by Darren Walsh

You know when great teams get written off sometimes after losing just a Champion’s League group game? Well that type of hyperbole might be actually necessary for once here; it really could be the end of an era if Barcelona don’t turn around this 0-2 deficit.

The whole ITV panel are in the Nou Camp. It looks like the budget didn’t stretch to four chairs though.

So if Barca do have to rip it up in the summer, what will they need? At least one centre back I reckon; the strategy of using defensive midfielders there doesn’t work when they actually have to defend.

Mexes is a defensive colossus for Milan according to Adrian Chiles. Maybe I’ve seen him on a bad night a few times, but I do think he’s a colossal something at least.

All Barcelona possession to start with, when Milan win it they give it straight back. They’ll need to give their defence a rest at some point.

Busquets goes down and Clive Tyldesley gets in a quip about his diving, understandably given his past history. However it’s a legit foul and Clive has to qualify his criticism. I get the feeling he’ll be able to go full bore with it later on, knowing what the Spanish international is like.

Withhold the obituaries for now; Barca work the ball to the middle of the Milan penalty area and somehow Messi gets a top corner shot in despite four defenders around him. No stopping it once it leaves his foot.

Clear penalty appeal for Barca as Pedro gets blocked by Abate as he tries to run onto a through ball. Would have been a red card as well as a spot kick, but the referee isn’t having it.

Chances coming thick and fast as Barcelona have clicked into gear since the goal. They’re pressing so much better too than they have in recent games too, which is really the key to making the whole system work. The 3-4-3 set up seems to be catching out Milan too.

I can hear the sound of another commentator who must be near Clive and Andy, but I’d like to think it’s someone who is so frustrated by them that they’re planning a coup to take them off the air.

Flamini goes off with a head injury and after being wrapped up, is shooed off the field by the ref after he runs on because he has to wait for the next stoppage. Not the ref’s fault of course, it’s just a ridiculous rule.

The counter attacks are there for Milan, they just have to make the right decisions at the end of it.

Townsend says “you always get one good chance against Barcelona.” Isn’t that true of every team?

Know when I said that Barcelona would be ok if they didn’t have to defend near their own goal? One ball down the middle, just like the Celtic game, and Barcelona are in trouble as Mascherano misses the ball and Niang is through. He does everything right from his first touch onwards, but pulls his shot and smacks the far post. When Boateng gets the rebound out wide, he could offer himself for the pass and have another chance, but he is still mourning his miss.

A costly miss as it goes, since Messi receives the ball up the other end, cuts inside, and absolutely rips a shot in at the near post. Don’t worry about the finesse this time, just belt it.

So the home team have all the momentum, but just one Milan goal would change everything.

Lee Dixon is donning a pair of hipster-type glasses at halftime. Not enough analyst’s on TV who wear glasses, at least not until I make my glorious entrance into that world.

Drama among the panel!! As Keane finishes his point, Lee Dixon cuts in just as Gareth Southgate is about to talk. Whether Gareth knows he’s in the camera shot is unknown, but he gives quite a shrug as Dixon talks away. After that he gets to make his point, but still throws in a “As I was about to say…” before he says it.

Nice touch by Tyldesley to mention Tony Gubba just before the second half starts, someone he worked with on the BBC.

The second goal was offside?? What?? I need to see that again, immediately. I’d also like to know why it wasn’t brought up at halftime.

The worst parts of Barcelona come out when one of their own gets fouled, just like now when Messi is tripped. The rugby rule of only the captain being allowed to speak directly to an official needs to be enacted yesterday.

Cynical foul by Mexes on Messi; strangely enough there’s no crowding of the ref this time, despite it being a worse offense.

So the free kick is at a nice angle for a delivery towards the area, but of course Barca just restart play with a short pass and go from there. It stands out to followers of English football so much that Tyldesley mentions it. Tony Pulis must stare open mouthed at such a blatant disregard for overloading the penalty area.

David Villa with a left footed curler after Constant couldn’t cut out the pass. His celebration shows how much he needed that for his peace of mind, and it’s pretty vital for the team too of course.

We get an explanation for the sound of another commentator in the background; a Spanish group are beside Tyldesley and Townsend, and according to Andy, one of them is so excited by David Villa’s goal that he might kiss him. Can we not have the option of a camera pointed at them for the rest of the match just in case this happens? I just love seeing people look uneasy on live television.

So, where are we concerning the match? For all of Barcelona’s great play, we still have the situation of one Milan goal making all the difference.

Whistle goes for offside and Clive says that it was hard to hear it due to their Spanish counterparts beside them. I hope they’re talking just as much trash about the ITV pair.

Jordi Alba with some nice anticipation and a big block of Robinho’s close range shot. Not something we see from a Barcelona defender too often.

The game is being played in Barcelona’s half now, as Milan push for a goal. Not sure they have the real quality to fashion one though, their best hope is a cross that they can attack or force the defence into a mistake.

Milan get a free kick well in Barca’s half and it has to go into the mixer. Instead Robinho plays it short when no Milan players are expecting it and Barca counter for Jordi Alba to finish. That’s the full back galloping forward in the last minute of a game. But maybe that’s what makes Barcelona so great. They’ve looked back to their best tonight, mainly because they’ve pressed up the field and suffocated Milan whenever they had the ball.

Back to the panel; Dixon’s ditched the glasses and Roy is happy (well, happy for HIM) as he won the sweep among the crew with this 4-0 result.

Talk turns to Arsenal. Dixon says “It’s not looking good for them” and my understatement machine blows up.

Chiles asks Roy who’s gonna win the whole thing, hoping for an answer of Barcelona to wrap up the night in a nice little package. True to form, Roy goes against the tide and says Bayern Munich. And I for one agree with him, as they’ve been the most impressive over the full Champion’s League campaign. Still though, after all the reports of their demise, Barcelona have shown that they’re not ready to go quietly just yet.