Form is temporary, class is permanent. Barcelona proved against AC Milan why they are still the team to beat in Europe’s elite competition this season. Talk had arisen in recent weeks over the loss of form attributed towards Barcelona; a defeat to Milan in the first leg of their Champions League tie and back to back defeats to bitter rivals Real Madrid.
But tonight they showcased to the world just why they are the most exhilarating and complete footballing team on the planet currently. From the first minute Barca were on the front foot, sublime movement and precision passing opened Milan up for the first goal on four minutes; with talisman Lionel Messi sublimely finishing from 15 yards into the top corner.
Barca continued on their merry way throughout the majority of the first half, the movement and passing left Milan chasing shadows and they were rewarded in the 40th minute when Messi rifled in 20 yard shot; leaving Milan with no chance. The second half was much of the same, Barca scored with relative ease in the 55th minute; David Villa finished superbly in the box after being picked out by the ever majestic Xavi.
At 3-0 Barca were coasting to a routine victory, but at the back of their minds the thought of conceding just a single goal would resort in Milan progressing into the quarter finals. The pressure started to show as the game neared full time, Milan started to expose space behind the Barca back four; their best opportunity came when former Barcelona striker Bojan Krkic powered in a low cross which was met by Robinho only to be intercepted by the magnificent Jordi Alba.
Despite the edginess at the back Barcelona refused to sit back, scoring their fourth via an outstanding piece of counter attacking football. From a Milan free-kick Barca intercepted play, the ball was played out to the right wing and a sublime ball found Alba who finished neatly raising the Nou Camp crowd to their feet.
The result certainly did not flatter the home side; Milan simply had no answer to their tempo and style of play. If Barcelona can continue in this manner as they progress through the competition then do not be surprised if they are booked into a London hotel come the Champions League final.