PSG v Barcelona – as it happened

A thrilling finale saw three goals in the final stages as PSG twice came from behind to force a draw at Parc des Princes
• In pictures: all the action from Parc des Princes

Right, that's it from me. After That Pass, That Offside Decision, That Daft Bit of Goalkeeping and That, er, Slightly Deflected Shot I need a lie down and a stiff drink. It's beautifully set up for the second leg – PSG have got a chance if they can just disrupt that relentless Barça rhythm and get the ball forward. By no means are the Spanish side secure at the back. Even so, you'd still back Barça to reach the final four. Be sure to stick around on site for Daniel Taylor's match report plus all the reaction and comment. But from me, cheerio!

Well, well, well. PSG still have a mountain to climb in Catalonia, but at least they've given themselves some crampons and a couple of slices of Kendal mint cake.


And that's that! What a finale!


GOAL! PSG 2-2 Barcelona (Matuidi 90+4)

SACRE BLEU!!! Jallet garryowens the ball into the box, Ibrahimovic nods down to Matuidi and the midfielder fires at goal. There's a slight touch from Marc Bartra that proves enough to beat Valdes.


90+2 min: Ibrahimovic crashes the ball past Valdes but this time the flag is up. And, in truth, the Barcelona defence had stopped.

90+1 min: There will be four minutes of stoppage time to play.

90 min: What a way to hand Barcelona the win. Trying to think of an excuse for Sirigu, but I don't think there really is one. It was village-idiot daft.

GOAL! PSG 1-2 Barcelona (Xavi 89pen)

Sirigu goes left. Xavi rolls the ball right.


88 min: Sanchez goes down under Sirigu's silly, silly lunge.

86 min: Gameiro is a lucky bounce away from getting on the end of Ibrahimovic's flick on. Instead Barcelona clear and in doing so, Ibrahimovic is late on Alba. It's another yellow.

85 min: Cleverer people than what I am have done screengrabs of that offside call just as Thiago Motta heads goalwards. Fairly clear, no?


84 min: Alves goes into the book for his angry reaction to a throw in going to PSG. Barcelona just feel a touch rattled now.

83 min: In fact he needs rather more than the magic sponge – he needs the stretcher. Not entirely sure that happened there, but Marc Bartra is on to replace him

82 min: Mascherano needs some magic sponge treatment here.

81 min: Barcelona just switched off a touch there, what with the chance from the corner and the clash of heads creating a collective mini head-frazzle. It was Villa who rather needlessly conceded the free-kick that led to the goal. Although they still have every right to feel aggrieved about the offside decision.


GOAL! PSG 1-1 Barcelona (Ibrahimovic 80)

It's an equaliser! PSG swing in a free-kick from 40 yards out, Thiago Silva powers a wonderful header at goal. It pings back off the post and Ibramhimovic, a good yard and a half offside, is first to react and pokes home!


79 min: … but it comes to four-fifths of nothing very much.

78 min: Barcelona will have to the corner with nine men, the two players having had treatment …

77 min: From the corner two Barcelona players clash heads and are down on the deck and are therefore playing Ibrahimovic onside as the ball comes in. He's clean through … but shins it! Valdes turns the ball behind and Barcelona surround the referee in a hot funk.

76 min: Moura gets a glancing head on it but Busquets deflects the ball behind.


75 min: Gameiro replaces Pastore ahead of the set-piece.

74 min: It's Menez's turn to get intimately acquainted with the Parc des Princes turf. Mascherano goes into the book and PSG have a useful free-kick on the left edge of the Barça box.


73 min: … Xavi takes it … a clip off the wall leaves Sirigu beaten – but it's onto the roof!

72 min: Alex touches Villa in the back. Villa flops to the deck like a fainting dolphin. Still free-kick …

70 min: Maxwell and Pastore combine brilliantly down the PSG left. The full-back cuts inside neatly but tries to beat Valdes as his near post rather than look for a team-mate. It's a save as routine as a cup of tea in the morning.

69 min: And that booking is Beckham's last action. Verratti replaces him in the PSG midfield.

