Mauricio Pochettino's side dominated for large spells in the tie. In fact, with an hour on the clock. Messi had a chance to break the deadlock from the penalty spot but failed to convert.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois got down well to save to his left and Dani Carvajal, who fouled Kylian Mbappe in the box, would breathe a huge sigh of relief.
But eventually, after bags of possession and chances, PSG's dominance eventually paid off with a late winner.
That being said, French publication L'Equipe decided to hand Lionel Messi a brutal 3/10 rating for his efforts against Madrid.
They wrote: "There's something sad about seeing him like that. In the first period, in this position almost as a midfielder, the Argentinian was available but he missed so narrowly (with the exception of his pass for Mbappe)
"In the one-on-one, he suffered the athletic impact. His second period is better: he provides some effective relays.
"But he weighs down his record with his failed or blocked attempts (53rd, 75th) and this penalty saved. This Messi is worrying."
Lionel Messi given 3/10 by L’Equipe for his 'SAD' and 'WORRYING' performance on the CL big stage, but it's not as bad as one of Real Madrid's stars!— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) February 16, 2022
Indeed, the French newspaper did not hold back in slating him
Mbappe, Courtois and Verratti were given the highest ratings pic.twitter.com/e2WrvOVyBZ
Some feel L'Equipe's rating - and other critics of Messi's performance - was uncalled for, including former international teammate Sergio Aguero, who gave his passionate thoughts on Wednesday.
“Leo played well, he broke lines. I’m not saying that because he’s a friend, but because he played hard. He was good and very active," the former Manchester City striker said on his Twitch channel.
“In France, magazines and newspapers killed him. They are a**holes. I had an interview scheduled with a French magazine, but I said: ‘No, because I support Leo Messi. Period.
"So goodbye, see you soon.’ Now I’m angry.”
"TENÍA UNA ENTREVISTA CON UNA REVISTA DE FRANCIA. AGARRÉ Y LES DIJE NO, AGUANTE LIO MESSI. CORTA. NOS VEMOS" el Kun bancó a su mejor amigo. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/afNcqXTeMN— SportsCenter (@SC_ESPN) February 17, 2022
Jerome Rothen, who spent six years at Paris Saint-Germain between 2004 and 2010, didn't hold back in his assessment of Messi's performance following the Champions League clash.
”Of course, in terms of merchandising, it’s wonderful to have attracted Leo Messi," he told RMC Sport. "People come to see Messi play at PSG. But you have to recognise that in a sporting context, he brings nothing to PSG.
“The biggest problem is that this was a great match, that’s where we expect the great players to perform and tonight it was more of a drag than anything else.
“There are technical errors, losses of the ball, the missed penalty – but it can happen to anyone. It’s, above all, his behaviour. He looks down at his boots, it looks like he’s not happy.”
🔥🎙 @RothenJerome sur Messi : "Quand le mec rate une passe, un dribble, un penalty, un corner, il regarde ses chaussures ! Il ne se remet jamais en question. Au bout d'un moment, il doit prendre plus sur lui. Et puis il faut accepter que ce soit une fausse bonne idée." pic.twitter.com/IDaUqAMOCx— Rothen s'enflamme (@Rothensenflamme) February 16, 2022
Thoughts on Aguero defending his former international teammate?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: Twitch/L'Equipe/Alamy
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