Barcelona 1 PSG 1: Messi comes on to help edge La Blaugrana through
Barcelona 1 PSG 1: Catalans book their Champions League semi-final place on away goals after an unconvincing draw
Barcelona earned their place in the Champions League semi-finals, sneaking past Paris Saint-Germain on away goals after a draw at the Camp Nou.
Argentina international Javier Pastore put the visitors ahead on the night – and in the tie – after exchanging passes with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and bursting clear to finish past Víctor Valdes.
Lionel Messi started the game on the bench after losing his pre-match fitness battle but with Barça far from their best, coach Tito Vilanova introduced the forward on the hour mark.
Messi’s introduction appeared to spark Barça into life, and with 19 minutes remaining the Catalan outfit got the goal that sealed their qualification for the last four.
Messi ran at the PSG defence and fed David Villa, whose deft knock-back found Pedro. The Spain international finished well, driving low into the bottom corner of the net.
“We knew PSG were a really good side, we knew it would be a very difficult game,” said Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, before adding: “When Messi’s on the field it really lifts your spirits.”
Pedro, who scored the goal to put Barcelona through, also paid tribute to Messi after the Argentine’s cameo display.
“He’s really important to the team and this week he put in a huge effort to be able to play tonight,” said Pedro. “We have to thank him for his dedication to the team. His introduction turned the team around.”
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