Soccer Champions League Messi Fires Barca Into Semifials

Bayern Munich also eased into the last four, thanks to two Ivica Olic goals in a 2-0 win over Olympique Marseille for a 4-0 aggregate.

Lionel Messi scored two first-half penalties and Andres Iniesta added a third goal after the break, as title-holder Barcelona defeated AC Milan 3-1 on Tuesday to reach the semifinals of the Champions League for a fifth successive season.

Bayern Munich also eased into the last four, thanks to two Ivica Olic goals in a 2-0 win over Olympique Marseille for a 4-0 aggregate.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi kicking the second penalty March 3, 2012.AP

Messi's opener from the spot in the 11th minute at the Nou Camp stadium was a record 13 Champions League goals for the season and the 50th of his career in the competition.

The Argentine striker stepped up to the spot after he was brought down in the area by Luca Antonini and slotted the ball to the right of the diving Christian Abbiati.

Milan leveled in the 32nd minute when Zlatan Ibrahimovic fed Antonio Nocerino, who beat keeper Victor Valdes for a potentially important away goal after the two sides finished goalless in Milan.

But Barcelona got back in front four minutes before the break when Alessandro Nesta tugged the shirt of Sergio Busquets at a Barcelona corner kick and referee Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot while showing Nesta a yellow card.

This time Messi put his spot kick in the left-hand corner, with Abbiati diving to his right, to make it Champions League goal number 14 for the season.

Messi indirectly set up the third goal in the 53rd minute when his shot on the edge of the area was half blocked by Philippe Mexes and the ball deflected to Iniesta who finished from close range.

In Munich, Bayern, hoping to reach the final on its own ground on May 19, eased into the last four and a possible meeting with Real Madrid after Ivica Olic bagged a first-half brace.

Olic opened the scoring in the 13th minute after former Marseille player Franck Ribery went around several defenders before squaring to the Croatia striker. Ribery also began the move which led to the second goal in the 37th minute, passing to David Alaba who then found Olic in front of goal.