Galatasaray beat Schalke, Barca survive Milan | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 12.03.2013
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Galatasaray beat Schalke, Barca survive Milan

Barcelona have made the Champions League quarterfinals with a massive win over AC Milan. But Galatasaray crushed Schalke's hope with a win in Gelsenkirchen - despite the hosts having had the early advantage.

The 1-1 result in the first leg meant that a scoreless draw would have been enough to send Schalke into the quarterfinals. That possibility may have caused the Royal Blues to come out a bit passively against their opponents. Galatasaray owned the first quarter-hour, and home fans could thank keeper Timo Hildebrand for preserving a clean sheet.

Instead it was Schalke opening the scoring against the run of play. Galatasaray failed to clear a corner, and midfielder Roman Neustädter made them pay.

But the Turkish side continued to impress and were rewarded in minute 37, when former Schalke player and Gelsenkirchen native Hamit Altintop hammered home a shot from 29 meters.

Things went from bad to worse five minutes later. A wild clearance by Selcuk Inan came to earth halfway up the pitch, where Yilmaz Burak ran it down and chipped Hildebrand. That made the tie 3-2 on aggregate, and with the Turks possessing two away goals, Schalke needed at least a pair of their own in the second half to progress.

Things looked bleak for the hosts, but just over the hour mark, Marco Höger blasted a shot at Galatasary keeper Fernando Muslera. Again the Turks failed to clear their lines, and after a scramble, Michel Bastos made it 2-2. Schalke were left needing but a single goal to progress.

But although the hosts kept knocking, they couldn't open the door. With the seconds ticking down in injury time, the Royal Blues were forced to throw everything they had forward. And Umut Bulut scored the game-winner on a breakaway.

"We invested too little in the first half," Schalke captain Benedikt Höwedes said after the match. "It's a hige disappointment for us because a lot more was possible."

Galatasary progress to the quarterfinals with a 4-3 aggregate score.

Barcelona achieve historic comeback

Barcelona's Argentinian striker Leo Messi celebrates his brace

No surprise - Messi was the man of the Barcelona match

Barcelona came into Tuesday night's other Champions League tie needing to overturn a 2-0 defeat against AC Milan – a historic novelty in this competition. And they wasted no time in showing they meant business.

After only five minutes, some short passing create a tiny bit of space for Lionel Messi, and he curled in a lovely goal past Christian Abbiati.

In minute 37, Mbaye Niang could have given Milan a huge advantage, when he was left one-on-one with Victor Valdes, but the youngster only hit the post. And two minutes later, Andres Iniesta took the ball off his opponent and found Messi, who threaded his second home with a low ball.

In the second half it was David Villa getting in on the scoring act. He was put through in minute 55, and he duly made it 3-0 for the hosts.

Barca then took their foot off the gas – a risky strategy since a single Milan goal would have sent them through. But the hosts defending with conviction and Jordi Alba sealed the deal with a breakaway goal in added time. The final score was 4-0. Barca go through 4-2 on aggregate, with a performance thank ranked with the classiest in this club's storied history.

On Wednesday, Bayern expect to progress as they take a 3-1 aggregate lead into their home match against Arsenal. The other match pits Malaga against Porto. Porto won the first leg 1-0.

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