68 min: Alves clips the free-kick at goal and is little more than a foot wide of the mark. Don't think Sirigu would've got there.

67 min: Loose touch from Beckham 30 yards from his own goal. Sanchez sneaks in to steal the ball and Beckham brings him down while attempting to recover. Free-kick. And a yellow for Beckham. Which will be nicely colour co-ordinated with his goldenb… [SNIP - Good Taste police].


66 min: Off goes Lavezzi, on comes Menez. And Matuidi goes into the book for a late chop. That means he'll miss the second leg.

65 min: Sanchez gets a sight of goal but can only strike straight at Sirigu.

64 min: While we were all drooling over That Pass … "Tony Gale: underwhelmist," notes James Dart.

63 min: Matuidi picks off a loose Fabregas pass and storms forward. Again Ibrahimovic can't quite keep the momentum. Just seems to be trying to do too much at the moment, understandable really given the lack of ball PSG have enjoyed.

62 min: Jordi Alba gets a yellow for, I think, pulling back Lucas during that last attack.

61 min: Lucas wins the ball for his side inside the Barcelona half and feeds Ibrahimovic but again the forward can't untangle his legs and make a decisive move.

60 min: … another Ibrahimovic-seeking missile.

59 min: Xavi drifts in another corner but again it seems a little too clever for its own good. PSG just about clear. Another corner …

58 min: Ibrahimovic joins the Improbable Pass Party with a gorgeous little scoopy flick through to Matuidi, who can't quite take advantage.

57 min: Jallet lofts a cross in, Alves misjudges the flight which allows Ibrahimovic to bring the ball down but his touch isn't quite instant or decisive enough and Alves recovers.


55 min: Iniesta plays and inadvertent one-two with Thiago Silva but can't scoop his pass through to the rather quiet Villa.

54 min: Barcelona caress the ball around midfield. PSG rebuild their eight-man defensive wall and hope the cement sets.


53 min: Again PSG work the ball nicely through Pastore, Beckham and Jallet. The latter's crossfield ball finds Lucas, but he can't twist away from his markers.

52 min: Pastore robs Alves and feeds Ibrahimovic, but the big Swede can't wriggle space inside the area and ends up crowded out.

51 min: Some neat one-touch stuff almost gets Matuidi in behind the Barcelona defence, but the midfielder can't quite keep the return ball from Pastore under his spell. The crowd howl for a penalty as he collides with Mascherano but it's more in hope than expectation.

50 min: … Xavi lofts it in deep, Matuidi botches the clearance and Busquets shoots first-time but Sirigu drops on the shot comfortably.

49 min: Alves finds Fabregas in a yard of space inside the area. Thiago Silva makes the block. Corner …

48 min: Beckham wins a free-kick in midfield. He's not done a great deal on the ball – PSG haven't really had the ball – but he's worked hard without it along with Matuidi.

47 min: Thiago Silva turns Fabregas, rumbles out of defence and looks to put Lavezzi in down the right channel. The pass isn't good enough, though, and Barça clear.

46 min: Jallet drills in a low cross to the edge of the area where Pastore is lurking but the €39m man can't control the ball and the chance is lost.


PEEP! Off we go again. Can PSG reverse the tide? Let's see shall we …

Half-time substitute watch

Messi's twanging hamstring has ended his game. Cesc Fábregas replaces him for Barcelona.

Half-time email love for That Pass

"That ball by Alves was the best pass I have seen this season," writes Ivan Milatovic. "Everyone will talk about Messi's goal, but to see the pass was amazing skill (from the right-back)!"

"A minor point but an important one," writes Jason Conduct. "You state that Messi controlled the Alves pass. The ball from Alves was SUCH a good ball no control was needed. Sublime is much overused in football journalism. Apt in this case though."

"I hate to be the 'philosophy major' but why the hell not," writes Travis Dudfield. "Kant said: 'We call that sublime which is absolutely great.'
The Alves pass qualifies perfectly according to this definition. Now I'll just brush the leather elbow patches on my tweed blazer."


