MOTD 2- Paris Saint-Germain 2-2 Barcelona

Paris Saint-Germain scored an injury time goal to earn a draw against Barcelona at the Parc des Princes in the first leg of their Uefa Champions League Quarterfinal tie, giving the French side hope in their almost impossible bid to beat the Barca and qualify for the Semifinals.  Amazingly, PSG started the match relatively well (for a side playing Barcelona), with the French side almost opening the scoring only four minutes into the match when Javier Pastore gave Ezequiel Lavezzi space in the Barca box with a chest-pass.  Lavezzi cut the ball across his body to lose Barca defender Gerard Pique, and curled a shot to the far post with his left foot that beat Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes, but hit the inside of the post and bounced away.  Barca started to settle into the match, playing their usual tiki-taka style, although The Blaugrana were a bit sloppy with their passes which allowed PSG multiple counter-attacks.

PSG had another chance to open the scoring in the fifteenth minute when Zlatan Ibrahimovic collected the remains of a David Beckham free-kick on the left flank and laid the ball to Pastore at the edge of the box, who hit a dipping shot on goal.  Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes scrambled across goal to palm the shot away at the near post. Barca kept on top, forcing PSG to retreat into their own box for minutes at a time.  The Blaugrana almost scored in the seventeenth when Andreas Iniesta received the ball on the edge of the eighteen and curled a shot inches above the top corner of the goal.  PSG did look dangerous on the counter-attack, with Ibrahimovic forcing Valdes into a good save from a free-kick, and dragging an effort just wide after Lucas played him in on goal.

Barca started to look more and more dangerous, with Alexis Sanchez forcing a good save down low out of Valdes in the thirty-first minute.  The Blaugrana unsurprisingly opened the scoring in the thirty-seventh minute when Dani Alves received a PSG clearance.  Alves hit one of the best passes you’ll ever see, a outside of the foot curling ball that dropped right in front of Lionel Messi at the edge of the box, which Messi let bounced before he hit a first-touch volley past PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu into the far corner of the net.  Barca looked like they might double their lead before halftime, with Messi hitting a shot just over the bar, but they could not score again and the first half ended 1-0.

With Messi being subbed out at halftime due to hamstring injury, PSG started the second half looking the better side, but Bacra closed all of the gaps and the Blaugrana returned to being the more dominant side.  Sanchez forced Sirigu into two good saves in the sixty and sixty-fifth minute, and Alves blazed a free-kick just wide of the post in the sixty-ninth minute, but Barca could not put the match to bed.  PSG took advantage of that, and almost grabbed an equalizer in the seventy-seventh minute when Barca failed to clear a corner.  The ball fell to Ibrahimovic at the back post, but could not make clean contact with the ball, and shinning it straight at Valdes when he clean through on goal.  Amazingly, PSG managed to find an equalizer seconds later when David Beckham curled a free-kick into the box from the left.  Thiago Silva, who had done brilliantly to not let Barca score more than one, rose above his marker and powered a header that bounced off the inside of the near post.  Before any Barca players could clear it, Ibrahimovic tapped the rebound into the back of the net after coming back from a yard-and-a-half offside.

The game looked like it would end a draw, but in the last minute of the match Sanchez was put in on goal, and Sirigu brought him down even though he did not need to.  Referee Wolfgang Stark rightfully awarded a penalty, which Xavi coolly converted into the bottem right corner with Sirigu diving to the left.  The match looked over, with Barca winning, but stunningly PSG grabbed an equalizer with the last touch of the match.  Jallet volleyed the ball into the box, Ibrahimovic nodded it down to Blaise Matuidi, and the Frenchman volleyed it on goal.  It took a slight deflection off of Barca substitute Marc Bartra, which completely fooled Valdes who did not manage to get a strong hand on the ball as it flew into the back of the net.  That was to be the last touch of the match, with PSG only needing a draw at the Nou Camp in the second leg to advance to the Semifinals.


Blaise Matuidi celebrates his injury-time goal


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