The hype was humongous regarding the Remontada Part-2. After the epic comeback against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey and improved displays in the La Liga, obviously, Barcelona and their fans were expecting yet another dramatic turnaround like 2017 in the second-leg against Paris Saint-Germain in their own backyard. Sadly, since 2004-05, the Champions League quarterfinals stage would not witness Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi anymore.
FULL-TIME: @PSG_English 1-1 FC Barcelona.
We progress into the quarter finals of the @ChampionsLeague ? ?#UCL | #PSGFCB pic.twitter.com/rqWRniII37
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) March 10, 2021
Messi scored an outstanding goal and there was no surprise to that one – he is habituated to do such, but when he missed the penalty, yet again, everyone was reminded that he is mortal and sadly, habituated to bottle it in crucial matches. Of course, since that triumph in the Champions League 2010-11, Messi has been dismal till now.
Barcelona had driven PSG deep into their own territory for much of the first half, but in the end could not get the goals they needed to overturn the 4-1 defeat at Camp Nou in the first leg, drawing 1-1 at Parc des Princes.
Quarter-final, here we come !!! pic.twitter.com/Wo8P2ysjAi
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) March 10, 2021
PSG defended in numbers, sat deep, and cashed in their three-goal first‑leg lead with a 1-1 draw. They were given an easier ride by the astonishing wastefulness of Ousmane Dembele in front of the goal. The attacker was all fine movement and half-baked finishing, missing four good chances in the first half.
With three minutes gone Mbappe looked to have set the tone by gliding a run down the left. But it was Barcelona who dominated – created nine chances in the first half when they really might have turned the tide in their favour.
Dembele was a continuous threat, but the finishing was disappointing.
PSG advance to the quarterfinals in the night where Messi scored a brilliant goal. Then missed a penalty.
Keylor Navas was unreal.
Marquinhos can easily be ranked among the best defenders in the world.
Another #UCL disappointment for Messi. pic.twitter.com/FSS0CWKw1E
— Faisal Caesar (@faisalyorker1) March 11, 2021
It was a trip on Dembele that led to a free-kick that Messi lifted just over the bar. Another fine run created an opening but he could only scuff a shot too close to Keylor Navas.
Messi was everywhere, dropping deep into midfield, finding angles with his passes.
But it was also the night where PSG exhibited their solidity at the back led by Marquinhos and compactness in the center of the park, which dented the efforts of the visitors.
Still, Messi broke through – produced the perfect stubbed, spinning outside-of-the-boot through-pass. Dembele ran into space again. Again the shot was weak.
Against the run of play, PSG earned a penalty courtesy of Clement Lenglet stepping on the back of Leandro Paredes’ heel – who else but Kylian Mbappe scored from the spot.
Wow, what a hit from Lionel Messi! ?
He smashes an absolute missile into the back of the net from 25 yards out!
Top corner, no messing about ? pic.twitter.com/eJXAtShGjr
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 10, 2021
Seven minutes later Messi took the ball, shifted it into place with one touch, then cut across the ball to send it dipping and swerving away from Navas and into the top corner – a stunning and thrilling goal.
And, it could have been 2-1 by half-time when Barcelona were awarded a penalty.
Keylor Navas saves Messi's penalty ??
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) March 10, 2021
Layvin Kurzawa and Antoine Griezmann both waved a foot at a bouncing ball and Griezmann fell over. Messi took the penalty but saw it well saved by Navas.
That was it.
Ronald Koeman stuck to his 3-4-3 where Frenkie de Jong was playing as the central defender – stepped higher, Pedri was smarter in controlling the ball, Messi posed a threat and blocked by Marquinhos, Mauricio Pochettino forced his team to advance further up but not at the cost of compactness, which helped him a lot.
Barcelona were out of the Champions League.