Barcelona to surpass Andoni Zubizarreta's club record.

Team news
Carles Puyol, who had knee surgery on 1 June, was an unused substitute on Saturday and could return according to Guardiola. Alexis Sánchez went off with a torn hamstring and will be missing for six to eight weeks. Gerard Piqué has not figured since tearing his left calf in training on 23 August. Ibrahim Afellay is also absent with a thigh injury sustained in late July.

Milan
Coach Massimiliano Allegri
Pato and Kevin-Prince Boateng will probably play. I will play with one up front but I don't know who because Ibrahimović's injury was so sudden. I don't think he will be fit for the Napoli match [on 18 September] but I hope he recovers as soon as possible.

They're the champions and it's normal that without Ibrahimović we'll miss some power. But on the pitch we have to concern ourselves with giving a good performance, showing courage and respect for probably the best team in the world.

With the talent we have, I'm sure we will create problems for Barcelona. To play defensively against them could be a problem. We have to play a very serious match. Apart from the tactical and technical side of things, we have to play a courageous match. I am curious about the team we will see on the pitch tomorrow. We are the champions of Italy, with players that are used to these matches, but we shall see what happens.

Weekend result
Friday: Milan 2-2 S.S. Lazio
(Ibrahimović 29, Cassano 33; Klose 12, Cissé 21)
Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Gattuso (Van Bommel 20), Ambrosini, Aquilani (Nocerino 68); Boateng (Pato 76); Cassano, Ibrahimović

• Alberto Aquilani and Antonio Nocerino made their debuts for the Rossoneri.

Team news
Barcelona old boy Ibrahimović did not travel after injuring his right thigh in training, while Robinho misses out after failing to shrug off a groin problem. Gennaro Gattuso (three games) and Philippe Mexès (back on matchday two) are suspended. Mathieu Flamini sits out the group stage after knee surgery in late August while Taye Taiwo is sidelined by an ankle complaint.



Previous meetings
• The sides have met 11 times in UEFA competition, recording four wins each and three draws. Barcelona's record in five home games against Milan reads W2 D2 L1.

• Their most memorable encounter was the 1994 UEFA Champions League final in Athens, which Milan won 4-0; it remains the most emphatic final win of the UEFA Champions League era.

• The clubs also contested the 1989 UEFA Super Cup; Milan prevailed again, winning 1-0 at home following a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou.

• Milan have not won in their last two visits to the Camp Nou, recording a defeat and a draw since a 2-0 win in Barcelona in the 2000/01 first group stage.

• Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Carles Puyol and Víctor Valdés were on the losing side as Milan claimed a 1-0 group stage victory against Barcelona on 20 October 2004. The Spanish internationals were 2-1 winners when the sides met again a month later at the Camp Nou, Clarence Seedorf and Gennaro Gattuso also appearing in both games.

• The teams last met in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, Ludovic Giuly scoring in Milan to give Frank Rijkaard's side a 1-0 first-leg lead. The return fixture finished goalless, taking Barcelona into the final.

• The lineups for that game on 26 April 2006 were:
Barcelona: Valdés, Belletti, Márquez, Puyol, Van Bronckhorst, Edmílson, Deco, Iniesta, Giuly (Larsson 69), Eto'o (Van Bommel 89), Ronaldinho.
Milan: Dida, Kaladze, Costacurta (Cafu 64), Stam, Serginho, Gattuso (Rui Costa 68), Seedorf, Pirlo, Kaká, Shevchenko, Inzaghi (Gilardino 79).

Match background
• Barcelona are unbeaten in ten home games since a 2-1 loss to FC Rubin Kazan in the 2009/10 group stage, although a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid CF in last season's semi-final second leg ended a run of nine straight wins at the Camp Nou.

• Josep Guardiola's side have competed in the initial group stage of UEFA competition on 16 occasions, including the final edition of the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1991/92, and have only once lost their opening game, 3-2 at Newcastle United FC in 1997/98.

• Milan have won the opening fixture in their last ten group stage campaigns but have gone three games without scoring a European goal and won only one of their four away fixtures in last season's UEFA Champions League.

Team ties
• Gianluca Zambrotta (2006-08), Zlatan Ibrahimović (2009-10) and Mark van Bommel (2005-06) played for Barcelona before joining Milan.

• Christian Abbiati (Club Atlético de Madrid), Clarence Seedorf, Robinho and Antonio Cassano (all Real Madrid CF) have played in Spain.

• Barcelona's Alexis Sánchez scored in Udinese Calcio's 4-4 draw at Milan last season. That was the Chilean's sole goal in seven league and cup matches against Milan during his three years in Udine which brought three wins, two draws and two defeats.

• Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcántara was born in San Pietro Vernotico in the south of Italy. His father, Mazinho, played in Serie A for US Lecce and ACF Fiorentina.

• Barcelona's Javier Mascherano and Milan's Alberto Aquilani played together at Liverpool FC in 2009/10.

• Maxwell played for Milan's city rivals FC Internazionale Milano between 2006 and 2009, recording three wins and a defeat in Serie A matches against Milan.

• Guardiola played in Serie A with Brescia Calcio and AS Roma; he was a team-mate of Daniele Bonera at Brescia in 2001/02.

• Barcelona's Cesc Fàbregas and Milan's Mathieu Flamini played together at Arsenal FC from 2004 to 2008. Fàbregas scored at San Siro in a 2-0 win at Milan in the 2007/08 round of 16 second leg, Arsenal winning by the same aggregate scoreline; Flamini also appeared in both legs.

