Italian PSG knock Barcelona out

by | Mar 10, 2021 21:53 | Latest

Marco Verratti, Alessandro Florenzi and Moise Kean are through to the Champions League quarter-finals, as PSG eliminated Barcelona.

Florenzi recovered from a thigh issue to start with Marco Verratti, but Moise Kean – who scored in the 4-1 first leg victory at Camp Nou – was out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Verratti will be available for the quarter-final, as he successfully avoided picking up a yellow card.

Curiously, PSG fielded as many Italians in the starting XI as Juventus in their Round of 16 tie against Porto last night: two.

Marco Verratti, Alessandro Florenzi and Moise Kean are through to the Champions League quarter-finals, as PSG eliminated Barcelona.

Florenzi recovered from a thigh issue to start with Marco Verratti, but Moise Kean – who scored in the 4-1 first leg victory at Camp Nou – was out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Verratti will be available for the quarter-final, as he successfully avoided picking up a yellow card.

Curiously, PSG fielded as many Italians in the starting XI as Juventus in their Round of 16 tie against Porto last night: two.

Using a new 3-4-3 formation with Frenkie de Jong surprisingly in a three-man defence, Barca had all the early chances, including a Keylor Navas save on Ousmane Dembele, then palmed a ferocious Sergino Dest strike onto the crossbar.

However, VAR had to intervene when Clement Lenglet trod on the back of Mauro Icardi’s foot in the penalty area. Kylian Mbappé converted from the spot, adding to his hat-trick in the first leg, for a 5-1 aggregate lead.

Despite that goal, Barcelona continued to create and waste chances, most of them with Dembele essentially firing straight at Navas.

Oscar Mingueza was hauled off after risking a second yellow card several times. Messi took matters into his own hands and hit a rocket into the top corner from distance that swerved away from the goalkeeper.

Barcelona also received a penalty on the stroke of half-time for a clumsy Kurzawa high foot on Antoine Griezmann, but Messi was not the hero this time, his spot-kick deflected onto the underside of the bar by Navas’ knee.

Messi again failed to make the most of a big chance when sent clear by Jordi Alba, but Marquinhos made a decisive block from six yards.

Navas was again extraordinary on a glancing Sergio Busquets header at the near post.

Elsewhere, Liverpool comfortably reached the quarter-finals with another 2-0 victory over RB Leipzig, having already won by the same scoreline in the first leg.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were on target.

PSG 1-1 Barcelona (5-2 agg)

Mbappé pen 31 (P), Messi 38 (B)

PSG: Navas; Florenzi (Dagba 76), Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa (Diallo 46); Gueye (Danilo 59), Paredes; Draxler (Di Maria 59), Verratti (Rafinha 84), Mbappé; Icardi

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Mingueza (Junior Firpo 35), De Jong, Lenglet; Dest (Trincao 66), Busquets (Moriba 79), Pedri (Pjanic 79), Alba; Messi, Griezmann, Dembelé (Braithwaite 79)

Ref: Taylor (ENG)

Saved penalty: Messi 45 (B)

Club by Club News

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