Champions League: Barca Stun PSG In Dramatic Comeback To Reach Quater-Final
9 March 2017 Sport
Barcelona created history to beat Paris Saint-Germain 6-5 on aggregate and reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Trailing 4-0 from the first leg, Barca had halved the deficit at the interval at the Nou Camp, after Luis Suarez‘s third-minute header and an own goal from Layvin Kurzawa.
Lionel Messi made it 4-3 on aggregate with a penalty shortly after the break, only for Edinson Cavani to seemingly secure PSG’s progress with an away goal on the hour mark.
That left Barca needing to score three more, which looked unlikely until an incredible climax.
Neymar fired in a brilliant free-kick in the 88th minute and then scored a penalty shortly afterwards, before substitute Sergi Roberto grabbed a dramatic winner with almost the last kick of the match.
The goal sparked wild scenes on the Barcelona bench as head coach Luis Enrique, who recently announced he is leaving at the end of the season, sprinted on to the pitch in celebration.
It is the first time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit to advance, and will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in history.
PSG, meanwhile, will be left wondering how they failed to reach the quarter-finals, with a nervy defensive display and missed chances in the second half contributing to their downfall.
The night started well for Barcelona as Suarez took advantage of some clumsy PSG defending to head home. The visitors looked uncertain from the outset and struggled to get on the ball as they were pushed back inside their own half.
But they did at least prevent any immediate further damage, with the hosts going closest when Neymar fired narrowly wide from 25 yards and Suarez saw a low shot saved.
It looked like PSG might maintain a three-goal aggregate advantage until half-time, but in the 40th minute Andres Iniesta’s backheel was sliced into his own net by Kurzawa.
Messi made it 4-3 early in the second half, converting from the penalty spot after Neymar was fouled.
Cavani spurned PSG’s first clear chance when he hit the post from Thomas Meunier’s cross, but the striker did settle the visitors’ nerves when he fired in after 62 minutes, leaving Barca needing to score three to progress.
Cavani could have added a second moments later but saw his shot saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s outstretched leg.
That miss, and a later one from substitute Angel di Maria, proved key as Barca fought back in a thrilling finish.
Neymar’s brilliant free-kick started it in the 88th minute, before the Brazilian converted a penalty after Marquinhos fouled Suarez in the box.
Still it looked as though PSG would squeeze through until Roberto volleyed in with almost the final kick of the game to seal a memorable win.