Messi dependence a worrying trend for Barca

Barca's celebration of the goal said it all as a screaming Pedro was engulfed by his teammates, it was a reaction of relief as much as joy. Even in the final stages this was a distinctly un-Barcelona like display.

updated: April 11, 2013 19:00 IST
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Barcelona: Lionel Messi once again rode to Barcelona's rescue as they squeezed past Paris Saint-Germain on away goals to qualify for an unprecedented sixth consecutive Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night.

However, having been outplayed by the visitors for the first hour, their dependence on Messi was exposed as despite struggling with a hamstring injury that forced him to start the match on the bench, the four-time World Player of the Year was called upon for the final half hour with his side trailing to Javier Pastore's goal on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.

Messi's sheer presence changed the complexion of the game. For the first time in the evening, the Catalan fans rose from their seats to greet their hero as he replaced a frustrated Cesc Fabregas, whilst wary of his threat - even on one leg - the PSG defence seemed to take a step back rather than pressing Barca incessantly as they had done to that point.

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  • Football
  • Barcelona
  • AC Milan
  • Real Madrid
  • Rayo Vallecano
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Cesc Fàbregas
  • Javier Pastore
  • Pedro