CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER-FINAL 1st LEG: Late PSG show denies Barcelona victory

Paris Saint-Germain have set up what may prove to be a tense Champions League quarter-final second leg by scoring at the death to force a 2-2 draw with Barcelona in Paris tonight.

The French club found themselves a goal down at the break after Lionel Messi scored yet again but fought back through Zlatan Ibrahimovic before Xavi converted from the penalty spot in the 89th minute.

Thankfully for PSG, Blaise Matuidi’s injury-time effort squirmed past Victor Valdes to give Carlo Ancelotti’s men some hope ahead of the return bout at the Camp Nou next week.

Messi, who was replaced by Cesc Fabregas at half-time, gave the Catalan giants the ascendency seven minutes before the break when he received a clever ball from Dani Alves to fire past Salvator Sirigu from an acute angle.

In the 79th minute, Ibrahimovic lost his marker in the area to make the most of Valdes’ punched clearance from a free-kick to screw home with his left foot on the turn.

With one minute of regular time remaining, Barcelona edge ahead again when Xavi stepped up to coolly convert after Alexis Sanchez was felled by Sirigu.

But there was a further twist in stoppage time when Matuidi got on the end of Ibrahimovic’s clever headed knockdown to rifle an effort from the edge of the area which took a deflection, wrong-footing Valdes and trickling over the line.

The results sets up an intriguing battle in Spain next Wednesday with plenty potentially resting on the shoulders of Messi who was clutching his right leg before hobbling off the pitch.

2012/13 UEFA Champions League – quarter-final first leg

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA): 2 (Zlatan Ibrahimovic 79’, Blaise Matuidi 90+4’)
Barcelona (SPN): 2 (Lionel Messi 38’, Xavi (p) 89’)
Parc des Princes, Paris – 45,336

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