Barca, PSG reach quarter-finals

March 13, 2014 - 1:51:56 am

PSG’s French defender Lucas Digne (right) vies for the ball with Leverkusen’s midfielder Sidney Sam during the UEFA Champions League last 16 second-leg football match in Paris yesterday.

PARIS: Paris St Germain, resting their usual magic midfield triangle and despite Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s under-par display, sailed into the Champions League quarter-finals with a 6-1 aggregate win over Bayer Leverkusen yesterday.

The French champions won 2-1 at the Parc des Princes having thrashed the German side 4-0 in the last-16 first leg, with Marquinhos and Ezequiel Lavezzi wiping out the visitors’ early strike by Sidney Sam.

Sami Hyypia’s Leverkusen, who finished with 10 men after Emre Can picked up a second yellow card in the 68th minute, were also hampered by Simon Rolfes’s missed penalty in the first half.

PSG, who have now won their last six games in all competitions, could have gone through even more easily had Ibrahimovic not missed a couple of clear chances either side of the interval.

Bayer, looking to become the third team to progress from a knockout tie in the Champions League after losing the first leg at home, made a strong start.

In the sixth minute, Sam powered home a downward header from Giulio Donati’s cross to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

The hopes of Bayer, who were without injured midfielder Jens Hegeler, causing a major upset were shortlived, though.

PSG restored order in the 13th minute when Marquinhos headed in a corner and six minutes later Ibrahimovic’s delicate chip hit the crossbar as PSG tightened their grip on the game.

However, Christophe Jallet pulled back Eren Derdiyok in the area, only for Salvatore Sirigu to parry away Rolfes’s penalty kick.

The hosts went ahead eight minutes into the second half when Lavezzi slotted home from Lucas Digne’s fine pass.

In Barcelona, Lionel Messi struck in the second half to end Manchester City’s dreams of a famous comeback as Barcelona beat the English club 2-1 to reach the Champions League quarter-finals 4-1 on aggregate.

Messi slotted home in the 67th minute after a mistake by Joleon Lescott, and City’s night got worse when Pablo Zabaleta was sent off with a second yellow card for dissent. The visitors scored a consolation through Vincent Kompany’s tap-in in the 89th minute before Dani Alves won the game for Barca in the first minute of injury time. AGENCIES

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