Boateng, Muntari score in surprise Milan win

Boateng, Muntari score in surprise Milan win

MILAN - Reuters
Boateng, Muntari score in surprise Milan win

AC Milan’s Sulley Muntari (2R)of Ghana, is hugged by his teammates Riccardo Montolivo (L) and Kevin Constant during their Feb. 20 match. AP photo

Barcelona’s treble hopes were hanging in the balance after it was strategically outplayed in a 2-0 defeat by AC Milan in its Champions League last-16 first-leg match on Feb. 20.

Second-half goals by Ghanaians Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari left Barcelona with a huge task in the second leg after a night when Lionel Messi was conspicuously quiet for the Catalans.

The Catalans’ starting line-up featured 10 players from their youth academy and nine internationals with world and European champions Spain.

They were facing a Milan side patched together during the course of the season after a firesale of top players during the off season to help balance the books.

Milan’s approach was much more haphazard as they struggled to string passes together, lost possession in key areas of midfield and thumped hopeful balls forward.

“The result is what it is. We had the game under control, although admittedly we didn’t create too many clear chances and neither did they,” Barcelona’s interim coach Jordi Roura said.