Lionel Messi Was the X-Factor for Barcelona Against PSG in Champions League

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterApril 10, 2013

Paris Saint-Germain had their chances. FC Barcelona had Lionel Messi.

Messi, the injured Argentine superstar, played only 28 minutes (and stoppage time) of Wednesday night's 1-1 draw between Barcelona and PSG in their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg at the Camp Nou. That was all the time he needed to make the difference.

Before Messi's arrival, PSG took a deserved 1-0 lead through Javier Pastore with an assist from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. After Messi's introduction in the 62nd minute, the game was never the same.

Messi didn't score Barcelona's equalizer, but he was heavily involved. And during his time on the pitch, Barca were simply a better team.

With the draw, Barca advanced to their sixth straight Champions League semifinal and sent PSG home despite the French leaders outplaying their hosts for portions of the match.

As we've learned so many times, that's the effect Messi can have on a match. As Barcelona continue their quest for more Champions League glory, his contributions will only become more vital.