Two European giants tangled for the second time in group play as Barcelona earned a hard-fought victory over AC Milan, 3-2, in a seesaw match at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Wednesday.
Barcelona got on the board in the 14th minute when Milan midfielder Mark van Bommel knocked the ball into his own net.
But the home side evened the match just six minutes later. Playmaker Clarence Seedorf found forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a through ball, and the former Barcelona star delivered a left-footed shot from the left side of the box that got by Victor Valdes.
Barcelona would go into half time with a 2-1 lead when forward Lionel Messi converted a penalty kick. Milan took more shots than Barcelona in the first half, and the home side must have felt demoralized that they were down after two unsatisfying goals by their opponents.
Milan would come back to level the match just nine minutes into the second half. Midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng's right-footed shot put the Catalans on their heels.
Barcelona would answer right back. Messi would find playmaker Xavi in the 63rd minute, and the veteran Spanish star delivered with a right-footed shot from the center of the penalty box, for Barcelona's best goal of the match.
It would be the final goal of the match, as Barcelona move to the knockout round of Champions League as the group winner. Though the Catalans controlled the ball more than their Serie A opponents, Barcelona only managed to control the ball for 59 percent of the match.
Barcelona took 16 shots with six on goal, while Milan took 13 shots with three on goal.
Both clubs have already moved on to the knockout round.