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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QF 2nd LEG: Messi off the bench to help Barcelona edge past PSG

Barcelona can again thank the genius of Lionel Messi for getting them through to the semi-finals of the Champions League over Paris Saint-Germain tonight.

The Argentine maestro, who injured his hamstring in the 2-2 first leg in Paris last week, clambered off the bench just after the hour-mark to completely change the direction of the match and to have a major hand in Barcelona's equalising goal.

Tito Vilanova's men were able to get themselves through to the final four for the sixth straight season by virtue of the away goals rule after the two-legged tie finished 3-3.

Javier Pastore put PSG deservedly ahead five minutes into the second half when he received a neat ball from Zlatan Ibrahimovic before drawing wide from the goal and then sliding it over Victor Valdes with his left foot.

PSG had a couple of decent chances to put the Catalan giants away but enter Messi, who had a key impact after replacing Cesc Fabregas in the 62nd minute.

The Nou Camp crowd and his teammates lifted and he constructed the levelling goal when he dazzled the PSG defence with a barnstorming run before picking out David Villa just inside the area for the Spanish international to tee it up for Pedro who powered home in the 71st minute.

Andres Iniesta was close to wrapping up the contest with a piece of magic when he turned two PSG defenders but lashed wide from an acute angle.

In the end, however, Barcelona got the job done and now join La Liga rivals Real Madrid as well as German duo Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in the final four.

2012/13 UEFA Champions League quarter-final - second leg

Barcelona (SPN): 1 (Pedro 71') *Barcelona wins on away goals after 3-3 aggregate Paris Saint-Germain (FRA): 1 (Javier Pastore 50')

Nou Camp, Barcelona - 96,022

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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