Champions League: beaten at home by Barça, PSG compromises its chances of qualifying for the semi-finals

At the end of a match full of twists and turns, Paris Saint-Germain was beaten on home soil by FC Barcelona in the quarter-final first leg of the Champions League (2-3), Wednesday April 10. The evening will leave a bitter taste for the capital club which seemed to have done the hardest part by taking control of the match after returning from the locker room. Luis Enrique’s players are condemned to a return operation on Catalan lands next Tuesday.

Rather dominant (59% possession), PSG will surely rehash the last goal of the match, signed Andreas Christensen (77th), conceded from a corner that Gianluigi Donnarumma did not go for. His bad luck – or his lack of realism, depending on the analysis – against the opposing goal, with two shots saved by the uprights (Barcola 55th, Dembélé 75th) will not help to digest the cruel outcome of this evening which could have turned into the other direction.

Luis Enrique’s team showed a conquering face, but only intermittently. She started both periods very well, especially the second. The break put people’s minds back in the right direction. It was with newfound intensity and Bradley Barcola on the pitch, in place of the transparent Marco Asensio, that they forced Marc-André ter Stegen to fetch the ball twice in his net. First, with a wink from history, Ousmane Dembélé equalized with a powerful shot under the bar following one of his famous hooks (49th). Only his second goal of the season, and it had to come against his former club.

On its momentum, PSG took the opportunity to take the advantage thanks to its Portuguese metronome Vitinha. Found in the direction of the goal in the penalty area by Fabian Ruiz, he had time to control the ball then slip it under the arm of the Barcelona goalkeeper (51st). Perfect timing to score the first goal of his career in the Champions League, a year after his failure on the pitch at Bayern Munich.

Trailing since the 37th minute and Raphinha’s opportunistic opening score, the Parisians reversed the standoff, but forgot to drive the point home. Raphinha, always him, was responsible for equalizing with a volley in full flow after a wonderful opening from Pedri over the defense (62nd). PSG did not experience as marked a decline as in the first act, which ended without ideas, but Barça was more incisive on Wednesday evening.

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