Messi to rescue for Barcelona

Lionel Messi stepped off the bench to rescue Barcelona's UEFA Champions League bid as they advanced to the semi-finals on away goals at the expense of Paris Saint Germain after drawing 1-1 in the second leg and 3-3 on aggregate.

Last Updated: 10/04/13 at 22:57 Post Comment

Pedro celebrates after scoring for Barcelona

Pedro celebrates after scoring for Barcelona

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

With the Argentina ace deemed only fit enough for a place on the bench following his hamstring injury in the first leg, Barcelona lacked their usual swagger and PSG took a deserved lead in the 50th minute through Javier Pastore.

But the introduction of Messi in the 62nd minute changed the mentality and belief of the home side, with their talismanic forward the architect of Pedro's equaliser just nine minutes later.

Former England captain David Beckham was another star name who had to make do with a place among the substitutes having started last week, with Marco Verratti and Thiago Motta selected in central midfield as Blaise Matuidi was suspended following his yellow card at the Parc des Princes.

Xavi had a number of the home fans in Camp Nou on their feet in only the second minute as his free-kick curled up and over the wall and away from the diving Salvatore Sirigu only to ripple the side-netting, and that was as close as they came in a rare 45-minute spell where they failed to get a shot on target.

As ever, there was plenty of possession for the home side, but their passing lacked penetration and Victor Valdes was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first half, with Lucas providing the main threat for the visitors with his powerful runs.

The Barca goalkeeper had to be alert in the 14th minute to deny Lucas' low drive from the edge of the box and was called into action again as the half-hour mark approached to push a powerful header from the Brazil international up and over the bar after an excellent deep cross from Ibrahimovic.

PSG took a deserved lead in the 50th minute after a lightning counter-attack with Zlatan Ibrahimovic linking superbly with Pastore, although the chance looking to have gone as the latter took the ball wide before lifting his shot over Valdes and into the net.

Pastore had a chance to double their advantage eight minutes later when he was again played in by Ibrahimovic, only to skew his shot horribly wide, with Barca coach Tito Vilanova turning to Messi to change the game.

His arrival lifted the crowd and his team-mates, with Andres Iniesta cutting into the box after a one-two with David Villa before curling in a shot which Sirigu pushed away and Messi could not get the rebound out from under his feet.

But there was no stopping the diminutive ace in the 71st minute as he unlocked the PSG defence to feed David Villa, with the forward rolling the ball back into Pedro's path to drill his shot home.

Carlo Ancelotti turned to Beckham as the clock ran down but his only contribution was to pick up a booking for dissent, with another moment of Iniesta magic seeing Barcelona go close as he turned Christophe Jallet inside and out before drilling into the side netting.

BarcelonaTeam StatisticsParis Saint Germain
1Goals1
01st Half Goals0
2Shots on Target8
9Shots off Target5
12Blocked Shots3
7Corners5
11Fouls16
2Offsides5
1Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards0
89.3Passing Success77.5
4Tackles23
75Tackles Success73.9
63Possession37
60Territorial Advantage40
617Total Passes351
20Total Crosses13
134Lost Balls121
56Recoveries60
64.11st Half Poss.35.9
63.42nd Half Poss.36.6

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Premier League: Crystal Palace unveil Neil Warnock as new manager

Neil Warnock has returned to Crystal Palace after being named as the new manager on a two-year deal.

Manchester United signing Angel di Maria claims he was forced out of Real Madrid

Manchester United signing Angel di Maria has claimed he never wanted to leave Real Madrid.

Transfer news: Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby interests Hamburg

Hamburg director Dietmar Beiersdorfer has confirmed the club’s interest in Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby.

Mail Box

Well, This Isn't Going That Well Is It?

Plenty of fall out from Manchester United's shambolic 4-0 League Cup defeat, plus thoughts on Van Persie, Arsenal strikers, Benik Afobe, Celtic and Astroturf...

Not Getting Carried Away On Spurs... But

A couple of Spurs fans have broken rank to admit that they are bloody excited about things down the Lane. Plus Glen Johnson, Arsene on strikers and Moreno...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property