Barcelona vs PSG Classic Clash: March 9, 2017

The Hard Tackle looks back at a classic clash featuring Barcelona and PSG ahead of their Champions League quarter-final second leg.

Over the years, we have witnessed quite a few high-voltage fixtures between Barcelona and PSG. The first leg of the quarter-finals between the two teams at the Parc des Princes was another high-quality game that kept everyone on the edge of their seats.

The first leg ended in disappointment for the home team as they ended up losing 3-2 on the night. They will not travel to Spain in hopes of reviving themselves, but they do have a huge task in front of them. PSG need to go to Barcelona’s home turf and overturn a one-goal deficit, while the Catalan giants need to ensure they do not lose on the night.

Raphinha was the one who gave Barcelona the lead with a brilliant individual display. But, soon former Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele brought PSG back into the thick of things by smashing one into the back of the net. The home team took the lead thanks to a strike by Vitinha.

Unfortunately, they could not hold onto the lead as Raphinha levelled things up for the Catalan giants before Xavi’s master stroke to bring on Andreas Christensen worked in their favour as he headed home their third goal of the night.

They managed to come out on top and now have a goal advantage heading into the second leg at their temporary home ground the Olympic Stadium. Despite the lead that Barcelona have, the tie is far from over as the next 90 minutes will give PSG a chance to bounce back. Given the kind of quality they have in their lineup, they will surely make things difficult for the Blaugrana.

Laying the setting

Heading into the first leg, both teams were level in terms of the head-to-head score. But the win in the first leg means Barcelona have a superior head-to-head record, as they have registered five wins while PSG have won on four occasions.

The two teams have played out a draw on four occasions. While a draw will be good enough for the Spanish club, the French giants will have to ensure they win on the night to take the game into extra-time. Only a win by a two-goal margin will help them go through.

The two teams have squared up against each other in the knockout round of the UEFA Champions League on five occasions, Barcelona have gone through on three occasions, while PSG have made it to the next round on two occasions.

The last time when the two teams met in the knockout rounds was in the 2020/21 season. It was a Round of 16 clash, where the French giants won 4-1 away from home in the first leg and managed to hold Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in their backyard to go through.

The second leg of the quarter-final tie between the two teams promises to be an edge-of-the-seat thriller. But, before we focus on that fixture, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at an epic clash between the two teams which took place on March 9, 2017, at Camp Nou.

What happened on March 9, 2017?

Before we focus on what happened on March 9, let’s focus on Barcelona’s 4-0 defeat at the hands of PSG in the first leg of the Round of 16 clash at the Parc de Princes on February 15.

A star-studded Barcelona team that had a front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar suffered at the hands of the French giants despite being the favourites. They failed to score on the night despite having the majority of the ball and ended up conceding four goals.

Argentina’s Angel Di María was the star man for PSG as he scored twice on the night and played a key role in their 4-0 thrashing of the Catalan giants. It was one of the most disappointing nights in Barcelona’s history, and very few could have predicted what happened on March 9.

The biggest setback became a drive for the Spanish club as they scripted history at Camp Nou. Once again they had the majority of the ball. But this time, it was a lot more than just keeping the ball, they had the intent to go all out from the first whistle.

Barcelona pulled one back in the third minute of the game thanks to Luis Suarez. They kept the pressure up throughout and before the end of the first half a Kurzawa own goal saw them half the deficit. But, there was still a mountain to climb.

Five minutes into the second half, Neymar earned a penalty, which was slotted home by Messi to bring them within touching distance of PSG. But 12 minutes later, Edinson Cavani scored an all-important away goal once again, giving PSG the edge (3-5).

With 28 minutes plus injury time to go, Barcelona had to score another three goals to complete an epic comeback. PSG managed to keep their lead intact until the 87th minute before Neymar smashed a free-kick into the top left corner to reignite the fire.

Minutes later, Suarez earned a penalty which was converted by Neymar and with five minutes to go in injury time, Barcelona needed another goal to go through. This time the Brazilian winger managed to set up Sergi Roberto for a 90+5′ minute winner, which will forever be remembered by the Barcelona fans as it helped them complete a historic comeback, a comeback no one could have predicted but the Spanish club managed to pull it off in some fashion.

The Aftermath

The historic 6-1 comeback in the second leg after being smashed 4-0 away from home helped Barcelona make it to the quarter-finals of that year’s Champions League where they met Juventus. The Old Lady were at the peak of their powers that season.

The Bianconeri had one of the best defences in the world and they did showcase their strength over the two legs. They managed to keep the famous MSN trio quiet for 180 minutes over the two legs. Juventus kept a clean sheet in both the leg and the 3-0 win in the first was enough to take them to the next round.

It was a disappointing end to Barcelona’s Champions League campaign, and their 6-1 win over PSG on March 9 might be the best thing that has happened to the club in Europe in the recent past as it has been a while since they won the competition.

But, they do have a chance to make it to the semi-finals this time around, having taken home a 3-2 lead heading into the second leg against PSG. Whatever happens in the second leg this time around could be a big boost for either team to go on and push for the UEFA Champions League title.

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