Barcelona completes impossible comeback against Paris Saint-Germain

Barcelona FC celebrates its miraculous comebackBarcelona needed to perform a minor miracle to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals after losing 4-0 to Paris Saint Germain in the opening leg of their round of 16 matchup, and Wednesday’s second leg was nothing short of miraculous. Three goals scored after the 87th minute gave Barcelona a 6-1 win and a 6-5 aggregate advantage, leaving the rest of the world stunned by one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.

A header, an own goal, two penalty kicks, a free kick, and a volley in the final minute of extra time: on a day when Barcelona needed goals, they found many different ways to score. Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, and Neymar all found the net, with Neymar recording a brace, and Sergi Roberto got enough of his foot on a ball in by the Brazilian to send it over PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp for the decisive goal, which was necessary despite the 5-5 aggregate tie due to Edinson Cavani’s away goal earlier in the match.

PSG dominated the first leg at home, dismantling Barcelona’s tactics and handing them one of their worst defeats ever in European club competition, but Wednesday was a complete reversal. Barcelona controlled the pace from the opening whistle, striking three minutes into the match when a header from Suarez sailed just beyond the goal line before being cleared. PSG spent most of the first half backed into its own 18-yard box but didn’t concede a second goal until the 40th minute, when a ball by Andres Iniesta was accidentally directed in by PSG defender Layvin Kurzawa.

Messi made no mistake on a penalty kick early in the second half to bring Barcelona within one goal of erasing their aggregate deficit, which seemed inevitable with the run of play entirely in their favor. But Cavani brought Barcelona’s momentum to a crashing halt in the 62nd minute when he slotted a centering header by Kurzawa into the top of the net with the outside of his right foot, and he nearly gave PSG another away goal two minutes later if not for a kick save by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Cavani’s goal meant Barcelona would now need three more to avoid bowing out before the quarterfinals for the first time in a decade, and time was not on their side. The 3-1 scoreline held until the 88th minute, when Neymar earned a free kick on the edge of the penalty area and curled a perfect shot over the wall and past an unsuspecting Trapp to give Barcelona new life. Suarez drew a controversial penalty kick in the first minute of extra time, which Neymar converted with relative ease. The next four minutes were an all-out assault by Barcelona, culminating in Roberto’s goal to make it 6-1 and send the fans at Camp Nou into a delirious frenzy.