PSG punish 10 man Barca to progress – Champions League

Quarter-final 2nd leg

FC Barcelona 1-3 PSG (Agg. 4-5)

Paris Saint-Germain are through to the Champions League semi-finals after a stunning 4-1 victory over Barcelona on Tuesday.

Kylian Mbappe’s two goals helped the French cause, but it was Ronald Araujo’s red card that turned the tie, as the Blaugrana saw their dreams vanish after that despite an early lead.

A shock 3-2 victory in the first-leg gave Barcelona a fantastic platform to build upon in their clash with PSG.

Achraf Hakimi’s return was welcomed by Luis Enrique in the PSG dugout, whilst he returned Warren Zaire-Emery to the starting XI, despite his criticism of the youngster at the weekend.

Raphinha gives Barca the lead.

Xavi couldn’t have wished for a better start on Tuesday evening, with his team soaking up some tepid early PSG attacks, before going 1-0 up through Raphinha.

Lamine Yamal wriggled through defenders on the right flank before reaching the byline and cutting the ball across the box for the Brazilian.

Initially it looked like an own goal, however replays would show the ball struck an unaware Raphinha’s standing leg before bouncing into the net.

It was difficult to see how PSG would get back into the tie at that moment, especially with Ronald Araujo defending against Mbappe so well, yet it was to be the Uruguayan who would make a potentially costly error.

Ronald Araujo is sent off altering the outcome of the game.

Araujo was caught napping and allowed a Bradley Barcola to run in behind and he pulled him to the floor just before the penalty area, receiving a straight red-card for the denial of a clear goalscoring opportunity.

The pressure began to tell immediately and the home fans could sense it. The visiting team probed with Barcola firing a low cross back across the face of the Blaugrana’s goal, and it fell to Ousmane Dembele at the back post.

Having been greeted by raucous boos for the entire evening, Dembele took his frustrations out on the ball and lashed it into the roof of the net beyond a helpless Marc-Andre ter Stegen, which set the Parisian side on the comeback trail.

As expected with Barcelona down to 10 men, and having sacrificed Lamine Yamal as a substitute, PSG went through the gears in the early exchanges in the second-half.

Vitinha brings PSG back into the tie.

A clever move involving Dembele running from the right, finding Mbappe inside the box and the French forward waiting for the overlapping run of Fabian Ruiz. The Spaniard fired a low drive that went a whisker wide of the far post.

Barcelona made the age-old mistake of dropping back and inviting pressure. They conceded a corner and took it as a chance to rest and were caught out by PSG’s quick thinking.

A short corner found Vitinha on the edge of the area, unmarked, and he was able to pick his spot with a daisy-cutting drive that went beyond Ter Stegen and into the net, drawing PSG level in the tie.

Barca, to their credit, almost hit back immediately from the kick-off. The ball was worked into a central position to Ilkay Gundogan, who fizzed a drive of his own which just shaved the post and went wide.

Mbappe celebrates after converting from the spot.

Chaos would be the apt word to describe the previous exchanges, and it culminated in Xavi being shown a red-card for his behavior on the touchline. He screamed at the fourth official and then kicked a UEFA Champions League branded piece of cardboard with far less delicacy than he ever managed in his playing career.

Joao Cancelo felt the chaos and then made a blunder of his own. Ousmane Dembele appeared to be running out of room with the ball on the edge of the penalty area, and the Portuguese defender just flew into a sliding challenge.

He went through the French forward to get to the ball and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Mbappe then converted the spot-kick with power and poise, making it 5-4 to PSG on aggregate.

PSG made the game safe in the closing minutes through Mbappe again. The ball broke to him inside the box and he was able to convert his shot, making it 6-4 to PSG on aggregate and booking them a semi-final against Borussia Dortmund.

Discover more from Marking The Spot

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *