The new Champions League campaign seemed an easy ride for Barcelona. The team won five of their six group fixtures and notched 20 goals against 4 conceded. As they breezed into the knockout stage, who could predict the Spanish giant would soon be headed for the door? But after the first leg humiliation at the hands of Paris Saint Germain, Barcelona’s exit was almost a fait accompli. The 4-0 deficit meant the Catalans would need to put at least five past the French rival if they wished to continue the race.
No side in the European top tier club competition had accomplished a feat like this before. On March 8, the audience in the theater of Nou Camp had a chance to witness history being made.Well, if it takes a hero, what better candidate than Barca? And they did. That Wednesday night the Spanish outfit pulled off a miracle in an electrifying matchup that kept everyone on tenterhooks until the last gasp - literally!
Moments from the kick off, Barcelona optimistically opened the score. At half-time the team led 2:0, courtesy of an own goal by PSG defender. Shortly after the break, Neymar was tripped in the box. The referee gave a spot kick, and Messi planted it into the net. Another goal - and the home side would make it back to square one with the prospect of extra time and the shoot-out. The team pressed on, with PSG looking to strike on counters. One moment shattered Barca’s revived hopes...
A free kick from distance finds Cavani. He shoots. The Catalans fail to clear. The visitors go one up. The away goal books them a place in the quarterfinals if the aggregate score is tied. Deep into the second half, the blue-maroon bunch are thrown back into despair: they are now chasing three goals. Time wears out.
Three minutes to go, some agonized fans stop watching in exasperation. A free kick for Barcelona. Neymar bends the ball expertly and precisely into a top corner – 4-1! The game ticks into stoppage time. On 91 minute, the same player converts a penalty kick. 95th minute of play, Barcelona are lining up another set piece. Neymar takes it and floats the ball over PSG defence into the path of the on-rushing Sergio Roberto. The latter gets the final touch – he makes no mistake!!
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