Barcelona hit four goals past AC Milan during a sensational performance at the Nou Camp on Tuesday evening to seal their progress through to the quarter-finals of the competition for the 12th time since the current Champions League format was instated in 1992.
Strikes from David Villa, Jordi Alba and a superb double-salvo from Lionel Messi blew away the Rossoneri who never looked capable of holding on to their 2-0 first leg lead.
The Catalan giants were ahead inside five minutes as Messi finished off a typically spellbinding passage of Barcelona possession play with a rasping drive into the top corner of Cristian Abbiati’s goal.
Barca would have to wait until the 40th minute to really make their total dominance pay, Messi once again finding himself within range of the Milan net after more slick passing from the hosts and the Argentine did not disappoint, drilling the ball past a stricken Abbiati to level the tie.
More of the same was to follow after the break and it only took ten minutes for Tito Villanova’s side to go in front on aggregate as David Villa got himself on the score sheet with a fabulous curling effort.
And despite some subsequent late pressure from the visitors who went in search of a game changing away goal, Barca weathered the storm and put the tie to bed in stoppage time when full back Jodi Alba flew forward to slot home from inside the area.
The 4-0 win marked further history for the 2011 champions as they became the first team in Champions League folklore to overturn a two goal deficit after failing to score in the first leg.
After an indifferent spell of form, the score-line and performance undoubtedly signalled that Barca remain as strong as ever and will surely be firm candidates to regain the trophy come May.
They will be joined in the last eight by Galatasaray, Bayern Munich and Spanish compatriots Malaga who also tasted second round success this week.
Debt ridden Malaga, who will be banned from European competition for four years after the tournament due to financial misdemeanours, recorded a marvellous 2-0 victory over Porto at La Rosaleda to triumph 2-1 overall.
Goals from Isco and Roque Santa Cruz proved enough to kill off the Portuguese champions who had Steven Defour dismissed four minutes after the break for a second bookable offence.
Bayern Munich rather stumbled into the quarter-final draw following an unexpected 0-2 defeat at the hands of Arsenal at the Allianz Arena.
The Germans were in full control of the tie after a ruthless 1-3 first leg win at the Emirates however their complacency almost cost them dearly in front of their own supporters.
Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny netted for the Gunners but it was not enough as Bayern prevailed narrowly on away goals.
And Galatasaray completed a scintillating quarter-final line-up as they accounted for Schalke 04 against the odds in Gelsenkirchen.
The Turks forced a 2-3 victory to progress 3-4 on aggregate courtesy of goals from Altintop, Yilmaz and Bulut – who bundled home in the fifth minute of overtime.