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Paris Saint-Germain 2-3 Barcelona: Match report and player ratings as Raphinha stars in Champions League thriller

In a breathtaking Champions League encounter, Barcelona twice came from behind to beat Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes.

Barcelona took advantage in their Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash after a 3-2 win against Paris Saint-Germain in Paris on Wednesday night. Raphinha’s double helped Barcelona to edge this match against Luis Enrique’s side which was full of twists and drama at the Parc des Princes. These two sides delivered a thrilling match in Paris, and now everything will be decided in the second leg in Barcelona next Tuesday.

Xavi’s side won the first half thanks to Raphinha’s goal, but PSG turned the match around after scoring two goals in three minutes immediately after half-time. Man of the match, Raphinha, leveled the game for Barcelona after scoring his second goal, and substitute Andreas Christensen completed the comeback with a header from a corner on his birthday.

PSG vs Barcelona: Play-by-Play

Photo via Getty Images

Robert Lewandowski came close to opening the scoring in the 21st minute with his header from Ilkay Gundogan’s corner, but PSG defender Nuno Mendes cleared the danger. Just two minutes later, Donnarumma denied Raphinha, Barca’s most dangerous player in the first 20 minutes.

Xavi’s men managed to break the deadlock first in this match in the 37th minute. On a counterattack, Lewandowski found Yamal in space with a clever switch of play. PSG keeper Donnarumma rushed out to intercept Yamal’s cross but only managed to send the ball into the path of Raphinha. The Brazilian winger scored his first Champions League goal with a right-footed finish that put the ball high into the net.

Xavi’s team played with confidence and bravery in the first half, and it is hard to argue that they weren’t worthy winners of the first half. PSG failed to get their dangerous front line involved in the game.

Comebacks in the Second Half

PSG put massive pressure on Barcelona at the start of the second half and needed just three minutes to level the game. Dembele passed the ball to Mbappe behind the defense, but the ball reached back to him after Ronald Araujo cleared Mbappe’s cross. The former Barcelona man sent a left-footed unstoppable effort into the roof of the net.

PSG fans were still celebrating Dembele’s goal when Enrique’s men turned this match around in under three minutes. Barcola moved the ball into a dangerous area on the right side and gave it to Fabian Ruiz. The midfielder passed the ball to Vitinha who had moved into space inside the box. The Portuguese player sent the ball past Ter Stegen with a calm effort to put PSG ahead.

The 21-year-old Bradley Barcola who replaced Asensio at half time could score the third goal for PSG in the 55th minute, but his effort was tipped onto the crossbar by ter Stegen.

After a shocking start into the second half, Barcelona players managed to find their composure again, and it was Raphinha again who scored for Xavi’s side in the 62nd minute. Cubarsi found Pedri in space and the Spanish midfielder sent a ball over PSG’s backline with his first touch of the match. Raphinha put the ball into the back of the net with a left-footed volley with the outside of his foot.

PSG continued to push for the third goal and came close to scoring when Vitinha’s pass split Barca’s defense and set Dembele free in the box. However, his right-footed shot hit the woodwork in the 75th minute.

Against the run of play, Barcelona completed their comeback in the 77th minute. Xavi once again made the difference with his substitute after Andrea Christensen scored with a header from Gundogan’s corner less than two minutes after replacing De Jong.

PSG pushed forward in the second half and created several goalscoring opportunities, but Barca players kept their composure after going behind and took their chances. Barcelona defenders managed to keep Mbappe quiet as he was largely anonymous, but they also rude their luck as PSG hit the woodwork twice.

Paris Saint-Germain Player Ratings (4-3-3)

Photo via Getty Images

Gianluigi Donnarumma (Gk) – (2/10):

The Italian keeper was nervous throughout the game and was at fault for all three goals. It is fair to say he failed to impress on the biggest stage.

Marquinhos (RB) – (5/10):

PSG captain probably was his team’s best defender on the night, but he should have done better on Barcelona’s third goal.

Lucas Hernandez (CB) – (5/10):

Started the game as a center-back but returned to right-back in the second half. He struggled physically in duels with Barcelona attackers.

Lucas Beraldo (CB) – (2/10):

Probably PSG’s worst player alongside Donnarumma. Failed to handle Lewandowski throughout the game, and it was evident he was inexperienced in this competition.

