Barcelona-AC Milan Player Ratings: Messi puts Milan to sword

AC Milan

AC Milan fell 3-1 to Barcelona in the Champions League thanks to some vintage Lionel Messi football, but who were the other stand-out performers?

Struggling AC Milan always knew they were in for a tough test away to Barcelona but they fought valiantly for much of the match thanks to Kaka and Riccardo Montolivo, however Lionel Messi proved lethal.

BARCELONA

Victor Valdes 6/10 - Couldn't do anything for Gerard Pique's own goal and looked solid for the rest of the game.

Dani Alves 6/10 - Looked tired at times bit provided an attacking threat while maintaining defensive duties.

Gerard Pique 5/10 - Unlucky to score an own goal but it could've proved costly.

Javier Mascherano 7/10 - Did a great job breaking up the game, pugnacious and outmuscled the AC Milan midfield.

Adriano Correia 6.5/10 - A good performance if unspectacular, on the whole dealt pretty well with Mario Balotelli.

Xavi  7.5/10 - His usual excellent self on the evening he surpassed Paolo Maldini's Champions League appearance total with 141. Involved in everything creative.

Sergio Busquets 7/10 - Scored with a header and did a lot of unsung work.

Andres Iniesta 6.5/10 - Helped control the pace of the game. Not one of his best performances but played the back-up role to Xavi.

Alexis Sanchez 6/10 - No lack of effort but not the hero he has been in his last few outings for Barca.

Lionel Messi 8.5/10 (MAN OF THE MATCH) - A penalty, a goal, one cleared off the line and one correctly disallowed for offside. Just business as usual for Messi. Milan had no answer to him.

Neymar 7/10 - Full of life and tricks although possibly tried a little too hard to impress. Won the penalty and looked a constant threat.

AC MILAN

Christian Abbiati 7.5/10 - The evergreen 'keeper made some fantastic stops. The pick of the crop was a magnificent reflex save to deny Alexis Sanchez from close range.

Ignazio Abate 5.5/10 - Gave away a penalty but it was a harsh decision as there was very little contact with Neymar. Never looked comfortable though.

Cristian Zapata 5/10 - Often made the wrong decisions and left Milan exposed on a few occasions by overcommitting.

Philippe Mexes 5.5/10 - Cleared off the line from Messi and also denied the Argentine ace with an excellent last-ditch tackle in the closing stages but was run ragged at times.

Urby Emanuelson 4/10 - Barely made any impression on the game, virtually anonymous.

Andrea Poli 6/10 - Worked very hard in an unfamiliar position.

Riccardo Montolivo 7.5/10 - Excellent, possibly the pick of Milan's players, curled a shot just wide and provided some fantastic through balls.

Nigel De Jong 7/10 - Very gutsy performance which added some tenacity to the Milan midfield.

Sulley Muntari 5/10 - Did very little of any note, a bit of a let down.

Kaka 7.5/10 - Maintained his impressive recent form, not afraid to take Barcelona players on and was rewarded by setting up Pique's own goal. Looked a little tired before coming off late.

Robinho 4.5/10 - Only played the first half but had very little joy. The game just didn't suit him and he made way for Balotelli.

SUB - Mario Balotelli 6.5/10 - A lot better from the much-maligned marksman. Hadn't expected to start on the bench but didn't sulk and gave Barcelona's defence some problems.

image: © olaszmelo

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