Barcelona in astonishing comeback, knocks PSG out of the Champions League

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Barcelona's Sergi Roberto (bottom) scores his team's sixth goal of the game (Nick Potts/EMPICS

Barcelona produced the most remarkable Champions League comeback to beat Paris St Germain 6-1 at the Nou Camp, with a goal from Sergi Roberto five minutes into stoppage time securing a place in the quarter-finals.

Trailing 4-0 from their trip to France in the opening leg of the last-16 clash, Luis Enrique’s men were looking to make history and also avoid their earliest exit from the competition in a decade.

Luis Suarez’s close-range header gave Barcelona the perfect start inside three minutes before an own goal from Layvin Kurzawa halved the deficit by the interval.

A penalty from Lionel Messi five minutes into the second half had the Nou Camp rocking, only for Edinson Cavani to crash in a crucial away goal just after the hour mark which boosted PSG’s advantage.
Neymar, though, netted a superb late free-kick before levelling the tie with a last-minute penalty to get the Barcelona fans dreaming of the impossible once again.

That became a reality when, with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen having joined the attack, Neymar lofted the ball into a crowded penalty area.

Roberto stabbed it past Kevin Trapp to spark wild celebrations on the Barcelona bench and in the stands, while PSG watched on in disbelief.
Barcelona had made a flying start to lift hopes of turning the tie around.

Rafinha floated a high cross into the PSG penalty area from the right, which was nodded back up into the air.
As the ball dropped and PSG goalkeeper Trapp hesitated to punch clear, Suarez was alert to head the ball in, which was then hacked out from under the net but it had clearly crossed the line.

It was 2-0 on 41 minutes with another scrappy goal.
Captain Andres Iniesta chased what looked a lost cause into the left side of the PSG penalty area, but managed to dig possession out from Marquinhos.
As the ball went back through the six-yard box, Trapp palmed it onto Kurzawa, who could only slice an attempted clearance into the empty net.

Neymar darted into the left side of the PSG box after the break, where defender Thomas Meunier was slipping to the floor as he stumbled forwards headfirst and pulled down the Brazilian.
Initially the German referee did not give the penalty, but pointed to the spot once he had consulted with his assistant behind the goal. Messi made no mistake as he drilled the ball past Trapp.

A deep free-kick was lobbed into the Barcelona penalty area. Kurzawa nodded the ball back down into the path of Cavani, who drilled a half-volley past Ter Stegen which looked to have killed off the tie.

Barcelona appeared to have run out of steam, before Neymar whipped an angled free-kick from 25 yards direct into the top-left corner with two minutes left.

Suarez then went down under a challenge from Marquinhos, which was enough for the referee to again point to the spot.

This time Neymar converted, before Barcelona kept the pressure on and they were rewarded when Roberto scored his first goal of the season and the most dramatic of winners as the Nou Camp erupted.

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– Soccer-Barca comeback will never be forgotten – Luis Enrique –

BARCELONA, March 8 (Reuters) – Barcelona’s amazing 6-1 victory over Paris St Germain on Wednesday that sent them through to the Champions League quarter-finals will forever stay in the memories of supporters, coach Luis Enrique said.

The Spanish champions, who lost the first leg 4-0 and were facing their earliest exit from the competition since 2007, struck three late goals in six minutes to complete an extraordinary comeback.

“Any child in the Nou Camp tonight will never forget this and neither will the adults. This is a unique sport for crazy people,” Luis Enrique told reporters.

“This is a night which is difficult to explain in words, it had the script of a horror film with a spectacular start with an atmosphere which I have never seen in the Nou Camp, with tension I have never seen before.”

No side in 61 years of the European Cup had ever gone through after losing the first leg of a knockout tie by four goals and Luis Enrique paid tribute to the fans who stood by the team after their harrowing defeat at the Parc des Princes.

“I would like to thank everyone who kept their faith after we lost 4-0. This is dedicated to them because this isn’t the Harlem Globetrotters, this is football,” he said, referring to the famous American exhibition basketball team.

“I don’t think anyone stopped believing. We risked everything and it paid off. You get finales like this very occasionally in football and this time it was our turn,” Luis Enrique said.

“It was an explosion of sentiment, I’m not an emotional person but I enjoyed this just as much as those that were moved to tears.”

Barca forward Neymar, who scored twice in the space of three minutes before Sergi Roberto’s 95th-minute clincher, said it was the best performance of his career, in which he has won the Champions League and an Olympic gold medal with Brazil.

“It’s the best game I’ve played in my life, because of the whole story, the goals and for what it means to the team,” Neymar told BeIN sports.

“It looked like the tie was over after losing in Paris and now we’re playing without responsibility, with happiness. The first week after Paris was tough but we rediscovered our football and since the second week we couldn’t wait for this game to come around.”

Barca defender Gerard Pique, meanwhile, predicted a surge in the birth rate in Catalonia, as occurred in 2009 following Andres Iniesta’s stoppage-time leveller against Chelsea which took Barca into the Champions League final.

“I advise the hospitals of Barelona to start hiring nurses because a lot of love is going to be made tonight,” he said.

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