PSG defeats 10-man Barcelona behind Kylian Mbappe to advance to the Champions League

Tuesday’s 6-4 aggregate victory saw Paris Saint-Germain come from behind to defeat 10-man Barcelona 4-1 and secure a spot in the Champions League semifinals. Kylian Mbappe scored twice in the comeback victory.

Barcelona took the lead early thanks to a goal from Raphinha, but Ronald Araujo’s red card in the 29th minute shifted the balance in PSG’s favor. The Spanish champions had led by two goals after winning the first leg of the quarterfinals 3-2.

PSG’s tie was broken by Ousmane Dembele and Vitinha, and they advanced to the last four for the first time since 2021 thanks to a brace from the lethal Mbappe. They will now play Borussia Dortmund again, whom they faced twice during the group stage.

“Kylian is a great team leader; observe how hard he presses the opposition,” PSG head coach Luis Enrique stated, praising the striker’s versatility.

“We are significantly better when Kylian can provide that.”

Despite significant investment, the French champions have never taken home the Cup, but they have shown they have the offensive players on their team to succeed.

Mbappe, who is aiming for this year’s final, said, “I dream of winning the Champions League with Paris; it’s another step overcome against a great team.”

“We intend to attempt to visit Wembley.”

After a first-leg home loss, Luis Enrique, who guided Barcelona to the 2015 Champions League, expressed confidence in his PSG team’s ability to turn things around despite their past inability to do so. This proved to be the case.

With loud applause from his previous squad, Dembele stated, “It looked bad but the team concentrated— whatever happened, we had to beat Barcelona.”

Five-time victors Barcelona was hoping to make it back to the semifinals for the first time since 2019, but their hopes were dashed when Araujo was sent off for bringing down the uncompromising Bradley Barcola.

With Xavi accusing the referee, it turned into another in a string of nightmares for the Catalans in Europe; they last won the title in 2015.

The coach said, “It’s practically impossible with 11 against 10.”

“It’s unfair and unnecessary, in my opinion, to use the red card.”

The hosts got the lead, but the visitors had a strong start and forced Barcelona back into their own zone.

Detonating Raphinha scored his third goal of the match at the near post after 16-year-old sensation Lamine Yamal raced past Nuno Mendes.

Barcola was the one that swung the match in PSG’s favor, even if the other attackers for the team also scored.

The winger set up Mbappe for a shot, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Barcelona made a great save to deny him, and Araujo was sent off for taking him down.

Barcola rushed into the area, but the Uruguayan center back dragged him back, leaving Barca with 10 men.

After forty minutes, Dembele scored off a second Barcola cross that sliced across the field to the back post, where he was coming to shoot into the net’s roof.

Following Araujo’s red card, Barcelona traded Yamal for defender Inigo Martinez, which left them with few offensive options.

No way out

Barcelona quickly paid the price as PSG dominated the match. Vitinha was allowed much too much room on the box’s edge, and he scored PSG’s first goal of the game by drilling into the lower corner.

Before Barcelona’s coach Xavi was dismissed for a display of disapproval on the touchline, Ilkay Gundogan struck the post for the team on the opposite end.

Xavi said, “Since I’ve been here, we haven’t received any refereeing judgments; they’ve all been detrimental to us.

“The officiating was really peculiar.”

The Catalans were losing their minds despite the finger-pointing, and Joao Cancelo gave PSG a penalty after clumsily fouling Dembele.

After being quiet during the first leg, Mbappe scored his 40th goal overall by smashing it into the top corner.

The striker earned no friends at Barcelona by leaping the advertising hoardings and going towards supporters to celebrate, and it seems like his future may be in Spain as Real Madrid looks to recruit him in the summer when his contract expires.

As it became apparent that the hosts had no answer to Gundogan’s penalty request being waved away, another member of Barcelona’s backroom staff was fired.

After a brilliant double save by Ter Stegen, Mbappe sealed the victory in the 89th minute, leaving Barcelona to rue yet another heartbreakingly sad evening in Europe.

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong told Movistar, “You know you are going to suffer when you play with 10 in Europe.”

It’s a hard blow since we were certain we could win because we tried and pushed to get into the semifinals.

Related Articles

Back to top button