Barcelona (6) 6-1 (5) Paris Saint Germain: Miracle in Catalonia as Barca complete extraordinary comeback

Barcelona (6) 6-1 (5) Paris Saint Germain: Miracle in Catalonia as Barca complete extraordinary comeback

A footballing miracle occured at the Camp Nou, Barcelona into the last eight after the most dramatic of finales.

OliverEmmerson
Oliver Emmerson

Barcelona scored three goals in the final seven minutes to secure the most unbelievable of European comebacks against Paris Saint-Germain, recovering from a 4-0 first leg deficit with a 6-1 win at the Nou Camp to progress to the Champions League quarter finals.

On an evening of football which will go down in history, Barca raced into a three goal lead, before Edinson Cavani's strike seemingly put things beyond the reach of Luis Enrique's side, with the hosts needing three improbable late goals to turn things around.

However, they just did that, Neymar inspiring his side with two goals and an assist between the 88th and 95th minute, leaving PSG stunned and Barcelona euphoric as Sergi Roberto provided the decisive touch with his stoppage time goal.

Suarez kicks off an unforgettable night

Barcelona were always going to need a quick start in order to make any sort of dent in PSG's healthy lead, something they managed to do as Luis Suarez struck an opener with less than three minutes played.

Kevin Trapp must take some blame for it, although the entire defence was at fault as failed clearances led to the ball looping up in the air, Suarez nipping ahead of everyone else inside the six yard box to nod over Trapp, goal line technology taking care of the rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although Barcelona would eventually pull themselves into a commanding lead, it didn't happen instantly, with PSG occasionally venturing into the Barca half, Cavani complaining of Javier Mascherano's use of the arm as he aimed to send a cross into the area. 

Lionel Messi sent a free-kick drifting narrowly wide, whilst Andres Iniesta struck one over from the edge of the box, but the momentum seemed to be draining as the first-half dragged on.

Bang bang, Barca bouncing

Therefore, it was a huge boost for the Catalan side as they doubled their lead minutes before the interval, in somewhat fortunate circumstances. 

The ball again was left to bobble around in the box, Iniesta eventually looking to take control of the situation as he flicked the ball back into the danger zone, Layvin Kurzawa comically sliced the ball into his own net.

Heading in for half-time after that, it took the Ligue 1 side an age to come out for the second-half, but the team talk didn't seem to work as they were three behind not long after the restart. 

Thomas Meunier was unlucky to concede a spot-kick as he slipped in the area, falling right into the path of a full-speed Neymar, who went straight over the right-back. The referee didn't originally give it, but after consultation with one of his assistant's, gave Lionel Messi the chance to step up and bury a penalty, which he duly did. 

Barcelona only needing one more goal seemed to spring the visitors into action, as they offered more going forward, striking the post as Cavani saw the ball fall for him in the area off a Barcelona defender.

Cavani clinical to calm PSG nerves

That miss might have demoralised Unai Emery's side even further, but it didn't matter, Cavani seemingly killing the tie with a clinical finish in the 62nd minute. 

Failing to react to a long ball coming into the area, Barcelona fans watched in horror as the ball dropped to Cavani, who dropped his head over the ball and smashed it over the outstretched hands of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That goal meant that PSG had the crucial away goal, leaving Barcelona needing an extremely unlikely three goals in half an hour, whilst they kept their opponents out. They went for it, leaving gaps in-behind that Emery's team failed to exploit. 

Cavani should have made it two for himself just two minutes after striking what appeared to be a hammer blow, bursting freely into the penalty area down the left hand side, sending a shot across goal that was expertly kept out by the left leg of ter Stegen. 

The Uruguayan frontman wasn't the only one who let golden chances go begging as the match dragged on. Angel Di Maria, only a substitute having had fitness difficulties coming into the game, went clear on goal but spooned his shot wide under pressure from Javier Mascherano.

I didn't look like it was going to matter. But oh boy, it did. 

Neymar, drama and a footballing miracle

In fairness to the Barcelona fans, they never seemed to give up. The club anthem boomed around the stadium as the players wilted in response to Cavani's goal, until Neymar began to take things into his own hands.

Drifting into the final two minutes of normal time, the Brazilian curled a peach of a free-kick into the top corner from an unlikely angle, turning a need for three goals in seven minutes to two goals in six. Mission impossible still, you'd say. Wrong.

There was a touch of fortune, cheating, injustice in Barcelona's fifth of the evening, which came a minute into five minutes of stoppage time. Suarez went down under a feint challenge of Marquinhos in the area, the referee blowing up and pointing to the spot once more.

Despite Messi having successfully taken a penalty earlier in the night, Neymar stepped up to the plate the second time around, sending Trapp the wrong way after a stuttering run up. Barcelona had four minutes left, and suddenly had pulled the gap back to one goal. From there on it seemed inevitable. 

A bold move to send the 'keeper up for a free-kick with over two minutes left of stoppage time, didn't look like it would pay off as PSG broke from a poor Messi cross, but Ter Stegen raced back brilliantly to win the ball, and the free-kick from which Barcelona would make history. 

Neymar had it played short to him, with the easy option to lift the ball into the box from around 40 yards out. Neymar didn't want to do easy, showing incredible composure to take on his man and then lift a perfectly weighted ball over the defence, Sergi Roberto breaking the offside trap to get to the ball and toe-poke it past Trapp.

It proved to be virtually the final act of the game as PSG couldn't find time to attack, they'll now be hoping that time can heal their wounds, whilst Barcelona move into the last eight after the most inspiring of performances.

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