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Raphinha bags brace as Barca beat PSG

2024/04/10 22:01
E5

Former Leeds winger Raphinha scored twice as Barcelona beat Paris St Germain 3-2 in an absorbing Champions League quarter-final first leg at Parc des Princes on Wednesday night. 

The Brazilian put the visitors ahead in the first-half, but two quickfire strikes from Ousmane Dembele and Vitinha after the break put PSG in the ascendency. 

The home side twice hit the woodwork, but Barca levelled at 2-2 thanks to Raphinha's second of the night and then sub Andreas Christensen sealed victory with a header from Ilkay Gundogan's corner. 


The Action: With the Parc des Princes rocking, the hosts started sharply and forced a couple of early corners to test the mettle of their Spanish opposition. 

However, Xavi's side dealt well with their early defensive tasks and created the game's first moment of genuine attacking threat when Raphinha burst through one v one with Gianluigi Donnarumma, but the big Italian raced out to produce a perfectly-timed tackle to deny the Brazilian. 

Although the game was yet to really hit its stride, it was the visitors making most of the early running and PSG defender Nuno Mendes made a goal-line clearance, after Donnarumma had made a hash of collecting a corner, before the hosts' keeper was again called into action to again deny Raphinha, this time with a diving stop from a long range effort. 

The home side reacted, Lee Kang-in firing off a snapshot that Marc-Andre per Stegen parried out - and a subsequent VAR check for a reckless looking tackle from João Cancelo on Kylian Mbappé cleared the Portuguese of any wrongdoing. 

Barca were the better side, though, and they had again threatened with a well-worked corner routine before they took the lead through danger man Raphinha. 

A break down the Catalans' right flank ended with teenager Lamine Yamal whipping in a cross with the outside of his boot that Donnarumma could only palm into the path of the former Leeds winger, who steadied himself before burying a right-footed finish past two despairing defenders on the line. 

A first-half booking for captain Sergi Roberto - which will rule him out of the second leg - took a little of the gloss off things for the Spaniards, but the first 45 minutes of the contest certainly belonged to Barcelona. 

Half-time: PSG 0-1 Barcelona

PSG boss Luis Enrique had plenty to say in the build-up to the encounter and whatever he said at the interval here worked wonders!

Portuguese midfielder Vitinha had already fired over from a promising position for the hosts when PSG levelled on 48 minutes through enigmatic winger Ousmane Dembele, who cut back onto his left foot in the area and sent a scorching shot into the roof of the net. 

Two minutes later and the hosts were ahead: Vitinha timing his run into the box well and sliding a low left-footed effort past ter Stegen to make it 2-1 to PSG. 

The Parisians were threatening to completely overwhelm Barca - sub Bradley Barcola rattling the crossbar after another raid forward down the right after 54 minutes. 

However, in a game that was rapidly evolving into a humdinger, Barcelona recovered some composure and fashioned a lovely equaliser on the hour mark - Raphinha scoring his second of the evening with a gorgeous volley after a fantastic lifted ball over the top from Pedri. 

The contest was evenly poised and the next big chance fell the way of PSG, the lively Barcola denied by a fantastic last-ditch tackle from Ronaldo Araujo when he burst through and looked to pull the trigger. 

Vitinha was running the show in PSG's midfield and his precise through-ball to Dembele carved open the visitors on 74 minutes, but the Frenchman was only able to direct his shot against the post from around 12 yards out. 

It was a truly unpredictable game and, after riding their luck somewhat, Barcelona struck to take a 3-2 lead - sub Andreas Christensen rising highest to head home an Ilkay Gundogan corner. 

As the game entered its final throes, the hosts looked to chisel out an equaliser, but they were unable to find one - Mbappe's late flashed shot wide of the target the closest they came. 

 

Comments

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LH
2024-04-11 00h24m by lhalliday_bart
Wow, what a game! Raphinha was on fire tonight His two goals were pure class and helped us secure a crucial away win against PSG. Can't wait for the second leg at Camp Nou!
NL
2024-04-11 00h03m by nlawson12
Wow, what a match! Raphinha showing his class once again with two amazing goals. But PSG definitely put up a fight, Dembele and Vitinha were on fire. Unfortunate to hit the woodwork twice, but that second goal from Raphinha was pure magic. And that header from Christensen Perfect ending.
2024-04-10 23h37m by mfosterfield
Wow, what a game! Raphinha was on fire tonight, scoring two amazing goals for Barcelona. But PSG fought back and almost had us there. Heart-stopping moments, but we came out with the win in the end. Can't wait for the second leg!
JW
2024-04-10 23h00m by jwhiteheadbarnes
Wow, what an intense game! Raphinha was on fire tonight, scoring two amazing goals for Barca. But PSG fought back hard with those quick goals from Dembele and Vitinha. It was so nerve-wracking watching them hit the woodwork twice, but we never gave up. And when Raphinha scored his second goal, I knew we had a chance. But that header from Christensen off Gundogan's corner was the clincher. What a relief to get
HT
2024-04-10 22h24m by hturnerford
Wow, what a game! Raphinha showing why he deserves to be a starter for Barca with those goals Dembele and Vitinha had a great second half, but we never give up!
featured game(s)
U Wednesday, 10 April 2024 - 20:00
Parc des Princes
Anthony Taylor
2-3
Ousmane Dembélé 48'
Vitinha 51'
Raphinha 37' 62'
Andreas Christensen 77'

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