Nuno Mendes (LB)- (6/10):

Saved his team by clearing Lewandowski’s header early in the game, but struggled defensively during the game.

Lee Kang-in (AM) – (5/10):

Showed his quality with his passing but was poor without the ball and failed to control the game as PSG’s most advanced midfielder.

Vitinha (DM) – (7/10):

Produced a strong all-around performance and scored PSG’s second goal.

Fabian Ruiz (CM) – (6/10):

Like other PSG midfielders struggled defensively but created the second goal with his excellent through ball for Vitinha.

Ousmane Dembele (FW) – (7/10):

He was PSG’s most dangerous player in the first half and scored the equalizer with a stunning effort. He was bright in the second half and hit the bar.

Marco Asensio (ST) – (3/10):

He was anonymous in the first half and touched the ball 17 times. Former Real Madrid men was replaced at half-time.

Kylian Mbappe (FW) – (5/10):

A disappointing night for the French superstar. He struggled to get into the game and was quiet throughout the game.

Substitutes

Bradley Barcola (FW) – (7/10):

The French winger replaced Asensio at half-time and changed the game completely. Played a key role in Vitinha’s goal and only the crossbar denied him from scoring.

Warren Zaire-Emery (AM) – (5/10):

The talented player failed to show his quality and was at fault for Christensen’s goal.

Goncalo Ramos (ST) – (N/A):

Replaced Fabian Ruiz with five minutes to play.

Manager

Luis Enrique (5/10):

His decision to start Asensio in attack and youngster Beraldo in defense did not work in the first half. His team turned around the match in the second half after his half-time substitute. However, they were far too open at the back and made several mistakes which cost them the game.

Barcelona Player Ratings (4-2-3-1)

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen: (GK) (7)

The German goalkeeper once again showed his ball-playing ability but could have done better for either of PSG’s goals.

Joao Cancelo: (LB) – (6)

The Portuguese was solid in attack and defense but his delivery was disappointing.

Pau Cubarsi: (CB) – (7)

The 17-year-old did not freeze on the biggest stage and made key interceptions. The youngster showed he has a big future ahead of him in a Barcelona shirt.

Ronald Araujo: (CB) – (8.0)

He could have done better on PSG’s first goal but denied Barcola with an excellent block. The Uruguayan organized the backline well.

Jules Kounde: (RB) – (8)

Kept Kylian Mbappe quiet and created some chances for Barcelona forwards. Undoubtedly one of the best players on the pitch.

Frenkie De Jong: (CM) – (7)

Helped Barca to retain possession and was a calming presence. His energy level dropped in the second half as he was not fully fit.

Sergi Roberto: (CM) – (6)

Failed to make an impact but did not commit many mistakes. Booked and now will miss the second leg.

Ilkay Gundogan: (AM) – (8)

The German midfielder helped his team with his experience and showed his quality in the attacking midfield role. He created the third goal with a delivery from the corner.

Raphinha: (LW) – (9)

Deservedly was chosen as the official man of the match. He was Barcelona’s most dangerous forward player throughout the game and made the difference with two quality finishes.

Robert Lewandowski: (ST) – (7)

The Polish star did not score but constantly created problems for PSG defenders. He held up the ball well for Barcelona and created space for Raphinha.

Lamine Yamal: (RW) – (6)

The youngster was nervous and failed to show his true quality, but still made a few problems for PSG defenders with his dribbles.

Substitutes

Pedri: (CM) – (7.0)

Celebrated his return from injury with a stunning assist for Raphinha. Helped Barca to control the middle of the pitch better with his passing.

Joao Felix: (RW) – (6.0)

The Portuguese replaced Lamine Yamal and created problems for PSG’s defense with his dangerous runs.

Andreas Christensen: (CB) – (8)

Scored the winning goal seconds after coming on and was solid in the last 13 minutes but will miss the second leg after receiving a yellow card.

Ferran Torres: (LW) – (N/A)

Came on too late to make an impact.

Fermin Lopez (CM) – (N/A):

He had no time to make an impact.

Manager

Xavi (7/10):

His team was brave going forward and produced some lovely attacking moves but struggled defensively in the second half. His side now has a crucial lead for their home leg after he made the difference with his substitutions.

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.
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