By FOX Sports Staff
The visitors were ensuring that every Barca attacker near the box had three players closing in from each side until Pedro Rodriguez found some space from which to fire the leveller in the 71st minute.
This came after Javier Pastore scored somewhat fortuitously as Zlatan Ibrahimovic was quick to spot the Argentinean without a marker, and the midfielder was sent clear to finish past a helpless Victor Valdes in the 50th minute.
However, for much of the game, the likes of Andres Iniesta were closely watched and were not allowed to make their trademark diagonal runs into the box.
At the other end, quickfire counter-attacks, relying on the dribbling and composure demonstrated by multi-million signing Lucas Moura, also ensured that the Catalan side never got too comfortable and encroached too aggressively upon their territory.
In the end, the 3-3 aggregate draw sees the La Liga side progress to the Champions League semi-finals on away goals but the French side's defenders should still earn top marks for their efforts.
Without Carles Puyol or Javier Mascherano, Adriano was employed in the centre-back berth and he was clearly struggling to deal with the physically imposing Ibrahimovic.
It didn't help, either, that Dani Alves was often on the other side of the pitch with the Brazilian's usual tricks and turns not fooling former team-mate Maxwell. This meant that Alves couldn't do his job as a supplier of crosses, which would at least have allowed him the time to track back with PSG busy dealing with the deliveries into the box.
Instead, it was left for the Barca defence to keep an extra man back and therefore Jordi Alba made fewer runs forward than he normally carries out, leaving Iniesta somewhat isolated down that flank.
The Barca defenders were also beaten for pace by the younger PSG legs, evidenced most clearly by how Pastore was able to race clear and score the crucial opening goal.
Valdes - 6.5 | Alves - 6 | Pique - 7 | Adriano (off 62') - 6 | Alba - 6.5
The midfield will be blamed for a lack of directness in their attempts on goal as they kept trying their luck with long-distance shots that were often not on target. Cesc Fabregas, in particular, shoulders a large part of the blame and should have been substituted at half-time.
Iniesta was not too effective on the night but a wonderful run late into the second half when he pirouetted with a perfect 270-degree turn demonstrated that he was doing his best.
In the end, Pedro was required to score the goal and he only managed to do so when given the space and the time with the PSG defenders too busy in dealing with Villa's run into the box.
Sergio Busquets also had something of a sub-par performance as he situated himself in the wrong areas and therefore failed to pose a hindrance to the PSG attackers.
Busquets - 7 | Iniesta - 7 | Xavi - 6.5 | Fabregas (off 62') - 6 | Pedro - 7.5
The Spain international was marked by too many defenders and struggled to assert his impact within the game. Luckily for him, Pedro was ready and willing to take the responsibily off his shoulders with a terrfic 71st minute strike.
Otherwise, he was largely anonymous within the game and could not keep his efforts on target.
Villa (off 84') - 7
Their Argentinean maestro came on to much fanfare and did help galvanise the spirits of his team-mates after they were a goal down. Even an unfit Messi could dribble effectively and beat several PSG defenders but he did not really pose much of a significant threat during his brief stint.
Marc Bartra made several key challenges to stunt the progress of the PSG attackers and continued to demonstrate remarkable maturity for a 22-year-old within such a high-pressure environment.
Messi (on 62') - 7.5 | Bartra (on 62') - 7 | Song (on 84') - N/A
The PSG defence worked quite diligently for much of the game and can say that they did their best in stifling the Barca attacks. Led by Thiago Silva, they swiftly squeezed out any openings and glued themselves to their opponents until the ball was won off their feet.
Furthermore, they were efficient with their clearances and lobbed the ball forward to one of Lucas, Pastore or Ibrahimovic in order to ensure a swift transition to attack.
Salvatore Sirigu also made some brave stops in the second half that kept his side's hopes of securing a last-gasp win alive until the very end.
Sirigu - 7.5 | Jallet (off 88') - 7.5 | Silva - 7.5 | Alex - 7.5 | Maxwell - 7.5
A majority of the PSG midfield were camped within their own half in order to provide adequate support to the stretched defence. They were not afraid to be physical in their challenges and were more than happy to sacrifice their attacking ambitions with Lucas charged with the responsiblity of taking the ball into the opponent half.
The Brazilian showed good skills once more and has definitely justified a part of his large transfer fee with his Champions League performances.
Pastore produced a much better performance in the second leg as he did not just satisfy himself with passing the ball and took the game to the home defence. This Argentinean had to be quick on his feet as Ibrahimovic fed him a return pass that allowed him to sneak behind the last defender and secure an easy one-on-one opportunity against Valdes.
Lucas - 7.5 | Pastore - 8 | Motta - 7 | Verratti (off 83') - 7.5
The partnership between Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi can really become a fearsome one in the future as the duo have an excellent understanding of one another's playing style and off-the-ball runs. The only criticism that can be levelled at Lavezzi is his lack of an aerial presence as it does leave Ibrahimovic isolated with the tall Swede employed as a targetman in too predictable a fashion.
Both the strikers also have a keen eye for goal but were not allowed the space from which to fire long-range strikes.
Regardless, they produced an industrious performance and were often visible tracking back in order to add some muscle to their side's beleaguered defence.
Lavezzi (off 81') - 7 | Ibrahimovic - 7.5
David Beckham's late cameo didn't really help change the nature of the game and the last Englishman to exit the competition did so with a whimper as he collected a needless yellow card. Kevin Gameiro and Gregory Van der Wiel were also brought far too late to help inject some freshness into a tired PSG squad.
Van der Wiel (on 88') - N/A | Gameiro (on 81') - N/A | Beckham (on 83') - 6