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Paris Saint-Germain overcame 4-1 in Barcelona and advanced to the CL semi-finals

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Kylian Mbappé celebrates after scoring for PSG in the achievement victory away to Barcelona. Photo: Emilio Morenatti, AP / NTB

Of NTB | 16.04.2024 23:04:39

Sport: The team refused to resign after the 2-3 loss at home and dominated a return match that was full of drama. Kylian Mbappé scored the last two goals to give the semi-final against Borussia Dortmund.

Barcelona have not won the Champions League since Luis Enrique coached the club to their fifth triumph in 2015. This year he can give PSG the first.

The Barcelona fans started the evening by attacking their own team’s player bus because they thought it was the PSG bus. It was not to be the last thing to go wrong for the Catalans on a day when the Romanian referee became unpopular. He handed out three red cards to Barcelona (a player, coach Xavi and a manager), while PSG got their decisive goal on a penalty kick.

The attacking trio of Bradley Barcola, Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé wreaked havoc with the home defence. Dembélé scored the 1-1 goal after being mercilessly mobbed by his old club’s supporters, while Mbappé made it 3-2 from the penalty spot before finishing off a counterattack in the closing minutes.

The two-goal scorer from the first match in Paris seemed to have punctuated the match, but then not. In the 29th minute, Barcola parked home stopper Araujo and stormed towards the goal. Araujo put his hand on his shoulder and pulled him down just outside the 16-yard line. Referee Istvan Kovacs pulled up the red card.

It took several minutes to get Araujo to accept the decision and walk off the field. Then the home crowd suffered another setback when coach Xavi picked off jewel Yamal to bring in an extra stopper in Iñigo Martínez.

Andreas Christensen would have been a natural choice, but he was banned with the yellow card he picked up after scoring the winning goal in Paris.

The former Barcelona player had been booed in his return to the city where he played for six years, but he responded by becoming increasingly dangerous. In overtime in the half, he sent a clever volley just outside the far post.

At the start of the second half, PSG had several great chances before Vitinha scored the 2-1 goal in the 54th minute. A corner kick was taken short, and via Hakimi the ball came to Vitinha, who was allowed to shoot unpressured from distance and sent the ball in at the far post.

Just over a minute later, Ilkay Gündogan tried a shot at the opposite end of the pitch, but he saw the ball go off the post.

Mbappé kept his cool as he waited to take the penalty and he swept it in at the cross for a 3-1 lead on Tuesday and 5-4 on aggregate.

After Gündogan screamed in vain for a penalty a little later after a duel with Vitinha, another Barcelona leader was sent off with a red card. It was definitely not Barcelona’s day at the Olympic Stadium.

Barcelona desperately chased a goal in the final minutes, but PSG resisted and then got the counterattack where Marc-André ter Stegen made two great saves before Mbappé shot 4-1 in the corner.

PSG started the game very well and pushed the home team back, but it was Barcelona who scored first. In the 12th minute, Ronald Araújo played Lamine Yamal forward on the right, and the 16-year-old passed Nuno Mendes to the line and struck at an angle. Hard pressed by Achraf Hakimi, Rafinha was unsuccessful with his shot attempt at the near post, but the ball hit his upright and bounced into the goal.

Against ten men, PSG’s dominance became even greater, and in the 40th minute came the deserved equalizer. Vitinha played Barcola forward on the left and he hit a perfect cross behind the defence. Mbappé did not reach, but at the far post Dembélé knocked the ball into the roof of the net.

Soon after, Xavi angrily kicked an advertising sign by the bench and was sent to the stands with a red card. From there he had more to worry about. A minute and a half later, João Cancelo went headlong into an attempted tackle on Dembélé on the right side of the penalty area and hit him on the foot.

(© NTB)

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