…OR WHEN THE IMPOSSIBLE BECAME POSSIBLE … Barcelona just made the greatest come-back in Champions League history and Paris st Germain learned a hard lesson about football statistics. The Catalans needed a five goals to nil win, in order to progress to the next stage of the Champions League. Mission Impossible, would you say ?
It was Impossible, but yet they made it possible; Barça thrashed the french champions and wrote another glorious page in their club’s history. Never before a team who lost a game Away 4-0 came back and won 5-0 or more at Home, but hey that’s why Football is so unique !
The Parisians came expecting to get their qualification, even in defeat; after all scoring one goal could be sufficient, for scoring six was mission impossible even for the multi Champions League winners,their worthy opponents. If only…
The truth is that PSG’s squad was far away from the one who surprised the world when they won 4-0; bad form and injuries made life difficult for Unai Emery the Parisians manager, but nevertheless, the team who started the game was decent enough to challenge Barcelona’s finest.
The onslaught started only three minutes after the beginning of the game, courtesy of Suarez and Kevin Trapp’s PSG’s German goalkeeper howler, the first but not the last; alas the club’s faithful are accustomed to that kind of behaviour from their number one. Are the club’s scouts unable to find a good, reliable custodian? First was Salvatore Sirigu, then Kevin Trapp plus the homegrown Aréola. Even if they’re average/good in the domestic games, the challenge is different in the International level ; none of them is number one or two of their national team !
The game went on nicely for the home team; Kurzawa’s own goal, a penalty to start the second half, 86.000 “culos” hoping for the miracle to come, but Cavani’s beautiful goal put every hope and fear in a new perspective; Barça needed three more goals to qualify and time was tickling away… and then (!)
The unthinkable, the miracle, the impossible just happened: Neymar’s magical free-kick, another (dubious, graçias Suarez!) penalty in stoppage time and to finish (or start) Catalonia’s Fiesta the sixth goal, the ticket to the next level, scored by Roberto, a home-grown player.
Did Barcelona steal their incredible win by cheating (Suarez dive)? PSG not only didn’t play well, but the referee should/ could give at least one more penalty against Paris (Marquinho’s handball); they also had several chances wasted like the ones of Cavani and Di Maria in the end of the second half, but who knows what’s up in our favorite players’ mind ?
Barcelona played well, but let’s admit it, it wasn’t the invincible armada, the one that Pep Guardiola, coached some years ago. They’re still good, but approaching the end of a glorious era; maybe they’ll start a new one with a younger squad and their Brazilian wizard Neymar ; they certainly have the means and the passion.
Here’s the Players Ratings :
Ter Stegen : 7/10 Mascherano : 7/10 Piqué : 6/10 Umtiti : 7/10 Rafinha : 5/10 Busquets : 7/10 Rakitic : 6/10 Iniesta : 6/10 Neymar (MOTM) : 9/10 Messi : 5/10 Suarez : 6/10
PARIS ST GERMAIN
Trapp : 2/10 Meunier : 3/10 Marquinhos : 3/10 Rabiot : 1/10 Thiago Silva : 2/10 Kurzawa : 2/10 Matuidi : 3/10 Verratti : 3/10 Lucas : 2/10 Draxler : 2/10 Cavani : 5/10
Here’s the game’s Highlights :