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Top Winners, Losers After Wednesday's Champions League Round of 16 Leg 2 Results

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2021

Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts after a missed a penalty shot during the Champions League, round of 16, second leg soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Christophe Ena/Associated Press

And two more teams are in. 

PSG and Liverpool booked their places in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, with the former drawing Barcelona 1-1 (5-2 on aggregate) while the latter defeated RB Leipzig 2-0 (4-0 on aggregate).  

Below, we'll break down the day's biggest winners and losers (and one player who managed to be both). 

                     

Winner: Lionel Messi's Highlight Reel

Maybe Messi isn't the best player in the world any longer, but not many forwards can score goals like this one:

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

LIONEL MESSI. FROM WAY DOWNTOWN. 🚀 https://t.co/PGkivnnZb7

What a stunning strike. Even at 33, Messi is still capable of wonder. 

Andy Glockner @AndyGlockner

You hear “unstoppable” too often on goals that are really nice, but Messi’s shot was unstoppable. The analyst actually picked up on it — Navas could never dive b/c the shot was initially coming at him and then violently knuckled to his right with extreme velocity. Absurd.

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

Can't stop watching that Messi goal. Incredible.

Still, it wasn't exactly a good day for the Argentine...

                

Loser: Lionel Messi's UCL Future with Barcelona

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Is this the last time we ever see Messi play a Champions League game with Barcelona? 

It's certainly possible. It would be a tough memory for Messi to go out on, missing a penalty while young phenom Kylian Mbappe converted his.

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

MESSI. NAVAS. WOW! 😱 https://t.co/VYfFAinX0B

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

Kylian Mbappe becomes the youngest player to 25 #UCL goals beating Lionel Messi's record. https://t.co/qBNVbygrbG

There's been a real "passing of the guard" feel to the past two days, with ascending superstar Erling Haaland firing Dortmund to the quarterfinals on Tuesday with a brace while Cristiano Ronaldo was poor for Juventus—and his involvement in a porous wall on an extra time free kick contributed to Porto scoring a shocking, game-winning goal in extra time. 

B/R Football @brfootball

It's the first time since 2004-05 that neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo will be in the Champions League quarterfinals 💔 https://t.co/DEZEPL3LpU

roger bennett @rogbennett

Lionel Messi just walked off Champions League field for possibly final time in a Barcelona jersey. For 16 years we witnessed him light up the tournament giving world transcendent moments we'll never forget. One of singular joys of my sporting life to watch his greatness 🐐 https://t.co/hjf3xf82rL

Maximiliano Bretos @MaxBretosSports

I have been #1 proponent for Messi to leave Barcelona, & selfishly I would like to see him do it. However, with La Porta & Koeman in, the team playing much better since the 4-1 to PSG & the kids at Barca coming along, I would be stunned if he leaves now.

And so we'll be without Messi and Ronaldo for the rest of the competition. And perhaps we'll never see Messi play in the UCL for Barca again. Time will tell. 

               

Winner: Keylor Navas and the PSG Defense

On a day when Barcelona dominated the run of play, created countless chances and generally looked a far greater threat, Keylor Navas and his back line held them to a single goal and a 1-1 draw.

That's a good sign for PSG going forward in this competition. Sure, Barcelona could have been more clinical. But PSG defended well as a unit, knowing they simply had to play it safe given their substantial advantage on aggregate. 

And Navas made some fantastic saves, snuffing out good Barca chances. 

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

Keylor Navas came up 𝐂𝐋𝐔𝐓𝐂𝐇 in the first half. 🧱 https://t.co/x1SYYlCqzR

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

Keylor Navas appreciation post 🧤 https://t.co/DgjGqaJHKs

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

Keylor Navas made 9 saves vs. Barcelona, including a Lionel Messi penalty. No Remontada today 🤚 https://t.co/7CJa2ZMHIO

All in all, a very positive result for PSG at the back. 

                  

Winner: Mo Salah and Sadio Mane

Liverpool's big guns provided the key moments on Wednesday. 

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

Who else but Mo Salah?! https://t.co/OaVTBdz2Wq

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

Sadio Mane puts the icing on the cake 👏 https://t.co/11ztxP395U

The Premier League title is out of the picture for the Reds, leaving the Champions League as the primary goal the rest of the way. After being held scoreless against Chelsea and Fulham, Liverpool desperately needed to regain its magic going forward. 

Men in Blazers @MenInBlazers

Salah. More than a goal. That felt like an exorcism. Huge relief

Wednesday's showing wasn't perfect, but Salah and Mane regaining their scoring touch is vitally important for the Reds going forward. 

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