Keylor Navas was colossal in goal, while Lionel Messi was left frustrated as PSG played out a 1-1 draw with Barcelona to reach the Last Eight of the UEFA Champions League.
Barcelona have raised their game a great deal in recent weeks and that was evident against PSG as they were hot off the gates and only missed being ahead because of some sloppiness in the final third. Indeed, PSG were reduced to efforts from counter-attacking moves and against the run of play, the hosts did grab the lead at the half-hour mark.
Kylian Mbappe made no mistake from the spot after Clement Lenglet had tripped Mauro Icardi in the Barcelona box. The visitors, though, did hit back shortly after with a peach of a strike from Lionel Messi, who should have doubled his tally ahead of half-time, only to have a tame penalty saved by Keylor Navas.
The PSG no. 1 was instrumental post the interval, as a string of saves ensured their aggregate lead was never reduced in the final 45 minutes of the Round of 16 tie. The game did end in a 1-1 draw, as Barcelona crashed out of the UEFA Champions League while PSG reached the quarter-finals. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both the sets of players.
Keylor Navas: 9/10
Keylor Navas made 9 saves vs. Barcelona, including a Lionel Messi penalty.
No Remontada today 🤚 pic.twitter.com/7CJa2ZMHIO
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 10, 2021
The man who made all the difference, Navas was simply a colossus between the sticks on the night against Barcelona. The Costa Rican goalkeeper made a staggering 9 saves to ensure PSG had a firm grip on the tie before sealing their place in the quarter-finals.
Alessandro Florenzi: 6/10
A decent display by Florenzi, who made a critical goal-line clearance but also faced some hairy moments on the right flank. Taken off with an injury late in the game.
The PSG captain was colossal at the back on Wednesday, making a game-high 8 clearances. Did face some nervy moments against Messi but was accomplished for the most part.
Presnel Kimpembe: 8/10
The only Frenchman who impressed in this game, Kimpembe was rock-solid for the most part on Wednesday, and did his best to keep the Barcelona attackers at bay.
Layvin Kurzawa: 4/10
The game was not memorable for most of the French contingent in the game and Kurzawa was no different. Struggled against the Messi onslaught while also failing to contain Sergino Dest. Also gave away the penalty that Messi missed.
Leandro Paredes: 6/10
A solid effort by Paredes, who led his team in tackles (5) and interceptions (6) and did some fine work off the ball. On it, though, he struggled to assert PSG’s control, with Barcelona enjoying a lot of time in possession.
Idrissa Gueye: 5/10
A rare poor display by Gueye, who was overrun in midfield a number of times by a rampant Barcelona. Fortunately for him, Navas was stationed in goal to ensure the hosts’ lead remained intact.
Marco Verratti: 6/10
Not the best of displays by Verratti, who did not get enough opportunities to showcase his best qualities. The Italian international did play some nice passes and worked hard off the ball, but it all came few and far between.
Julian Draxler: 5/10
A game to forget for Draxler, who never quite got going, even though he was playing on the side where the nervy Clement Lenglet was stationed.
Mauro Icardi: 6/10
Not much to write home about Icardi, although he did win the penalty, which turned out to be crucial. Otherwise, he was negated almost entirely by the Barcelona defence.
Kylian Mbappe: 7/10
A far cry from the domineering display of the first leg as Mbappe was neutralised to a great extent by the Barcelona defence. Nevertheless, his penalty strike was crucial as it gave PSG further breathing room.
Kylian Mbappé is the youngest player in Champions League history to score 25 goals in the competition.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 10, 2021
Abdou Diallo: 7/10
A half-time introduction in place of Kurzawa, Diallo was an upgrade on the incumbent and made as many as six recoveries.
Angel Di Maria: 6/10
Sent on in place of the ineffective Draxler, Di Maria did not really make an impact, with Barcelona in control of the proceedings.
Danilo Pereira: 6/10
On for the struggling Gueye, Danilo worked hard to reduce the Barcelona chances as much as possible.
Colin Dagba: N/A
On for the injured Florenzi, Dagba defended well late on.
A late introduction, former Barcelona man Rafinha helped see the game out.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 6/10
With Barcelona firmly in control, ter Stegen barely had anything to do. Could not have done much to deny Mbappe from the spot.
Oscar Mingueza: 5/10
Will be dismayed at having been taken off before half-time, but Koeman had no choice but to bring him off to avoid the risk of a red card.
Frenkie de Jong: 8/10
Stationed in defence, de Jong was instrumental in keeping the PSG attackers at bay as he organised the backline expertly. Precise and incisive when playing out from the back as well. Solid effort.
Clement Lenglet: 4/10
One of the factors for Barcelona’s demise, Lenglet conceded the penalty which was converted by Mbappe. His calamitous nature is haunting Barcelona and he desperately needs to improve.
Sergino Dest: 7/10
Look at what Dest did to these players pic.twitter.com/53H2vf7IQR
— Michael #DestSZN #Haaland2021 (@1051_Michael) March 11, 2021
Top notch from the youngster, who never stopped trying to make things happen and combined well with Messi on the right flank. Even came close to scoring, but it was not to be for him.
Sergio Busquets: 7/10
A game in which Busquets did all that he could to assert Barcelona’s control. In the end, though, it was not on him that the forwards could not convert the openings and that Navas was phenomenal.
The teenage prodigy’s star continues to rise and while he was not quite at his best against PSG, he still managed to make an impression with his trademark runs and 92 percent passing rate.
Jordi Alba: 7/10
A solid display by Alba, who worked his socks off defensively while retaining his offensive prowess, creating as many as four chances. Alas, it was not enough for Barcelona to win this game.
Antoine Griezmann: 6/10
Griezmann displayed some positive moments in the game and won the penalty that Messi missed. However, the Frenchman’s offensive output was dire at times and he needs to do better, lest he risks a summer exit.
Lionel Messi: 7/10
Lionel Messi’s evening:
✅ Scores shot worth 0.01(xG)
❌ Misses shot worth 0.77(xG) pic.twitter.com/kDvUS6aBYr
— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) March 10, 2021
A game of hits and misses for Messi, who was the best prospect for Barcelona to overturn the first leg deficit. The Barcelona captain did score with a sumptuous strike, but also missed a crucial penalty ahead of half-time. Never stopped trying, though it was not enough to earn a win.
Ousmane Dembele: 6/10
There was a lot of running and some dangerous passes played (3 key passes as well), but Dembele lost the initiative with a lot of sloppiness as well – 66 percent passing rate while losing possession 15 times. Had to do be more clinical in such a game.
Junior Firpo: 6/10
On for Mingueza in the first half, Firpo was not tested a great deal, with Barcelona in-charge of the proceedings.
Francisco Trincao: 6/10
Sent on in place of Dest, but the Portuguese winger just could not influence the proceedings as well as he would have liked.
Ilaix Moriba: N/A
Coming off a memorable performance on the weekend, Moriba ought to have been given more time on the pitch than the 11 minutes he did spend on it.
Miralem Pjanic: N/A
On for Pedri, Pjanic hardly had any time to settle in and make a difference.
Martin Braithwaite: N/A
On for Dembele, Braithwaite did not get enough time to make an impact.