Messi comes off bench to inspire Barca win

Leo Messi came off the bench last night to inspire Barcelona to greatness. The Catalans were losing 0-1 at the Nou Camp until the Argentine came on and turned his team’s fortunes around. Barca played well in the first half with lots of ball possession but they lacked the spark of their talented striker.

Messi was to come on with around half an hour to go and one nil down to Paris Saint-Germain to inject enthusiasm into a side that was finding it tough going.

The defensive errors by Barca demanded that Victor Valdes be of his very best. Valdes was able to stay focused throughout the match having to intervene on just a few occasions. The keeper not only had to stop the ball but hang onto it as well. Valdes was perfect and Lucas Moura along with Lavezzi put the Barca stopper to the test on several occasions.

Gerard Piqué had to cover not only his area but that of Adriano too, as the role of interim central defender was above him. Cesc kept up the good work and proved responsive in the role of Messi. Iniesta was awesome and showed touches of brilliance but the rest of the attack showed an unusual shyness.

The figures regarding ball possession were rather misleading (61% -39%). The game wasn’t totally controlled by the Catalans and Barcelona played football without thinking that the game was in its favour. Pastore then scored on 50 minutes just after the break after a counter attack started by Verratti and masterfully executed by Ibrahimovic.

Ten minutes later Messi was brought on. Just seeing the Argentine warming up is enough to frighten any rival. Even when injured, Messi on the pitch is a cause for concern. Barca’s equalizer came from play initiated by Messi. He drew two defenders, quickly changed the pace to send the ball to Villa.

Villa then laid the ball off to Pedro to send the ball rocketing past the PSG stopper to make it 1-1.

The possibility of reaching extra time didn’t even enter into Vilanova’s plans. He left Messi on the pitch despite his obvious limp and strengthened the midfield with Alex Song. Barcelona suffered but knew how to hang on as they wrote another page in their history books and of European football.

With Bayern Munich beating Juventus by 2 goals to nil it appears to be an all German-Spanish semi final. What the semi final draw holds is another story but one thing’s sure – we may be in for a classic semi final or final of the Champions League – bring it on!

About Barca Blogger

My name's Steve aka Barca Blogger and one of the founding members of the team at I've been around since the blog started and we aim to bring you the most up to date information on this great club.