Football: PSG succeeds in its ‘comeback’ against Barcelona!

by Vincent Daheron

(Reuters) – Seven years after the stunning elimination suffered against Barcelona in the round of 16 of the 2016-2017 edition, PSG took their revenge on Tuesday against the Catalan club to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League .

Beaten 3-2 in the first leg at the Parc des Princes, the Parisians won 4-1 in the return (6-4 on aggregate), played at the Lluis-Companys Olympic stadium in Barcelona, ​​the famous Camp Nou being under construction.

Paris Saint-Germain joins the final four of the C1 for the fourth time in its history, the first time since 2021.

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“It’s magnificent. We’ve been waiting for this moment. We’re a great club,” said PSG president Nasser al-Khelaïfi on RMC Sport. “We had a great match here. We were criticized a lot but I was very confident. We were ready for this moment,” he added.

In 2017, the Parisian club suffered against Barça what the Spanish press called a “remontada”, a comeback in French, by being eliminated in the round of 16 after a 6-1 defeat despite a large victory in the first leg ( 4-0).

Tuesday, in Catalonia, the Parisians proved their coach Luis Enrique, who coached Barcelona during the 2017 double confrontation, right. Before this quarter-final second leg, the Spanish technician said he was convinced that his team could reverse the course of these quarter-finals.

“Everyone believed in it. Even if we lost 3-2 in the first leg, we didn’t give up,” reacted Parisian striker Ousmane Dembélé on Canal+.

Paris was however surprised from the start by the opening of the Barcelona mark, signed Raphinha (12th), already author of a double in the first leg last week.

“Even though we conceded the first goal, we didn’t relax and we continued to believe,” Ousmane Dembélé said.

“I feel very proud of the first 12 minutes because we showed what we wanted to do here. We conceded a goal but we didn’t change the mentality,” Luis Enrique said on Canal+.

PSG was greatly helped by the expulsion of Barcelona’s Uruguayan central defender, Ronald Araujo, for a foul on Bradley Barcola (29th). “Everything changed with the red card,” said Luis Enrique.

Outnumbered, the Blaugrana suffered the domination of the visitors, materialized by the equalization of Ousmane Dembélé (40th).

“Everything is more complicated when we play ten against eleven,” admitted Barcelona’s French defender, Jules Koundé, on Canal+.

After half-time, Vitinha gave PSG the lead with a long shot (54th). “It’s an incredible feeling. It’s hard to explain. I dreamed of this for a week,” he said.

Transparent in the first leg, Kylian Mbappé recovered by scoring a double: a first goal from the penalty spot (61st) following a foul by Joao Cancelo on Ousmane Dembélé, then a second to end the suspense (89th) and extend his final European adventure with PSG, which he will leave at the end of the season.

Often brittle during knockout matches in the Champions League, PSG this time saw their opponent lose their nerve, like Catalan coach Xavi Hernandez, expelled for protest (56th).

In the semi-finals, Paris Saint-Germain will face German club Borussia Dortmund, 4-2 winner of Atlético de Madrid on Tuesday evening (5-4 on aggregate).

The first leg is scheduled for April 30 or May 1 while the return is scheduled for May 7 or 8.

(Written by Vincent Daheron, edited by Jean Terzian)

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