Paris St Germain buried the ghosts of their embarrassing 2017 exit as they drew 1-1 at residence with Barcelona on Wednesday to finish a 5-2 mixture victory that despatched them into the Champions League quarter-finals.
4 years after Barca claimed a memorable 6-1 win to overturn a 4-0 first-leg deficit within the final 16, PSG lacked inspiration however their 4-1 benefit from the primary recreation in Spain was adequate this time.
Kylian Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick on the Nou Camp, opened the scoring with a penalty towards the run of play earlier than Lionel Messi levelled with an excellent long-range objective, however the Argentine had a spot-kick saved by Keylor Navas on the stroke of halftime.
The French champions had been on the again foot within the second half as Barca piled on the strain however Barca exited the competitors earlier than the semi-finals for the second yr in a row.
Barca’s exit ensured it is going to be the primary time since 2005 that neither Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo might be within the Champions League quarter-finals after Juventus had been additionally knocked out within the final 16, on Tuesday.
“We suffered loads within the first half, and psychologically it was a take a look at for us. I gathered that the previous was one thing that was talked about loads right here,” PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino stated.
“We had been higher within the second half, we had been extra aggressive.”
Barca coach Ronald Koeman tried to stay upbeat.
“We’re departing this Champions League in a really totally different method from the way in which we did final season. On this recreation, we hit our stage and that is the highway we’ve got to observe,” stated Koeman, referring to the crew’s 8-2 mixture defeat within the quarter-finals by Bayern Munich final yr.
PSG, with out injured ahead Neymar, regarded nothing just like the crew who reached final yr’s closing or hammered Barcelona three weeks in the past, however they did preserve their composure on the again.
Barcelona stamped their authority early on, discovering area for Ousmane Dembele, however the Frenchman was twice denied by Navas and he skied an effort over the crossbar within the opening 20 minutes.
Sergino Dest went shut for Barca with a strong angled shot that Navas deflected on to his left-hand submit and Dembele broke down the left flank however his cross simply evaded a sliding Messi.
It was PSG, nonetheless, who went forward on 31 minutes as Mbappe transformed a penalty awarded following a VAR assessment after Clement Lenglet appeared to step onto Mauro Icardi’s heel.
Six minutes later, Messi unleashed a 25-metre missile that flew into the highest nook to equalise in model together with his a hundred and twentieth objective within the Champions League.
The Argentine had an opportunity to place the guests in entrance simply earlier than the break when Barca gained a penalty following a Layvin Kurzawa foul on Antoine Griezmann, however Navas deflected the Argentine’s spot-kick onto the bar and away.
Barca had been nonetheless throughout PSG within the second half and it took a determined sort out by Marquinhos to forestall Messi scoring from level clean vary earlier than Navas cleared a Sergio Busquets header.
Barcelona steadily ran out of steam, nonetheless, and should now flip to their bid to win the La Liga title, the place they path leaders Atletico Madrid by six factors.