PARIS- Barcelona completed a remarkable comeback against AC Milan to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday, while Galatasaray eliminated Schalke.
Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, Barcelona levelled the tie on aggregate thanks to two brilliant Lionel Messi strikes in the first half, before David Villa put them ahead in the tie early in the second period.
Jordi Alba then made sure of the Catalans' place in the quarter-finals for the sixth season running when he secured a 4-0 win on the night.
Meanwhile, Turkish giants Galatasaray beat Schalke 3-2 in Gelsenkirchen to advance 4-3 on aggregate and reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2001.
No team had overturned a two-goal first-leg deficit in the Champions League without having the benefit of an away goal, so Barcelona's task against Milan was an ominous one.
But the Catalans chose the perfect moment to produce their best performance in a long time, even if they had to survive a nervy ending.
They had the momentum from the moment Messi opened the scoring five minutes in, controlling and then instantly finishing brilliantly into the top corner from the edge of the area despite being surrounded by five Milan defenders.
The near-95,000 crowd then had their hearts in their mouths when M'Baye Niang broke through at the other end only to see his shot rebound to safety off the far post.
But moments later, Messi smashed home his second through the legs of Philippe Mexes to level the tie on aggregate and take his overall tally in the Champions League to 58.
It is the third time in eight seasons that Barcelona have knocked out Milan in the knockout stages of the competition.
"We believed from the first moment. From the moment the first leg finished," Villa told Spanish television TVE after the game.
"We were switched on right from the start. The early goal helped us, but we went looking for it straight from kick-off."
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri admitted: "The pressure that Barcelona put us under in the first half-hour was devastating. Barca remain the best team in the world."