When Barcelona travel to face Paris Saint Germain next week in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie, it will be just over four years since the two clubs faced-off in what became known as La Remontada.
The first leg took place on 14th February in Paris, and it turned out to be a Valentine’s Day massacre. PSG took Barca to pieces, running out 4-0 winners thanks to goals from Angel Di Maria (2), Julian Draxler, and Edinson Cavani. It was an abject performance from Barcelona, who managed just one shot on target during the entire ninety minutes.
The return leg at the Camp Nou took place on 8th March. Most thought that the tie was over given that Barca needed to win by five clear goals, but the game still attracted a gate of over 96,000.
For Barca to have any chance at all, it was obvious that they would have needed an early goal. And they got one when Luis Suárez put them in front after just three minutes. Despite dominating the game, PSG kept their hosts at bay until five minutes before the interval when Layvin Kurzawa put through his own net. Barcelona went in at half-time two goals to the good, and by then, must’ve fancied their chances.
Things got better within five minutes of the restart when Lionel Messi converted a penalty to make the aggregate score 3-4. However, it seemed like it was game over just over ten minutes later when Edinson Cavani scored for PSG.
With two minutes to go, the score was 3-1 on the night to Barcelona, but 3-5 on aggregate. But then Neymar intervened, scoring twice in the space of two minutes, one from the penalty spot. This made it 5-5 on aggregate, but PSG benefitted from an away goal.
The officials had announced seven minutes of stoppage time, and incredibly, Barca substitute Sergi Roberto made it 6-1 in the final minute, a goal which sent Barcelona through to the last eight.
Fast forward four years, and Barcelona travel to Paris having been trounced by Paris Saint Germain once again, this time losing 4-1 at the Camp Nou. But this time, leading online bookmaker sportwetten-test.org believes there’ll be no La Remontada, for Barcelona are not the team they were four years ago. There’s no Luis Suárez. There’s no Neymar (he’s with Barca’s opponents). There’s no Iniesta or Rakitić. Lionel Messi is approaching his mid-thirties and seems keen to leave the Camp Nou. Barcelona are a team in transition.
So as much as the footballing romantics would love to see it, Barcelona aren’t going to take Paris Saint Germain to the cleaners next week. The Parisians have got this one.