PEEP! And there is the whistle. Barcelona lead thanks to a pass so good I'd like to take it down the pub and buy it a pint. You know, just as friends.


45 min: One added minute to play. Messi is essentially standing still, waiting for the whistle.

44 min: This could be bad news for Barcelona – Messi is rubbing his hamstring nervously and soothingly, like a vet rubbing a keening sow. Possibly.

43 min: Lucas looks to cut between two defenders. He's eased out. Matuidi lines up a shot. It's blocked. Beckham swings the ball in. Headed away.


41 min: The home side need a spark. For which they need the ball. What they don't need is Messi accelerating past defenders and lining up a shot from 25 yards out. Narrowly over that time.


39 min: PSG haven't played all that badly here at all, but they've been so starved of the oxygen of the ball. Playing this Barça side is the footballing equivalent of being asphyxiated by a bed of sweet smelling flowers.

GOAL! PSG 0-1 Barcelona (Messi 38)

PSG can't fully clear the corner which drops out to Alves who plays, and this is not hyperbole, one of the best passes I think I've ever witnessed with the outside of his boot. Messi controls and fires past Sirigu with the inevitability of the tide.

37 min: Again Alba road-runners his way down the outside of Sanchez, who uses the decoy to cut inside and fire wide, via a deflection.

36 min: … which Xavi delivers straight onto the head of Ibrahimovic.


35 min: Alves romps down the right and wins a corner …

34 min: Lavezzi goes down under pressure from Alves and Iniesta … but is relieved to hear the whistle and the award of a free-kick.

33 min: Beckham delivers a free-kick in his own half up towards the Barcelona area. It's pretty aimless. Barcelona clear.

31 min: I'm no tactical wizard but the word I'd use to describe PSG so far is compact. In the same way that an estate agent might describe a tiny cupboard of a studio flat as compact.

29 min: Our match stats suggest Barça have had 74% of the ball so far. So they'll be a little disappointed.

28 min: More roars of approval as Matuidi relieves Iniesta of the ball on the PSG right.

27 min: Alex and Jallet combine to squeeze Messi off the ball on the edge of the box.

26 min: Interesting crowd dynamic here. Predictably they're going loopy whenever PSG have the ball, but Barcelona have about 45 seconds of grace before the whistles and boos start raining down.


25 min: Barcelona are beginning to monopolise possession, but suddenly PSG break at speed. Lucas surges away and finds Ibrahimovic, who shuffles the ball onto his left then drags his shot just wide.

23 min: Matuidi is working incredibly hard in front of the back four. Good, disciplined pressing from PSG.

21 min: Barça are still playing in front of the PSG back four. Most other teams you'd say:' They're struggling to break them down', but then this is just what Barcelona do. Indeed, just as I type that Messi very nearly wriggles away from Thiago Silva inside the box.

20 min: "Barça have their Tequila Sunrise look: I can't decide if its too 70s nostalgia or if its just massively fugly on its own terms?" writes Bronwyn Jones. "But the real question is do they have their sharpness back now that Tito is on the touch line? I think not quite..." Either way, that's an excuse for this:


19 min: … drilled low by Ibrahimovic with the force of a thunderclap but Valdes gets a firm wrist on it and turns the thing away.

18 min: Ibrahimovic tumbles on the edge of the box. Proper chance this …

17 min: Barcelona line up on the edge of the box, PSG line up just inside the box and look to keep them out. Eventually Iniesta looks to curl one into the top corner and he's this close to breaking the deadlock. Great effort.

16 min: This has been a promising start for the home side, although Alves keeps finding useful odds and ends of room on the right.

15 min: … Beckham takes, Moura heads wide but Barcelona can't clear fully. Ibrahimovic does well to find Pastore on the edge of the box and he gets Valdes scrambling to make the save.

14 min: Some lovely interplay between the PSG forwards ends with Lucas being tripped by Busquets. Dangerous free-kick this. Too far out for a shot I think …

13 min: … whipped in by Beckham, won by Alex, who leaps like a second rower in a lineout but can only nod well wide.

