Barcelona travelled to Paris dreaming of another remontada. One of their greatest European nights occurred against Paris Saint-Germain back in 2017, when they came back from losing the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash to go through on aggregate. They couldn’t repeat the trick on Wednesday evening, however, drawing 1-1 to go out of Europe 5-2 on aggregate.
Barcelona had lost the first leg 4-1 at Camp Nou last month, with Kylian Mbappe scoring a hat-trick. Ronald Koeman‘s men have been on a good run of form since, however, and it was amidst this attitude they pulled up at Parc des Princes. Barcelona started well, too, peppering Keylor Navas in the PSG goal in pursuit of that crucial opener. Ousmane Dembele, playing in his home country, was a constant threat, but it was Sergino Dest who came closest early doors. The right-back had an effort on goal tipped onto the crossbar by Navas in the 23rd minute.
Mbappe was the one who opened the scoring, however, converting a penalty kick on the stroke of the half hour mark to put PSG into a pivotal early lead. Barcelona struck back through a Lionel Messi golazo. The Argentine picked up the ball some distance out before unleashing a powerful effort past Navas and into the top-left corner of the net. Messi had the chance to make it 2-1 just before half-time, but his penalty was tipped on to the bar by Navas and kept out. It was a moment that would prove decisive in the tie and Barcelona’s European campaign.
“5-2 after 180 minutes, very happy to progress,” Mauricio Pochettino said post-game in comments carried by Marca. “Getting to the quarter-finals is very important for the club. [Navas] was incredible, he had a fantastic night and he’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He showed that tonight, and we’re in the quarter-finals partly thanks to him.”