Champions League, Football

PSG vs Barcelona: Raphinha and Christensen help Barça complete comeback over Parisians

After coming off the bench, Andreas Christensen scored a late winner with his first touch to help Barcelona overcome PSG 3-2 and seize control of their Champions League quarterfinal match.

PSG dominated the first fifteen minutes of a fantastic evening at the Parc des Princes, with six efforts on goal. However, Raphinha’s breakaway goal (37), put them behind at the half.

However, PSG came out swinging after the interval, as two goals in the next two minutes and thirteen seconds from Vitinha (50) and Ousmane Dembele (48) completely changed the course of the game.

Then Barcelona’s star subs started to appear. Pedri came off the bench and, with just a few moves, set up Raphinha (62) for a spectacular volley to equalise.

Then, PSG twice struck the woodwork through Bradley Barcola and Dembele, but moments after joining the pitch, former Chelsea defender Christensen (77) nodded in the game-winning goal from close range from a corner.

It concluded an unpredictable first-leg match, setting up the pivotal return match in Barcelona the following week.

Barcelona manager Xavi: “It’s a big win of course, playing a game away in the Champions League. But we are missing one game in Barcelona.

“We did really well in defence and attack. Especially in defence, everyone worked for the team. Tactically, we did really, really well. The wingers helped us a lot. [Pau] Cubarsi jumped so well [up to face] Kang-In Lee, sometimes to [Marco] Asensio because they changed a lot of players.

“We defended so well against Mbappe, with [Jules] Kounde and Ronald Araujo. And we created so many chances. Raphinha made the difference, then the players that came [on] helped us really well, especially Pedri. So I’m very happy and proud of the team.

“We did so well. It’s a big win, but it’s just hard work. Having one game in Barcelona will be really tough because PSG is one of the best teams in Europe right now.

“We have to be proud [of our academy]. Cubarsi is 17, Yamal is 16. Fermin [Lopez] is a new player here. Players from La Masia have more commitment with the team. I’m really happy, because it’s a new Barca but we are in a good way, I think.

“We are halfway there to the next round. It’s a small advantage but a big win. We need to do well against Cadiz [at the weekend] then we’re at home for the second leg.”

PSG manager Luis Enrique: “It’s too soon. We need time to reflect but it was a pity. Really a pity. Because we started the match properly and in a good mood but after we conceded the goal, we were a bit disappointed.

“The second half we started in the best way for us. We could have scored the third one, but we suffered the second goal and the last goal with 2-2, we created some chances. But we still have the spirit to go to Barcelona and win.

“Sometimes you have to change things [at half-time] because of the result. The team was at a high level in the second half, they [Barcelona] didn’t even cross the halfway line until the second goal. But they’re a good team and played a good match.

“You have to play as a team and try to overcome that Barcelona team. We are going to go there with the best attitude and commitment to win the match.”

On Tuesday, April 16, PSG will travel to Barcelona for the second leg.

Barcelona will play the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal against the Ligue 1 winners on Tuesday after visiting Cadiz in La Liga on Saturday.

PSG is off this next weekend.

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