12 min: Lucas Moura latches onto a Beckham ball and wins a corner off Mascherano …

11 min: Villa and Alves contrive to lose the ball. PSG contrive to give the ball back.

10 min: Lavezzi gets another sniff at goal after good work from Ibrahimovic, but this time the Argentinian is offside.

9 min: That genuinely was a rather unwieldly wang from Xavi – really seemed incongruous. Like a ballet dancer doing the Hoovering. Although I'm sure they do.

8 min: Xavi wangs a shot well wide from the edge of the box.

7 min: "If you ask me Dani Alves is channeling 90s R&B 'star' Sisquo, particularly the look he sported in teen classic 'Get Over It', circa 2001…" writes Mike Wood, showing a little too much Sisquo knowledge for comfort.


6 min: Sanchez finds Alba on one of his trademark overlaps but his cross can't find a Barcelona noggin. And replays show it was actually Busquets who diverted that previous PSG attack onto the post.


4 min: Lucas and Jallet again combine down the right. The ball gets worked inside, Lavezzi cleverly lets the bobbling ball come across him. A defender – I think Pique – sticks out a boot to make the tackle but can only poke the ball past Valdes. It rattles back off the inside of the post!

3 min: Lucas looks to go down the right but gets dumped to the turf. Beckham takes the free-kick short and PSG look to build from the back.

2 min: Dani Alves, currently channeling a soupçon of Abel Xavier's style (though without quite the excess), wriggles some space on the right, but can't get on the end of a one-two without a push on a defender.

1 min: Barcelona take the kick off and it's nearly 50 seconds before a PSG player can get a foot in. Pattern set.

Peep! Off we go then. Barcelona, in their lollypop yellow and orange, get things under way.


Gamble! Buy a car! Err, use lots of gas? Drink beer!


Here comes the Champions League anthem …

So listen to a bit of this instead. It's much more interesting. But only 90 seconds worth, mind. Kick off is imminent.

Click-clack, click-clack …

The teams are in the slighlty weird foyer area that passes for a tunnel tunnel.


The Parc des Princes is jam-packed to the rafters

It looks, quite frankly, beautiful.

Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham … Beckham. Sorry. There was still some left in the bag.

Our man in Paris reports


Let's get this out of the way shall we?

Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Goldenballs, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham.

The big team news is that David Beckham starts for PSG.

PSG: Sirigu; Jallet, Silva, Alex, Maxwell; Matuidi, Beckham; Moura, Pastore, Lavezzi; Ibrahimovic. Subs: Douchez, Sako, Van der Wiel, Menez, Chantôme, Verratti, Gameiro

Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Xavi; Villa, Messi, Alexis. Subs: Pinto, Bartra, Montoya, Fábregas, Thiago Alacántra, Song, Tello.

Referee: Wolfgang Stark


Evening all. In many ways, this is what the European football, and particularly the European Cup, should be all about – the team topping the league in France taking on the team topping the league in Spain in a knockdown, drag-out contest over two legs on two spring nights at two majestic stadiums. It's not something we often get these days, what with the proliferation of teams in the competition that stretch the definition of the 'Champions' League to the limit. And the whole 'League' thing obviously. (And the fact that neither side are reigning champions of their leagues, even if they are currently clearly the best sides in those leagues, so let's just step away from this car wreck of an opening paragraph, which seemed to start so well, and move on).

PSG are unbeaten at home in Europe in over six years, a 23-match run that goes all the way back to a defeat against Hapoel Tev Aviv in 2006. Their only previous Champions League quarter-final ended in victory. Over Barcelona. Granted it was 18 years ago so about as relevant to tonight's game as Spectrum ZXs are to iPads, but still. It's a stat.

And we've got a pair of old boys likely to appear – Zlatan Ibrahimovic (the only player to score for six clubs in the Champions League, quiz question fans), and Maxwell both face their former club.

Barcelona, after a scare against Milan that turned into something very scary for the other teams in the competition (like a gazelle putting the breaks on its run for cover and eating the tiger, right in front of a bunch of now rather nervous-looking crocodiles), are attempting to reach a sixth successive semi-final.


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