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Matuidi's late goal saves PSG at home

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Thursday, April 04, 2013

PARIS - Blaise Matuidi's goal deep in stoppage time earned Paris Saint Germain a deserved 2-2 draw in their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Barcelona at Parc des Princes yesterday.

Barca appeared to have snatched the win when Xavi Hernandez converted from the spot in the last minute of normal time after Zlatan Ibrahimovic had cancelled out Lionel Messi's first half opener.

The penalty was awarded when PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu charged out and brought down Alexis Sanchez.

Messi put the Spanish giants into a 38th minute lead when set up superbly by Daniel Alves. This was the Argentine four-time world footballer of the year's 57th goal in all competitions this season.

But Messi's night came to a premature end when he suffered a right hamstring injury and failed to emerge for the second half. He is due to undergo tests to determine the extent of the damage on Wednesday.

Ibrahimovic, who had an unhappy one season spell with Barca, put PSG back in the game when pouncing on a rebound after a Thiago Silva header in the 79th minute ricocheted off the far post.

Then Matuidi popped up in the fourth minute of injury time to give PSG hope for the return leg at the Camp Nou next week. The big-spending French club's coach Carlo Ancelotti sprang a surprise when electing to start 37-year-old English star David Beckham.

It was the veteran midfielder's first Champions League appearance since coming on as a substitute for AC Milan in a 4-0 drubbing by former club Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2010.

Meanwhile, last season's beaten finalists Bayern Munich took a big step towards this season's Champions League semi-finals with a 2-0 win over Juventus in their first leg clash.


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