Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 9th 2017 Contents sports A45
Thursday, March 9, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Barca mounts 6-1 comeback to oust PSG
pleted the biggest comeback in
Champions League history by
beating Paris Saint-Germain
6-1 to reach the quarterfinals
yesterday, scoring the decisive
goal of a 6-5 victory on aggre-
gate in the fifth minute of stop-
With Neymar on inspired form,
Barcelona score three times from the
88th minute. Sergi Roberto's dramat-
ic late goal sent the Nou Camp fans
wild and made their team the first to
overturn a 4-0 first-leg defeat since
the Champions League format started
in the 1992-93 season.
PSG seemed certain to go through
after Edinson Cavani scored a valua-
ble away goal following Barcelona's
opening salvo of three goals, which
included a Lionel Messi penalty.
Barcelona needed three more goals
to advance, and the feat seemed im-
possible even after Neymar found the
net with a free kick in the 88th minute.
But the Brazil striker converted a
penalty in the 90th and then followed
up with a chipped pass for substitute
Roberto to steer the ball beyond goal-
keeper Kevin Trapp in injury time.
The winner sent Barcelona's bench
flooding onto the pitch as the stadium
celebrated the club's 10th consecu-
tive appearance in the quarterfinals.
Coach Luis Enrique, who announced
he would leave the club this summer,
embraced Neymar and any other
player or staff member within reach.
"I don't think anybody stopped be-
lieving," Luis Enrique said. "I want to
point to all those who kept their faith
in us after we lost 4-0. This win is
dedicated to them."
Barcelona played with all the in-
tensity that PSG was lacking for the
entire match, and didn't need its
trademark passing attacks to get its
first three goals.
PSG coach Unai Emery's strategy of
not pressuring Barcelona backfired,
as his team sat back and passively let
the hosts hem them into their box.
The visitors' entire backline was
frozen when Rafinha's routine cross
came into the box in the third min-
ute, and Luis Suarez was able to nod
a bouncing ball over Trapp.
PSG was running scared from there
on, lamely trying to hunker down in
its area and wait for the clock to tick
Defender Layvin Kurzawa was at
fault for Barcelona's second goal in
the 40th, when he turned Andres
Iniesta's back-heeled flick into his
Another PSG defender, right back
Thomas Meunier, was behind Messi's
penalty in the 50th after he clumsily
thrust his shoulder into Neymar's legs
while trying to recover his position
in the box.
Emery finally ordered his players
That was when Cavani stepped
in for French champions, rifling in
Kurzawa's headed pass.
But Barcelona never stopped press-
ing, despite needing three goals.
And Neymar led the way, pulling off
one of the most remarkable sequences
seen at the ground of the five-time
He struck first with a curling free
kick from the left flank that slipped
inside Trapp's near post.
Next, he took responsibility for
converting the spot kick after Suarez
was shouldered down by Marquinhos
in the box.
But the best was saved for last,
when his pass was lofted over the
defense and fell for Roberto to get
his boot forward and turn the ball
into the net.
Barcelona had set a precedent in the
2012-13 season's Round of 16 when it
became the first team to erase a 2-0
away leg loss by roaring back to beat
AC Milan 4-0.
But nothing compared to the chal-
lenge faced against PSG, a side that
hadn't lost in 16 matches overall and
completely outplayed Barcelona dur-
ing the first leg in Paris.
It was a demoralizing end for PSG.
The French side was on the verge of
avenging quarterfinal exits to Barce-
lona in 2013 and 2015 and earning an
elusive marquee victory that its Qatari
owners were longing for. Instead, it
must remain in the second-tier of
talented but ultimately flawed Eu-
"We wasted a great chance and
we know it," Emery said. "In the fi-
nal minutes, we lost all that we had
In the night's other second-leg
match, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
scored a hat trick and Christian
Pulisic claimed his first Champions
League goal as Borussia Dortmund
overcame Benfica 4-0 to advance
with a 4-1 win on aggregate. The draw
for the quarterfinals will be held in
Nyon, Switzerland on March 17.
Barcelona's Luis Suarez, left, holds a lemon as he celebrates with his teammate
Lionel Messi at the end of the Champions League round of 16, second leg
football match against Paris Saint Germain at the Camp Nou stadium in
Barcelona, Spain, yesterday. Barcelona won 6-1. AP PHOTO
...Roberto nets winner
Links Archive March 8th 2017 March 10th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page