MX23RW : Friday, July 20 09:08:02

Half-Time Report: Lionel Messi gives Barcelona control

Barcelona lead 1-0 after 45 minutes against Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes, courtesy of a goal from Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi's clinical finish has handed Barcelona the lead in their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores the opening goal against Paris Saint-Germain on April 2, 2013© AP Photos

The hosts were quickly on the attack and went agonisingly close to an opening goal through Ezequiel Lavezzi early on.

The Argentine forward wriggled clear of Javier Mascherano but saw his effort hit the post under a challenge from Sergi Busquets.

David Beckham was heavily involved and crossed for Alex to head wide from a corner as PSG continued to carry a threat.

Javier Pastore and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both forced Victor Valdes into making strong saves from distance, as Barca struggled to cope with the home side's pressing style.

Barca slowly began to control possession as the half wore on, with Andres Iniesta and Alexis Sanchez both testing Salvatore Sirigu.

Ten minutes before the break Messi latched onto an incisive pass from Dani Alves before slotting home at the far post for his 57th goal of the season.

Messi then curled a clever strike just over from 18 yards as Barca controlled the closing stages.

Just before the interval Messi pulled up with a calf problem as Barca saw out stoppage time with their star man struggling for fitness.

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Paris Saint-Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring the equaliser against Barcelona on April 2, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBarcelona38289199297093
2Atletico MadridAtletico382310558223679
3Real Madrid382210694445076
4Valencia38227965382773
5Villarreal38187135750761
6Real Betis38186146061-160
7Sevilla38177144958-958
8Getafe381510134233955
9EibarEibar38149154450-651
10GironaGirona38149155059-951
11Espanyol381213133642-649
12Real Sociedad38147176659749
13Celta Vigo381310155960-149
14AlavesAlaves38152214050-1047
15Levante381113144458-1446
16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
17Leganes38127193451-1743
RDeportivo La CorunaDeportivo38611213876-3829
RLas PalmasLas Palmas3857262474-5022
RMalaga3855282461-3720

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