Raphinha nets two goals as Barcelona defeats PSG 3-2 in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals

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Barcelona vs PSG (Credits: SportsBible)

When Barcelona was behind 2-1 and Paris Saint-Germain was pressing hard for another goal, Barcelona’s coach Xavi Hernández made some quick changes.

Midfielder Pedri came on and right away helped set up the tying goal for Raphinha at Parc des Princes stadium.

Then, just two minutes after coming in, central defender Andreas Christensen scored with a header from a corner kick, giving Barcelona a 3-2 victory in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday.

“Pedri’s impact was huge when he came on. I’m proud of the team. Christensen also came in and made a big difference,” Xavi said. “We did well tactically.” Raphinha was outstanding for Barcelona during the game, scoring twice before Christensen’s goal in the 77th minute.

Barcelona vs PSG

Christensen, a strong presence in the defense, headed İlkay Gündoğan’s corner kick from the left into the net past PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma from close range, catching him off guard. After that goal, PSG coach Luis Enrique looked disappointed.

“We made things a bit tough for ourselves. We managed to turn things around in the second half and could have even scored a third goal,” Enrique said. “Everything is still up for grabs for us, and we will go there with determination.”

Raphinha had a dynamic game and scored goals, while Kylian Mbappé, who usually scores a lot for PSG, didn’t perform well this time. Raphinha scored first in the 37th minute, but then Ousmane Dembélé, a former PSG player, equalized for Barcelona in the 48th minute.

Shortly after, midfielder Vitinha put PSG in the lead. Raphinha then scored again for Barcelona, making it 2-2 before Christensen’s winning goal.

The match was intense, with both teams making defensive mistakes. The return leg will be in Spain next Tuesday. In another quarterfinal, Atlético Madrid won against Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at home.

The rivalry between PSG and Barcelona has grown stronger in recent years, with Barcelona currently having the upper hand.

PSG eliminated Barcelona in the round of 16 in 2021, but struggled in the quarterfinals in 2013 and 2015. However, in March 2017, Barcelona, under Enrique’s management, made a historic comeback against PSG, winning 6-1 in the return leg after losing 4-0 in the first leg.

Barcelona vs PSG

While PSG doesn’t need such a massive comeback this time, they still need to improve. Captain Marquinhos highlighted the importance of not conceding goals from set-pieces and avoiding defensive lapses in the next match.

Kylian Mbappé’s performance needs to be better than it was in Wednesday’s game, which was played amid heightened security due to a reported terror threat. Despite the presence of armed police, there were no incidents.

Enrique had to make adjustments due to Achraf Hakimi’s suspension, moving Marquinhos to right back and benching midfielder Warren Zaïre-Emery.

PSG started brightly, but Barcelona soon took control. Although Lewandowski’s header was cleared off the line, Raphinha’s shot beat Donnarumma for the opening goal, with the PSG goalkeeper making a mistake.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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