A frustrating and already damaging night for Barcelona turned into a disastrous one when Stephan El Shaarawy flicked up the ball in the 81st minute and dinked a perfect assist into the path of Sulley Muntari to guide the ball into the bottom right corner. It was the second shot that had hit the same spot after the impressive Kevin-Prince Boateng opened the scoring after 57 minutes. Although the assistant coach, Jordi Roura, said he was “absolutely convinced” his side will still go through, it leaves a largely impotent Barcelona with a huge task in the second leg.
It leaves Milan in a position as perfect as it appeared implausible. A huge banner was unfurled over the south stand before this game: “We are history,” it declared. Milan may not be what they were, seven times winners of this competition, but they deserved the 2-0 victory and, as the noise roared round San Siro and shirts were thrown to fans, this felt like a historic night.