Under normal circumstances, a 2-2 draw on the road would be a great first leg result, but for Barcelona, that result may have cost them Lionel Messi. The man responsible for 59 goals (including the first in the highlights package, above) left at halftime today at the Parc de Princes.
His status for next Wednesday’s second leg is unknown. Defender Jordi Alba reportedly told people Messi will miss leg two, while others were reporting Messi was walking limp free after the match.
With only one week between legs, Barcelona needs an answer quick. Or at least they need to decide on a course of action quickly, because time is short. After losing 2-0 to Milan in the Round of 16, Barcelona had three weeks to internalize that predicament. They were able come to terms with their deficit and focus ahead of the return leg, but with one-third the time to center themselves this round, Barça need to prepare for a Messi-less world as soon as possible or not at all.
Then again, we shouldn’t be too quick to assume Paris Saint-Germain will be as strong next week. Again going be to the Milan tie, we saw an underdog perform to their peak at home before playing terribly on the road. With the score 2-2 (instead of 2-0), the pendulum does not have to swing as far for Barcelona to take out PSG, Messi or no.
Here are the highlights from today’s match at the Parc de Princes, where a wild final 15 minutes gave us three of the match’s four goals.