• Villa and Fàbregas scored from the spot as Spain defeated Italy 4-2 on penalties in Vienna following a goalless draw in the UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-finals. Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández were also in Spain's lineup while Massimo Ambrosini, Cassano, Zambrotta and Aquilani appeared for Italy.

• Éric Abidal was sent off when an Italy team including Zambrotta, Gennaro Gattuso and substitutes Aquilani and Cassano overcame France 2-0 in the UEFA EURO 2008 group stage.

• Aquilani scored the winner as Italy overcame Spain 2-1 in a friendly on 10 August 2011 in Bari, a game in which Thiago made his senior debut for Spain.

• Pedro Rodríguez and Gerard Piqué each scored twice against Inter in 2009/10; both struck in Barcelona's 2-0 home group stage victory while Pedro was on target in a 3-1 semi-final reverse at San Siro with Piqué scoring late on in the 1-0 second-leg win.

• Seydou Keita and Daniel Alves were members of the Sevilla FC side that lost the 2007 UEFA Super Cup to Milan in Monaco.

• Mascherano was in the Liverpool team that lost 2-1 to Milan in the 2007 UEFA Champions League final in Athens.

• Milan's Thiago, Pato and Robinho and Barcelona pair Alves and Adriano are all Brazilian internationals.

• Barcelona's Ibrahim Afellay is a Netherlands team-mate of Milan's Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson.

• Philippe Mexès and Éric Abidal play together for France.
 

MaSsiVe

Manager
Staff member
Moderator
I really miss the time when every single CL match deserved a thread here at SG.


anyway, this is gonna be a tough test for Barça but I reckon they'll get the job done.

3-1
Messi x2, Xavi
Pato
 

Arnau

NGR LVR
Confirmed 11:

----------Valdés------------
Alves--Busi-Masche-Abidal
----------Keita--------------
---Xavi------------Iniesta---
------------Messi------------
Pedro-------------------Villa

Dunno about Milan.

EDIT:

-------------Abbiati-----------------
Abate--Nesta--Thiago--Zambrotta
----------Van Bommel--------------
--Nocerino----------Seedorf-------
-------------Boateng----------------
-------Cassano---------Pato--------
 

ArgVega

Yellow Card - Racism; Exp. 31/08/2013
WTF??? Milan had 6 shots and walk away with a draw....

Pep is paying the price, this team looks like its in pre-season, guess we should stop making vacation tours and start taking them more seriously.
 

Back Door Skip

Pedro
Staff member
Milan looked like they were totally content with the loss. Then out of nowhere comes Silva. Barça looked lazy the whole game.
 

kp41

Fan Favourite
I think Barca played a good match (for 88 minutes :)) but Milan are Milan, you can never count them out.

Tbh, I think Milan played Barca's game for majority of the game, defending deep and giving the ball to Barca, I think it was 70-30 at the end. But Football's unpredictability came to the picture again.

I think Barca's biggest problem is in defense right now. Pique is injured and Puyol just came back, Abidal is the only other senior player who can play there. Conceding 8 goals in 6 matches is high for a team like Barca. However, they were unlucky tonight to concede a late goal but they dominated Milan for majority of the game.

Btw, what a goal by Villa!!!! he scored 3 fantastic goals in a row now, United, Real and Milan.
 

KingKenny

Club Supporter
I was surprised by how Barcelona allowed them to get the late goal actually. Usually they aren't so complacent. This isnt any disrespect towards AC Milan who are a good team, but I really think a sharper Barcelona in 3 months time wouldn't allow that to happen. They just seem a bit rusty after the summer. Suppose its most of those player first summer off since 2007, maybe they enjoyed it a little too much.
 

Mandieta6

Red Card - Life
Life Ban
Turned the channel to the match just before I left, saw Pato's goal, had to leave. Got back, turned the TV on for just one second and saw them equalise. For a moment there I actually thought they'd won 0-2 at Camp Nou.

Can't believe Pato managed that run for the first goal,.
 

Arnau

NGR LVR
KingKenny;3108614 said:
I was surprised by how Barcelona allowed them to get the late goal actually. Usually they aren't so complacent. This isnt any disrespect towards AC Milan who are a good team, but I really think a sharper Barcelona in 3 months time wouldn't allow that to happen. They just seem a bit rusty after the summer. Suppose its most of those player first summer off since 2007, maybe they enjoyed it a little too much.

We have problems defending dead balls, our players are small and Keita + Piqué wasn't playing.
 

Sevillista

Starting XI
KingKenny;3108614 said:
I was surprised by how Barcelona allowed them to get the late goal actually. Usually they aren't so complacent. This isnt any disrespect towards AC Milan who are a good team, but I really think a sharper Barcelona in 3 months time wouldn't allow that to happen. They just seem a bit rusty after the summer. Suppose its most of those player first summer off since 2007, maybe they enjoyed it a little too much.
Late goal = entire team is complacent and enjoyed summer too much? Jumping to conclusions is fun and easy.
 

Back Door Skip

Pedro
Staff member
Jaboldinho;3108779 said:
That's Busquets as CB for you. :)



He's great as a first line of defense type of player, but he just doesn't seem to have the awareness of a CB. He just let Pato run past as if he had help behind him.
 


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