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.

Paris Saint-Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring the equaliser against Barcelona on April 2, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1916305294351
2Atletico MadridAtletico1912612882042
3Valencia19124340192140
4Real Madrid1895432171532
5Villarreal199462621531
6Sevilla199282328-529
7Real Betis198383336-327
8EibarEibar198382431-727
9Getafe197572318526
10GironaGirona197572828026
11Celta Vigo197483327625
12Athletic Bilbao196762019125
13Leganes187381517-224
14Espanyol196671521-624
15Real Sociedad196583334-123
16Levante193971526-1118
17AlavesAlaves1960131427-1318
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo1944112137-1616
19Malaga1932141333-2011
20Las PalmasLas Palmas1932141446-3211
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