Lionel Messi sent more records tumbling as holders Barcelona beat AC Milan 3-1 yesterday to reach the Champions League semifinals, while Bayern Munich completed a 4-0 aggregate win over Olympique Marseille.
The 24-year-old Messi reached the 50-goal mark in Europe's premier club competition with an early penalty at Camp Nou that also saw him break the record he jointly held with Ruud van Nistelrooy for most goals in a Champions League season.
Barca will bid to reach a third final in four seasons against either Chelsea or Benfica, who meet at Stamford Bridge overnight with the English side leading 1-0 on aggregate.
"When you play against a team like Milan, you know the job is never done until you hear the final whistle," said Andres Iniesta. "We had to work really hard against a great side and we are thrilled to be in the semifinals."
After Antonio Nocerino had equalised 1-1 and put Milan ahead on away goals, Messi claimed a second penalty to match former Milan striker Jose Altafini's 1962-63 record of 14 goals scored in one European Cup campaign.
A second-half goal from Iniesta completed victory for Pep Guardiola's men, who became the first team to reach five consecutive semifinals in the competition since the great Real Madrid side of the late 1950s.
"You have to play the perfect game to win here and unfortunately we made some mistakes, both in defence and in attack," said Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri.
Having seen his side win 2-0 at Stade Velodrome last week, Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes elected to start with Arjen Robben and top scorer Mario Gomez on the bench at Munich's Allianz Arena, which will host the final on May 19. Gomez's replacement, Ivica Olic, took full advantage of the opportunity to shine, converting low crosses from Franck Ribery and David Alaba to put Bayern 2-0 up by the interval.
"We were very concentrated, despite the amount of games we are playing at the moment," said Heynckes, who is attempting to guide his side to a treble of trophies in the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup. "Marseille weren't in the quarter-finals for nothing and they tried everything."
Suspended for the first leg, Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda kept the scoreline respectable thereafter but OM have now gone 10 games without a win.
"We lost to a great team, but we did not give up," said striker Loic Remy. "Hats off to Bayern, I hope they go all the way. We still have the League Cup final [against Lyon on April 14] to look forward to and we want to do well in the league."
Bayern will play either Real Madrid or Cypriot representatives APOEL in the last four, with Madrid carrying a 3-0 lead into the second leg.