Miracle at the Nou Camp as Barca stun PSG 6-1

Neymar hailed the best game of his career after Barcelona pulled off the greatest comeback in Champions League history by scoring three times in the dying minutes against a stunned Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazilian scored an 88th-minute free kick and a penalty in the 91st before setting up Sergi Roberto’s clincher in the fifth minute of injury time, sealing it 6-1 as Barcelona overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit.

The result, which sparked delirious celebrations at Barcelona’s 99 000-capacity Nou Camp stadium, sent the Spanish giants storming into the quarter-finals at the cost of the stricken Paris club.

“This is the best game I have ever played. For what it meant, for what we experienced and because I am in great form,” Neymar told BeIN Sports.

“I know that we have made history. A team like this can do anything.”


The sensational win recalled Manchester United’s injury-time double to win the 1999 title against Bayern Munich in the same stadium, and Liverpool’s victory in the 2005 final after being 3-0 down to AC Milan at half-time.

“It is a difficult night to explain with words,” said Barca boss Luis Enrique, who will leave the club at the end of the season.

“It was a horror movie, not a drama, with a Camp Nou that I have seen very few times as a player or coach.

“What defines this victory is the faith that the players and fans had.”

But the defeat raised questions over the future of PSG coach Unai Emery, as club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi ominously called it “very hard to accept”.

“This is a nightmare for everybody. Is Unai Emery still credible? This is not the moment to talk of this. After the game, we are all upset,” said the Qatari.

Pique predicts baby boom
Despite Luis Suarez’s early opener, a Layvin Kurzawa own goal and Lionel Messi’s penalty, Barca looked down and out when Edinson Cavani volleyed home what seemed to be the vital away goal for PSG.

However, Neymar restored Barca’s belief as he firstly fired home a sensational free-kick two minutes from time and then converted from the penalty spot.

And substitute midfielder Roberto became the unlikely hero when he stretched to turn home Neymar’s sublime chip over the defence, leaving the score 6-5 on aggregate as the crowd dissolved into ecstasy.

“I threw myself at it with everything,” Roberto told BeIN Sports. “We left Paris very down and now this is incredible.

“We were prepared for all this. The fans were like 10 extra players and in the end this is all for them.”

Midfielder Ivan Rakitic said Barca had defied the critics after their first-leg humiliation in Paris three weeks ago.

“It’s crazy. After Paris, many people spoke hard about our team but tonight was special, we made history,” the Croatian told BT Sport.

“We know we are the best team in the world.”

As well as staying on course for a sixth title, the 1992, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015 European champions set a new record by reaching their 10th straight quarter-final.

PSG coach Emery admitted his team went to pieces in the final minutes, but said they were badly affected by the two second-half penalties given by German referee Deniz Aytekin.

“In the second half it changed. The (Messi) penalty got them off to a great start, but I was already calmer because I could see the team was responding better, were better positioned on the pitch and could do damage,” said the Spanish coach.

“We had chances to make it 3-2 and then the refereeing decisions, I don’t know if they were right or not, but for sure they damaged us. Then in the last two minutes we lost everything we had recovered in the second-half.”

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, husband of Colombian pop star Shakira, predicted exuberant celebrations among the team’s fans.

“I would say to the hospitals of Barcelona to hire nurses,” said the father of two. “Tonight people will make a lot of love.” – Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G for R2 a month

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

And for this weekend only, you can become a subscriber by paying just R2 a month for your first three months.

Kieran Canning
Kieran Canning
Football correspondent for Agence France Presse in London. Still a follower of all things Spanish football. Views here are my own

Related stories

Uphill battle but Tehran aims to become bike-friendly

A new bike-sharing initiative in the Iranian capital is trying to ameliorate the city’s traffic and pollution problem

Madibeng has a ‘blatant disregard for the law’

The local municipality irregularly spent at least R443.8-million according to the auditor general’s latest report

Klipgat residents left high and dry

Flushing toilets were installed in backyards in the North West, but they can’t be used because the sewage has nowhere to go

Editorial: Crocodile tears from the coalface

Pumping limited resources into a project that is predominantly meant to extend dirty coal energy in South Africa is not what local communities and the climate needs.

DRC: Tshisekedi and Kabila fall out

The country’s governing coalition is under strain, which could lead to even more acrimony ahead

Nehawu leaders are ‘betraying us’

The accusation by a branch of the union comes after it withdrew from a parliamentary process
Advertising

Subscribers only

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my...

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

More top stories

DRC: Tshisekedi and Kabila fall out

The country’s governing coalition is under strain, which could lead to even more acrimony ahead

Editorial: Crocodile tears from the coalface

Pumping limited resources into a project that is predominantly meant to extend dirty coal energy in South Africa is not what local communities and the climate needs.

Klipgat residents left high and dry

Flushing toilets were installed in backyards in the North West, but they can’t be used because the sewage has nowhere to go

Nehawu leaders are ‘betraying us’

The accusation by a branch of the union comes after it withdrew from a parliamentary process
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…