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.
Pedri 🤝 Mbappe
The future. pic.twitter.com/Ph7Nvd60uv
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 10, 2021
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.
Kylian Mbappe and 18-year-old Pedri swap shirts after PSG vs. Barcelona.
Two of Europe's brightest young talents 🌟 pic.twitter.com/862fBPXv4o
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 10, 2021
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, but a sign of the future was evident upon the final whistle, when Mbappe appeared to ask Pedri to swap shirts with him. An instance of game recognising game, and perhaps a window into the future of European football as one generation passes the baton to the next.