AC Milan stuns Barcelona 2-0 in Champions League

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Associated Press

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 2:02 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 21 at 2:04 AM

MILAN (AP) — With its first win over Barcelona in more than eight years, AC Milan put itself in prime position to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals.

Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari scored second-half goals, leading AC Milan to a 2-0 upset Wednesday night in the first leg of the second round.

At Istanbul, American midfielder Jermaine Jones scored on a right-footed shot from 16 yards off Jefferson Farfan's cross on a 45th-minute counterattack to give Germany's Schalke a 1-1 tie against Galatasaray. The Turkish club had gone ahead on Burak Yilmaz's goal in the 12th.

Boateng put seven-time champion Milan ahead in the 57th minute after Riccardo Montolivo's squaring pass appeared to bounce off an arm of Milan's Cristian Zapata and land in front of Boateng. Muntari scored in the 81st to help Milan to end a seven-game winless streak against Barcelona (4-0-3) dating to 2004.

"We didn't concede anything in defense and we had several chances," Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "But it wasn't perfect, we were a bit lacking with the last ball in the first half, but the team grew in the second. I think this is an important victory which will put us through. We could even have won 3-0, but I understand tiredness set in a bit."

Barcelona, seeking its fifth European title and fourth in eight years, had not lost by two goals since a 3-1 defeat to Real Betis in the Copa del Rey on Jan. 19, 2011. The second leg of the total-goals series will be in Spain on March 12.

The only other time this season Barcelona was shut out was by Benfica in the last match of the group stage, after advancement to the knockout rounds had been assured.

"It was harder than usual for us to score," said Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura, in charge of the team while Tito Vilanova undergoes medical treatment in New York. "Milan was very organized, very strong in defense and that caused us a lot of problems. We were also playing on a pitch that wasn't worthy of this competition. We controlled in the first half, we didn't create chances but neither did they."

At Istanbul, American midfielder Jermaine Jones scored on a right-footed shot from 16 yards off Jefferson Farfan's cross on a 45th-minute counterattack to give Germany's Schalke a 1-1 tie against Galatasaray. The Turkish club had gone ahead on Burak Yilmaz's goal in the 12th.

In the other matchup, Jones will be suspended for the second leg after receiving his third yellow card of the competition in the 35th, given by Scottish referee William Collum after Jones waved an imaginary yellow card in an attempt to get an opposing player punished.

Jones became the second American to score in the knockout rounds of the Champions League following DaMarcus Beasley, who had a goal for PSV Eindhoven against Monaco in the second round's second leg on March 9, 2005.

Jones called the yellow card "stupid" but said Schalke was "absolutely satisfied" with the result.

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