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Raphinha scores twice as Barcelona beats PSG 3-2 in 1st leg of Champions League quarterfinals



Raphinha scores twice as Barcelona beats PSG 3-2 in 1st leg of Champions League quarterfinals

PARIS (AP) — Together with his crew trailing 2-1 and Paris Saint-Germain pushing exhausting for one more aim, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández’s substitutions paid off instantly.

Midfielder Pedri arrange the equalizer for Raphinha inside a minute of approaching at Parc des Princes stadium.

Then, two minutes after his introduction, central defender Andreas Christensen headed dwelling from a nook to provide Barcelona a 3-2 win within the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday.

“Pedri got here on and helped us so much. I’m very pleased with the crew. Christensen additionally got here on and helped,” Xavi stated. “Tactically we did rather well.”

Raphinha was the choose of Barcelona’s gamers on the evening, and the Brazil ahead had scored twice earlier than Christensen’s 77th-minute aim.

The imposing Christensen headed İlkay Gündoğan’s nook from the left previous Gianluigi Donnarumma from shut vary because the PSG goalkeeper stood rooted to his line as an alternative of difficult for the ball.

After that aim, PSG coach Luis Enrique’s head dropped.

“We made issues a bit tough for ourselves. We managed to show issues round within the second half and will have had a 3rd (aim),” Enrique stated. “All the things’s nonetheless open for us and we’ll go there with ambition.”

Raphinha’s vigorous efficiency and ending contrasted with a lackluster efficiency from Kylian Mbappé, who has scored a membership document 251 objectives for PSG however didn’t hit the goal this time or make lots of his trademark electrical runs from deep.

Raphinha opened the scoring within the thirty seventh and Ousmane Dembélé equalized within the forty eighth in opposition to his former membership. Three minutes later, midfielder Vitinha put PSG forward from Fabián Ruiz’s move in a pulsating match the place Dembélé hit the left put up moments earlier than Christensen’s aim.

Raphinha curled Barcelona forward after Donnarumma struggled with Lamine Yamal’s slick right-wing cross, which the 16-year-old Spain winger exquisitely flicked with the skin of his left foot.

Sloppy defending from either side adopted.

Mbappé’s left-wing cross was hacked clear by Ronald Araújo and fell to Dembélé, who minimize inside Frenkie de Jong and slammed the ball previous goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen.

Vitinha was afforded an excessive amount of house from Fabián Ruiz’s move, and slid a shot underneath his physique.

Raphinha learn substitute Pedri’s fantastically weighted lengthy move and clipped a volley previous Donnarumma, making it 2-2 within the 62nd forward of Christensen’s winner. Raphinha turned and stood nonetheless, arms crossed, defying the PSG crowd jeering him.

A fan ran onto the sphere seconds after the ultimate whistle however was rapidly caught by stewards.

The return leg is subsequent Tuesday in Spain.

Within the different quarterfinal Wednesday, Atlético Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at dwelling.

The rivalry between PSG and Barcelona has intensified lately, with Barcelona once more within the driver’s seat.

PSG knocked Barcelona out within the spherical of 16 in 2021, however endured quarterfinal exits in 2013 and 2015. Then, in March 2017, Enrique’s Barca routed PSG 6-1 within the return leg of their last-16 match to make Champions League comeback historical past after shedding 4-0.

PSG doesn’t want a comeback of that magnitude however should enhance.

“We pressed very excessive up the sphere they usually tried to interrupt our strains to search out (striker Robert) Lewandowski. They did it very nicely and it prompted us issues,” PSG captain Marquinhos stated. “It’s true that the small particulars make the distinction. Conceding a aim from a nook, and permitting a second aim with the ball entering into behind us. It’s one thing we will’t afford to do subsequent week.”

Mbappé could have to play much better than he did in Wednesday’s sport, which went forward with a bolstered safety presence an alleged Islamic State terror menace in opposition to Champions League matches this week. Some armed police have been stationed across the stadium however there have been no incidents.

Achraf Hakimi’s suspension compelled Enrique right into a reshuffle and he positioned Marquinhos at proper again. Surprisingly, midfielder Warren Zaïre-Emery was on the bench.

PSG made a vivid begin earlier than the guests took management.

Lewandowski’s header from Gündoğan’s cross was cleared off the road by Nuno Gomes and, moments later, Raphinha’s low drive drew a save from Donnarumma.

Donnarumma was at fault for the opening aim when he fisted Lamina’s cross down the center of the penalty space and was then stranded when Raphinha shot first time.


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