Puyol left out of Barcelona starting line-up

12 March 2013 07:46

Club captain Carles Puyol was left out of the Barcelona line-up for Tuesday's Champions League last 16, second leg, against AC Milan at the Camp Nou, but Xavi Hernandez was deemed fit enough to start.

Instead, Javier Mascherano was preferred to partner Gerard Pique in central defence for the Catalans, while Xavi captained the team after overcoming a hamstring injury.

With David Villa starting in attack, the Barcelona team was the same as that which started the 2011 Champions League final win over Manchester United at Wembley, except for the presence of Jordi Alba at left-back rather than Eric Abidal.

For Milan, Philippe Mexes had been a pre-match doubt but was fit enough to start alongside Cristian Zapata in the heart of the defence.

Former Barcelona striker Bojan Krkic was among the Milan substitutes as the Italians sought to defend a 2-0 first-leg lead.

Starting line-ups


Victor Valdes; Daniel Alves, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Xavi Hernandez (capt), Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta; Pedro Rodriguez, Lionel Messi; David Villa

Coach: Jordi Roura

AC Milan

Christian Abbiati; Ignazio Abate, Philippe Mexes, Cristian Zapata, Kevin Constant; Riccardo Montolivo, Massimo Ambrosini (capt), Mathieu Flamini; M'Baye Niang, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Stephan El Shaarawy

Coach: Massimiliano Allegri

Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)

Source: AFP