On Wednesday night, Barcelona made Champions League history when they overcame a 4-0 first leg deficit. The emphatic 6-1 win came in dramatic style as the game took the footballing world on a rollercoaster of emotion.
After being thrashed in Paris, Barcelona were looking to bounce back as PSG had them looking utterly and unequivocally lost. However, captain Andres Iniesta had a warning to his opposition, saying: “Sometimes, you’re more dangerous when everything is lost.” And warn them he did.
Just three minutes, in Luis Suarez broke the deadlock in a very Luis Suarez type of fashion. After the ball was bouncing around the PSG box, it was Suarez who pounced on it, getting to the ball with his head before the goalkeeper and the ball had just crossed the line before Thomas Meunier could clear it away. Suarez had immediately started celebrating and the crowd roared when the referee confirmed the goal. The ball clearly crossed the line and the belief had risen from the ashes at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona continued to press for a second as they knew the job was not close to being done. After a flurry of chances coming from all over and a few penalty shouts from both sides Barcelona found their second. In the 40th minute, Andres Iniesta and Luiz Suarez played a classy one-two, Iniesta was able to wriggle around Marquinhos and flick the ball towards the goal. The ball took an awkward bounce off of PSG’s Layvin Kurzawa and slowly bounced into the empty goal. A scrappy own goal credited to the French youngster found Barcelona half way to their comeback at the halftime break.
Once the whistle blew for the second half, Barcelona came out with thunderous pressure once more. In the 48th minute Iniesta was the catalyst once more as he played a cheeky ball into Neymar leading him into the box. Thomas Meunier turned and tried to keep up with the speedy Brazilian and lost his footing. When Neymar cut in, he was taken out by Meunier who had fallen to the ground bringing Neymar with him. However, the referee initially awarded a goal kick but after consulting with the official behind the goal, a penalty was awarded.
There were plenty of arguments and complaints from the PSG players however Lionel Messi knew that this was his chance. The little Argentine stepped up to the spot and hammered the ball past goalkeeper Kevin Trapp who, to his credit, went the right way but could not keep up with the pace and precision of the shot. Barcelona suddenly had all the momentum in the world as PSG were looking like they were about to crumble.
But Unai Emery’s men would not go down without a fight. Just one minute after Messi had put Barcelona closer, it was Edinson Cavani who was looking to seal the victory. The ball was whipped in by Meunier after he had brilliantly gotten by Neymar down the right wing, Cavani came in with a sliding effort which was just inches away as he struck the outside of the post.
Cavani seemed to be the thorn that poked Barcelona relentlessly throughout both legs and in the 62nd minute he produced a stunning goal. Layvin Kurzawa was looking to make amends for his first half blunder as he bolted by Ivan Rakitic and headed the over-the-top through ball in the direction of the ever dangerous and pesky Edinson Cavani. The big Uruguayan striker cannoned the half volley into the roof of the net leaving Barcelona ‘keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen bewildered by the thumping effort. Left in complete shock, Barcelona had to score three more unanswered goals with just thirty minutes left to play.
In the dying minutes of regular time, Barcelona were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous area. This time, Neymar stepped up for the job and produced a blockbuster of a goal. The strike had pace, swerve and deadly accuracy leaving goalkeeper Kevin Trapp in awe. The German ‘keeper could only watch as the ball deceived his eyes and gave life to the Blaugrana. 88 minutes gone and Barcelona needed two more, 5 minutes of injury time helped them on their way.
After appealing for penalties the entire match, Suarez was finally awarded one in the 91st minute and once again, controversy surrounded him. After seeing the replay, it was clear that Suarez went down rather easily and with very minimal contact. Since Marquinhos did not have his eyes on the ball the referee was able to use that as the basis of his decision and Barcelona had a lifeline. This time Neymar stepped up to the spot and after a rather unusual run up and a few stutter steps he sent Trapp the wrong way setting up an incredible ending to the match.
The game was tied 5-5 on aggregate, as it stood PSG’s away goal kept them in the lead and Barcelona were running out of time. In the 94th minute Neymar’s free kick was short, however, after getting the ball back he was in attack mode. Neymar faked sending the ball back in, worked his way around a few defenders before sending a magnificently weighted ball into the box. The young substitute, Sergi Roberto, found himself as the only player in the vicinity of the pass and just needed to touch the ball beyond Trapp, who found himself lost in his own box. It was absolutely outstanding as the entire stadium roared with their players. Barcelona had done the impossible.
The Champions League produced another splendid match that even Istanbul would applaud. It was pure ecstasy for Luis Enrique’s men leaving the PSG side in utter despair. What looked like an easy way towards the quarter finals, turned into categorical failure. Unai Emery’s men saw their three goal advantage vanish in the span of the last 7 minutes shattering their Champions League hopes. A classic match with tons of controversy and exhilarating gameplay ended in FC Barcelona defeating PSG 6-5 on aggregate and through to the next round.
Paris Saint Germain will look to bounce back and focus on closing in on Monaco who occupy top spot in Ligue Un this afternoon. Sitting three points back, Paris are playing last place FC Lorient away from home once again. As for FC Barcelona, they will look to build on this impressive victory by maintaining their lead in the La Liga. The Spanish giants will make the trip to 17th placed Deportivo La Coruna carrying all the momentum in the world.
Written by Mohammed Najarali, you can follow Mohammed on Twitter @MJ_NAJ
Anything to add? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Why not like our Facebook page?
While you’re at it, give us a follow on twitter @_ps_football
Follow us on instagram @ps_footballLIKE/FOLLOW