Champions League: Barcelona fight back to reach semi finals


Lionel Messi came off the bench to fuel a Barcelona fightback as the four-time winners booked their place in the Champions League semi-finals on away goals. Javier Pastore had put Paris Saint Germain ahead with a clipped finish just after the break but Messi, who suffered a hamstring strain in the first leg, was sent in and inspired Barca as he set up Pedro who fired home the equaliser from 15 yards. Andres Iniesta nearly added a second goal moments later.

PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti ushered David Beckham off the bench in the closing stages, but the former England captain could not replicate Messi's impact on the game as the visitors struggled to force their way back onto the front foot.
Record breakers

Barcelona started with Cesc Fabregas upfront, as the former Arsenal player had scored a 46-minute hat-trick in a 5-0 win over Mallorca at the weekend, but this time the team didn't seem to do any damage in front of a strong opponent like PSG. The French side created the best chances in the first half as Lucas Moura fired straight at Victor Valdes before heading one at the goalie. Zlatan Ibrahimovic provided a chance for Ezequiel Lavezzi with a fine through ball but the striker's shot was parried by Valdes.

The second half started even worse for Barcelona as Pastore fired in the opener just five minutes after the restart. Ibrahimovic provided the pass once again, Pastore received it and held off the challenge of Dani Alves before clipping a shot over the onrushing Valdes. At that point Messi had to be sent in and he was, replacing Fabregas. The Argentine star needed just 10 minutes to create the equaliser, providing a great pass for David Villa whose lay-off was blasted onto the back of the net by Pedro. PSG tried to put some pressure in the final minutes but Barca held firm to advance on away goals after getting a 2-2 draw in the first leg in Paris.

Barcelona's next match is on Monday April 14th as they travel to meet Real Zaragoza in the Spanish League. Here are the odds at Bet365 on that match:

Real Zaragoza win - 13/2
Draw - 15/4
Barcelona win - 2/5

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