PSG GETS A DRAW AGAINST BARCELONA
By: Neo Goba and Aphiwe Ngwenya
Paris Saint-Germain managed to stall Barcelona’s away goal advantage as they drew 2-2 during the first leg of the UEFA quarter-final match at Parc des Princes Stadium on Tuesday evening.
PSG came into this match with an incredible unbeaten home record with 26 games spanning over six years. Their last home defeat was against Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2006. David Beckham who also has not played in a UEFA Champions League match in three years, was in the starting line-up for PSG. Not having been in a Champions League quarter-final in nearly two decades, their last quarter-final match ended in victory over Barcelona in 1995.
A superb pass from Barcelona’s right-winger, Dani Alves using the outside of his boot to Lionel Messi, saw the little magician breaking the deadlock in the 38 minutes, after PSG failed to clear from a corner kick. At the start of the second half, early substitutions by Barcalona saw Cesc Fabregas replace Messi who suffered a hamstring injury.
The Catalans seemed to have won the game when Xavi Hernandez converted a penalty in the 89th minute after PSG’s goalkeeper, Salvatore Sirigu brought down Alexis Sanchez in the penalty box. After scoring so late in the game, the Catalans hopes were high given the advantage of two away goals, but PSG had to dig deep to equalise in the dying minutes.
PSG came from behind twice in the match. The second equaliser came through the Frenchman, Blaise Matuidi who popped up in the fourth minute of injury time to give PSG an equaliser and hope in the return match at Camp Nou next week. Although Matuidi got his name on the score sheet, he will miss out through suspension due to a yellow card he received during the match.
Barcelona also heads to the return leg with Carlos Puyol and Adriano Correla still ruled out on injuries. Defender Javier Mascherano, who also suffered a serious knee injury forcing him to leave the field, will also not be available for the return leg. It is still unclear whether Messi will be able to play again as he needs to undergo medical examination later this week which will determine the exact extent of the injury.