FC Barcelona of Spain overwhelmed visiting AC Milan of Italy to reach its sixth straight UEFA Champions League soccer quarterfinal.
Messi helps Barcelona advance
in UEFA Champions League
Lionel Messi started one of soccer’s classic comebacks with two first-half goals, and FC Barcelona of Spain overwhelmed visiting AC Milan of Italy to reach its sixth straight UEFA Champions League quarterfinal.
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Messi scored in the fifth and 40th minutes, and Barcelona went on to a 4-0 victory Tuesday that gave it a 4-2 aggregate decision in the home-and-home, total-goals series. Barcelona became the first team to advance in Europe’s top club competition after losing the first leg 2-0 on the road.
“We went out gunning from the start, and scoring early helped us,” said David Villa, who scored the third goal. “We have believed in the comeback ever since we lost in Milan, and belief combined with hard work is how you achieve things.”
Before a screaming crowd of 99,786 at Camp Nou, Europe’s largest stadium, Messi scored from 17 and 19 yards.
“For anyone who doubted Messi, today Messi gave a lesson on how to play football,” said Barcelona assistant Jordi Roura, in charge of the team while manager Tito Vilanova is being treated for a throat tumor in New York.
Barcelona is seeking its fourth Champions League title in eight years.
“Barcelona is still the best team in the world. Moving on was a true feat,” Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri said. “The first leg didn’t change these two teams, and whoever thought so was wrong. We played worse than in the first leg, but that is to Barcelona’s credit.”
In another Champions League match, Galatasaray of Turkey won 3-2 at Schalke of Germany to advance on 4-3 aggregate and reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2001.
Lloyd suffers broken shoulder
U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd will be sidelined from six to eight weeks because of a broken bone in her left shoulder. She was injured in a March 6 match against Iceland in the Algarve Cup.
The U.S. team plays Germany in Wednesday’s Algarve Cup title match in Faro, Portugal.
Djokovic, Sharapova win
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 to reach the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.
Djokovic, who has won 20 matches in a row, moves on to play American Sam Querrey, a 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (7-9), 7-5 winner over Marinko Matosevic of Australia.
Russian Maria Sharapova reached the quarterfinals by beating Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino of Spain 7-5, 6-0.
Texas player faces felony charge
Texas sophomore receiver Cayleb Jones was charged with felony aggravated assault of a Longhorns tennis player. Police said Jones fractured Joey Swaysland’s jaw with a punch outside an Austin nightclub Feb. 22.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown has suspended Jones until the case is resolved.
According to police, Jones confronted Swaysland and Texas volleyball player Khat Bell. Bell told police she had been in a relationship with Jones that ended badly and that Jones had previously threatened to fight Swaysland.
• Astana rider Vincenzo Nibali of Italy successfully defended his title in the seven-stage Tirreno-Adriatico cycling race in Italy, finishing 23 seconds ahead of Tour de France runner-up Chris Froome of Team Sky.
• Forward Cheryl Ford, a four-time All-Star who has not played in the WNBA since 2009, agreed to a deal with the New York Liberty.
Ford, 31, is the daughter of NBA legend Karl Malone.
Seattle Times news services