"Good luck seeing a more dramatic match than this one," blurted ITV's beleaguered anchor Adrian Chiles. He had just witnessed Barcelona's 4-0 thumping of AC Milan in one of the Champions League's most one-sided knockout matches when a "more dramatic" game was taking place in Gelsenkirchen.

Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, Lionel Messi inspired the Catalans' comeback when he scored a brilliant opener inside 10 minutes as Barça ominously roared back into the game. Their yard dog running to regain the ball returned as they pressed Milan fiercely, trusting Gerard Piqué and Javier Mascherano to mop up should the Rossoneri threaten to nab an away goal. Only they couldn't be.

lionel messi

For every Messi, there is an Alves

Mascherano, specifically, misjudged a header and M'Baye Niang was left one-on-one with Victor Valdés. A victim of Too Much Time, he hit the post and within a minute Messi had struck again to level the tie for a 2-0 lead at the interval.

David Villa hit the tie's winner when he with a luscious left-footer past Christian Abbiati and Jordi Alba made certain of the four-time European Cup winners' progress with a nifty dink in stoppage-time.

Three weeks ago, Barça could muster only one shot on target in Milan yet however tactically astute Milan were, the result masked just how mediocre a team they are. They lacked a talisman in the Camp Nou when yesteryear they had Van Basten or Gullit, Pirlo or Shevchenko, Kaká or Ibrahimović. That Massimiliano Allegri had to throw on the flat-track bully Robinho was an indication of the gulf between the sides.

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  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (C) celebrates with Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba (top), Barcelona's Brazilian defender Dani Alves (L) and Barcelona's midfielder Andres Iniesta after scoring his second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. Barcelona won 4-0. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique celebrates at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. Barcelona won 4-0. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's forward David Villa celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's forward David Villa celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's forward David Villa celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's forward David Villa celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's forward David Villa (R) celebrates with Barcelona's forward Pedro Rodriguez (L) and Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barcelona v AC Milan - UEFA Champions League Round of 16

    BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 12: Stephan El Shaarawy of AC Milan reacts during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou Stadium on March 12, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's Chiliean forward Alexis Sanchez (R) vies with AC Milan's goalkeeper Chistian Abbiati (L) during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique (L) vies with AC Milan's forward Stephan El Shaarawy (R) during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (C) vies with AC Milan's Colombian defender Cristian Zapata (L) and AC Milan's midfielder Riccardo Montolivo (R) during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barcelona v AC Milan - UEFA Champions League Round of 16

    BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 12: David Villa of FC Barcelona celebrates scoring their third goal with team-mates Leo Messi (L) and Dani Alves (R) during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou Stadium on March 12, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

  • Barcelona v AC Milan - UEFA Champions League Round of 16

    BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 12: David Villa of FC Barcelona scores their third goal while Philippe Mexes of AC Milan tries to stop him during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou Stadium on March 12, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

  • Barcelona v AC Milan - UEFA Champions League Round of 16

    BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 12: David Villa of FC Barcelona celebrates scoring their third goal with team-mates Leo Messi (L) and Dani Alves (R) during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou Stadium on March 12, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. Barcelona won 4-0. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. Barcelona won 4-0. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. Barcelona won 4-0. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. Barcelona won 4-0. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba celebrates at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. Barcelona won 4-0. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    AC Milan's French defender Philippe Mexes reacts during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. Barcelona won 4-0. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. Barcelona won 4-0. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba (R) scores past AC Milan's goalkeeper Chistian Abbiati (L) during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. Barcelona won 4-0. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique celebrates at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. Barcelona won 4-0. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. Barcelona won 4-0. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's forward David Villa (L) celebrates with Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba (C) and Barcelona's forward Pedro Rodriguez after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's forward David Villa celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's forward David Villa (L) scores during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's forward David Villa (L) celebrates with Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba (C) and Barcelona's forward Pedro Rodriguez after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's forward David Villa (L) celebrates with Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba (C) and Barcelona's forward Pedro Rodriguez after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's forward David Villa (L) celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique celebrates his team's second score during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (C) celebrates with Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba (top), Barcelona's Brazilian defender Dani Alves (L) and Barcelona's midfielder Andres Iniesta after scoring his second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barcelona's midfielder Andres Iniesta, center right, hugs teammate Lionel Messi, from Argentina, after he scored their second goal during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique reacts after teammate Lionel Messi, unseen, scored their second goal during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) celebrates with Barcelona's forward David Villa after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) celebrates with Barcelona's forward David Villa (C) after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's midfielder Xavi Hernandez celebrates his team's first score during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FC Barcelona v AC Milan - UEFA Champions League Round of 16

    BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 12: FC Barcelona players celebrates after Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona scored the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at the Camp Nou Stadium on March 12, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's players celebrate their first score during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-MILAN

    Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) celebrates with Barcelona's forward David Villa (C) after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona against AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Lionel Messi

    Barcelona's forward Lionel Messi, from Argentina, celebrates his goal against Milan during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Barcelona players celebrate their first goal during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique jumps on top of his teammates celebrating their first goal during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Barcelona's forward Lionel Messi, from Argentina, 3rd left, shoots to score their first goal during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Javier Mascherano, Mbaye Niang

    Barcelona's defender Javier Mascherano, from Argentina, bottom, stops Milan's forward Mbaye Niang, of France, during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Javier Mascherano, Mbaye Niang

    Barcelona's defender Javier Mascherano, from Argentina, bottom, stops Milan's forward Mbaye Niang, of France, during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Barcelona players celebrate team's goal against Milan during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Barcelona's forward Lionel Messi, from Argentina, drives the ball past Milan's midfielder Kevin Constant, of Guinea, right, during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Javier Mascherano, Mbaye Niang

    Barcelona's defender Javier Mascherano, from Argentina, left, stops Milan's forward Mbaye Niang, of France, right, during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)