AC Milan midfielder Massimo Ambrosini has described their 2-0 win over Barcelona as just what was needed after a rocky season.
Massimiliano Allegri's men were languishing in mid-table in Serie A in November but an admirable streak of form has seen them shoot up to third.
Ambrosini believes the Italian side were justified in attempting to frustrate Barcelona on Wednesday, and rejected any notion of his side having one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals.
"History has shown that Barcelona have been knocked out of the competition by teams that play a certain type of football," Ambrosini told the club's website. "It is a team win and all the players should feel a part of it.
"We needed this after the tough moments we've been through this season. We're not through to the next round though, we haven't done anything yet. If you go to Camp Nou just to defend, you'll definitely concede.
"We'll have to continue to be positive as they'll be even more competitive at home. From tomorrow, we'll be thinking about the next match."
Giampaolo Pazzini was presented with a start in Mario Balotelli's cup-tied absence, and the striker credited the win to organisation and a team effort.
"It's no surprise," he said. "We played a great game and the coach prepared us well. The fans were fantastic and it was a stupendous evening. I think you could see that we were a team this evening.
"On nights like tonight, the individual aspect goes to the back. Now we have to get our energy back and from tomorrow we'll be thinking about the derby (against Inter Milan on Sunday).
"We did well as we didn't get impatient, we played a perfect game and I believe Milan deserved the win."
AC Milan left-back Kevin Constant also hailed the squad's efforts, as well as insisting he does not fear Lionel Messi heading into the second leg in Barcelona on March 12.
"We played as a team and we all fought for every ball," he said. "We showed that we're a team.
"We don't know if the two-goal advantage will be enough but we'll go to Barcelona and play with personality as we did this evening.
"I have faith for the match in the Nou Camp. Messi is a world-class player but when you take to the pitch you can't think like that."