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Messi’s penalty miss helps PSG sail through against Barcelona

Rage, rage against the dying of the light. On a damp night at the Parc Des Princes, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain dished up a breezy, open Champions League last 16 second-leg tie marked by a performance of familiar, half-speed brilliance from Lionel Messi.

PSG defended in numbers, sat deep and cashed in their three-goal first leg lead with a 1-1 draw. They were given an easier ride by the astonishing wastefulness of Ousmane Dembélé in front of goal. The attacker was all fine movement and half-baked finishing, missing four good chances in the first half. Paris were deserved victors and will regroup and refocus for the next round. The real story, though, was Messi, whose every exit from this tournament is a kind of death for the neutral spectator, all the more so as he enters his own end-game.

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