All were interested in one question: whether Catalans will manage to drag off the pass in a quarterfinal after devastating defeat with the score 0:4. A lot of people believed that this is real. More than 40% of active users of the Gambling and Sports portal believed that Barcelona will be able to make a comeback. And they were right though even they were sure on the 87th minute that Parisians will enter the quarterfinal.
Luis Enrique had decided not to trust a traditional 4-3-3 system of Barcelona, having decided to play three central defenders, and by doing this the center of the field was absolutely strengthen. In order to score 6 goals as Barcelona wanted, it was desirable to lose a ball as seldom as possible.
Unai Emery has shown rather predicted squad. The only problem was with Di María who hadn’t yet recovered from an injury and, probably, didn’t manage to gain ideal conditions and that is why the coach of Parisians decided to leave the Argentinean who became the main hero of a match on “Parc des Princes”, on a substitutes’ bench.
It was important to Parisians not to miss the quick goal on “Camp Nou”. It was clear to all that Catalans will rush into the attack from the first seconds. But at the same time the French team had chosen a strange tactical system, having stayed practically by all team on the field, without trying to dispossess an opponent of the ball. Having received the space, Barcelona gained the confidence, and football players of PSG undergone great pressure and were very nervous. It also provoked an early goal of the hosts – Rafinha from a right wing kicked in the direction of a six yard box where two defenders of guests didn’t manage to kick out a ball and then Suarez, being ahead of Trapp, broke the match open.
Suarez has scored the second quickest goal of Barcelona in Champions League playoffs
Parisians have managed to avoid a knock-down after a brilliant start. Emery’s football players have put on speed, trying to level a game, having moved it from its gates. But still Barcelona continued to own an initiative while PSG was limited to rare counterattacks. Javier Mascherano had all chances to score the first goal but his kick because of the penalty area borders, was slightly inaccurate. And after that there was very disputable episode – after a pass made by Draxler from the left side the ball got into a hand to Mascherano and went for a face. However the German referee Deniz Aytekin was either afraid to show a point, or he interpreted an episode as “a hand in natural position” or he just didn’t want to kill an intrigue – anyway only corner kick was appointed.
Whether it really was a penalty in the gates of Barcelona?
Barcelona decided to pay serious attention on the long-range shots. So, Messi and Neymar have both tried to score but they both were lacking only some centimeters. Suarez has tried to kick a double from the middle range, but he had no opportunity to kick therefore Trapp had easily coped with that threat. PSG was trying to stay, but shortly before the end of the first half it has missed the goal. To tell the truth it has scored the goal to itself – Marcos was not able to cover a ball from Iniesta, Andres in a difficult situation has managed to heel a ball along the gates, and Kurzawa, trying to kick out a ball, has scored own goal.
Kurzawa’s own goal after incredible pass of Iniesta
At the end of the first half Barcelona has created the real storm of the opponent’s gates, but the guests had managed to stay strong and then they received 15 minutes of a break to calm down and think about further actions. From the beginning of a second half Unai Emery’s football players tried to play the first number and carried out couple of sharp attacks, but the first answer of “Blaugrana” was a goalscoring one. Meunier had stumbled and fall directly on Neymar’s path – the Brazilian could avoid contact, but he fall beautifully. Aytekin was not impressed, but his assistant behind the gates convinced the chief referee to change his mind and award a penalty which was accurately realized by Messi.
Cherdantsev: “Really, a penalty? Lost your mind?”
Practically just after the penalty shot the Parisians could neutralize the majority of efforts made by Catalans – after Meunier’s right wing cross along the gates Cavani, who was playing with forecasts, shot in moving the other way ter Stegen, but the ball hit the post and left the field. Barcelona continued its pressure on the opponent’s half of the field, but by the end of a playing time PSG has scored: Draxler has gained a penalty kick in a middle of the field. From the standard the throwing on the left edge of the penalty area came where Kurzawa won the battle in the air and kicked a ball to the center on Cavani who shot under a crossbar.
Goal of Cavani which had buried Barca
Barcelona tried not to lose the heart and continued to go forward, but nevertheless the fire was put out, and Catalans went forward mechanically. There was an impression that with a missed goal football players of Barca believed that it was impossible to save a game. The match was coming to an end until Neymar kicked the amazing ball from penalty zone. And immediately after this goal Suarez has earned a penalty for Barcelona which was scored by Neymar.
Brilliant goal of Neymar from a penalty
One more disputable penalty in the gates of PSG
Barca has 6 minutes, in order to score a winning sixth goal. On last seconds of the match even ter Stegen had rushed into the attack, and for several seconds before the end of the match Sergi Roberto has managed to score the goal, after Neymar’s throwing.
It was painful to look after that at Unai Emery, but that was a crash of all his hopes. Barcelona will play a quarterfinal, and PSG should focus on the fight for a champion’s title in France and prepare for the next season. Most likely, Parisians will have a new coach for the attempts to take the Champions League Cup. Sheikhs are still dreaming of getting it.