The Italian press has lauded AC Milan's 2-0 win over Barcelona on Wednesday night, and in particular the work of coach Massimiliano Allegri, who they claim managed to "annihilate" the Catalans, thanks to goals by Kevin Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari.
Italy's main sports newspaper, the Milan-based 'La Gazzetta dello Sport', lead with the headline "A dreamy Milan" and praised the "tactical master piece" by Allegri in the first leg of the last 16 Champions League tie.
According to 'La Gazzetta', Allegri was "capable of predicting everything, who to cover and who to cause damage", and "gave a lesson" to Jordi Roura's side, "sending the martians back to earth".
The paper also criticised Barcelona's performance, declaring the 'culés' were "slow and predictable" and "had all that possession for nothing".
"This result showed the most sterile and dull Barcelona performance of the modern era, and it will make noises all around Europe: the strongest team are not so strong anymore," added the report, also declaring "Barcelona were annihilated".
Rival sports paper 'Corriere dello Sport' went with the headline:"Milan give Barcelona a lesson, what a show in the San Siro!" and declared that Leo Messi had been nullified thanks to the great work of the Milan players.
"Messi was not man-marked, as Silvio Berlusconi had suggested, but he was heavily monitored: he was surrounded by three or four players when he had the ball and was given no margin to get involved in the play," read the match report.