PSG 1-1 Barcelona: Messi Scores, Misses Penalty As PSG Knock Barcelona Out Of Champions LeagueMarch 11, 2021
PSG 1-1 Barcelona: Messi Scores, Misses Penalty As PSG Knock Barcelona Out Of Champions League
Barcelona have been kicked out of this season’s Champions League after a 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes stadium, Paris in the Round of 16 second leg against Paris Saint-Germain Football Club (PSG) on Wednesday night.
Catalans (Barcelona) needed to score four goals for the tie to swing in their favour in Paris as PSG led 4-1 from the first leg of their round-of-16 game and moved four goals clear when Kylian Mbappe, who scored a hat trick at Camp Nou, netted with a confident penalty in the 31st minute.
Although, Barcelona in the second leg played a truly exceptional first half and could have gone into the break with a lead of at least three goals, a combination of poor finishing and a great night for PSG goalkeeper, Keylor Navas led to a draw and a graceful European exit for Barcelona.
In the first half, the Spanish giants played one of their best halves of football in recent memory in the first 45 minutes, dominating possession, pressing PSG to near suffocation and controlling the threat of Kylian Mbappé on the counter-attack almost perfectly.
The first 25 minutes were truly sublime, and Barca’s Ousmane Dembélé was unplayable. The Frenchman required two amazing saves from Navas and played a great cross that Lionel Messi couldn’t reach for a tap-in, and Sergiño Dest hit the crossbar for good measure.
However, things started to fall apart for the visitors when defender Clément Lenglet accidentally stepped on Mauro Icardi’s ankle and was called for a ridiculous penalty after a VAR check, and Mbappé scored from the spot to give PSG the lead in the 30th minute.
Moving on, Barcelona continued to attack, and Lionel Messi scored one of the greatest goals of his career with a rocket from 35 yards to equalise and give Barca life. Then, just before halftime, Layvin Kurzawa kicked Antoine Griezmann inside the box and there was a giant chance for the Catalans.
Messi stepped to the spot, took a poor penalty and Navas saved it against the crossbar. At halftime, a spectacular Barcelona deserved to be at least three goals up, but the game was somehow 1-1 with an impossible job for the Catalans to do in the second half.
PSG’s plan was to defend all match and with the Mbappé’s threat completely neutralized by Barca’s defence, all the home team could do as the final minutes approached was park the bus and hope for no more troubles until the final whistle.
Barcelona’s manager, Ronald Koeman sent I. as many attacking players as he could, but Barca looked completely out of energy to come up with three goals in the dying seconds.
Catalans (Barcelona) never gave up but couldn’t find another goal, and the final whistle came to officially end their European journey this season.
However, this was a night of encouragement, courage and pride for a team that refused to quit and put up as good a fight as they could have done.
Reacting to their Champions League exit, Koeman said;
We are out, which is what counts in this sport, but we leave with good sensations.We had opportunities to make things very complicated for our rival. We were the superior team in the first half, taking big risks at the back with man-to-man marking.
Really, we deserved more for that effort. It should at least have been 2-1 to us at half-time. If we’d led at the break, the second half would have been a whole different affair.
Also speaking about Lionel Messi’s performance, Koeman expressed;
Leo has seen for quite some time that the team is improving thanks to all the changes we’ve made. Particularly, we have young players of great quality. We’ve got a great future ahead. Leo can’t have any doubts about what the future holds for this team.