|(Champions League) BARCELONA BRILLIANCE
Barcelona 4, Milan 0 (aggregate 4-2)
After 14 titles in five seasons, Barcelona were still lacking the epic comeback to put some added drama into its unprecedented winning run.
Lionel Messi crossed that one off the list yesterday, AP reports.
Messi scored a brilliant brace to help Barcelona beat Milan 4-0 and guide his side into the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
Barcelona won 4-2 on aggregate after a spectacular second leg in the last 16, entering the record books as the first team to turn around a 2-0 first-leg away loss in the competition.
The four-time champion imposed its attack from the start and Messi finished off a team move just five minutes in to give the hosts a huge boost before a screaming crowd of 99,786 at Camp Nou, Europe's largest stadium.
Messi delivered another left-footed strike in the 40th to level the contest over two legs. And Barcelona's relentless pressure paid off in the 55th when David Villa netted the decisive goal before Jordi Alba added a fourth in stoppage time.
Barcelona join Galatasaray in the last eight after the Turkish side beat Schalke 3-2 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate.
Against the odds, Barcelona reached the quarterfinals for a sixth straight season and kept alive its bid for a fourth title in eight years.
Barcelona had failed to fight back after losing first-leg away semifinals to Chelsea last season and to Inter Milan in 2010.
Messi made sure they got it right on a third try, and did so with his 52nd and 53rd goals of the season.
The four-time world player moved past Ruud van Nistelrooy (56) into sole possession of second place on the Champions League career scoring list with 58 goals at just 25 years old, trailing only Raul Gonzalez's 71.
Barcelona scored early through a flurry of one-touch passes that had eluded it in recent matches. Messi received Sergio Busquets' pass outside the area, laid the ball off for Xavi, who slid it back for Messi to unleash a curling strike that left goalkeeper Christian Abbiati helpless as it ripped into the top left corner of his net.
Milan's lack of ball control allowed Barcelona to dictate the contest and keep most of the action in the final third of the pitch.
Even so, an error by Javier Mascherano gave Milan the perfect chance to score in the 38th when he headed a high ball back toward his own goal. M'Baye Niang raced onto the ball and shot past the onrushing Valdes, only to see his strike hit the left post.
Just two minutes later Messi leveled the series when Andres Iniesta stole the ball in Milan's half and passed to his teammate on the edge of the area. Messi quickly put the ball on his left boot and rifled a shot under Philippe Mexes' legs and the outstretched Abbiati to send the home crowd into ecstatic chants of his name.
Barcelona turned the tie in their favor for good thanks to its aggressive defending. Mascherano surged forward to intercept a pass inside Milan's territory, with the ball passing through Iniesta to Xavi, who fed a through pass by the sliding Kevin Constant for Villa to size up Abbiati and swerve a strike into the far side of the net.
Milan still got once last-gasp opportunity from substitute Robinho, but Alba hustled back to block his close-range attempt in the 82nd.
Alba then sealed the win when he raced the length of the field on a counterattack keyed by a Messi pass in the second minute of injury time.