BARCA POWERLESS WITHOUT MESSI, scrape into Champions League semis after introduction of half-fit star

Posted by News Express | 10 April 2013 | 3,559 times

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Those who say that Spanish giants Barcelona are nothing without world’s best footballer Lionel Messi became vindicated tonight when the La Liga leaders failed to defend their first leg advantage as they hosted Paris Saint Germain (PSG) of France. But that was until the half-fit Messi was introduced into the game and helped them to regain their confidence.

Demystified by the visitors at the Camp Nou, Barca had their backs against the wall when Pastore put the ball behind Valdes in the 50th minute after playing a one-two with Zlatan Ibrahimovic inside Barca’s half.

Messi, who was shown wiping away tears after the goal, had to be thrown into the fray shortly thereafter and it soon paid off when Pedro cancelled PSG’s lead in the 71st minute. Messi, who replaced Fabregas, had gone on a tightly-controlled penetrating run. PSG, playing too deep, tackle him, but the ball falls for Iniesta who tees up Pedro to fire into the top corner.

The match ended 3-3 on aggregate, with Barca advancing into the last four. The semi-finals will feature teams from oly Spain and Germany after Bayern Munich beat hapless Juventus of Italy 2-0 away to make it 4-0 on aggregate. After the first set of quarter-final return legs yesterday, Real Madrid of Spain and Germany’s Borrusia Dortmund had become the first two teams to pick semi-final tickets.

•Photo shows Pedro (left) celebrating his equaliser with a teammate.

Source: News Express

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