Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates his equaliser against Barcelona.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates his equaliser against Barcelona.

Uefa Champions League: Paris Saint Germain look to up the tempo against injury-hit Barcelona after draw

PSG twice pegged back Barcelona at the Parc des Princes as the Spanish league leaders were left facing injuries to Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano.

Barcelona scored two away goals but were twice pegged back in a dramatic Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Parc des Princes.

Lionel Messi gave Barca a half-time lead before departing with a hamstring injury at the interval.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic controversially equalised against his former club, before a late penalty from Xavi looked to have secured a first-leg lead for Barcelona.

However, with the last kick of the match a deflected shot from Blaise Matuidi secured a surprise draw for the French side.

And afterwards Carlo Ancelloti, the PSG coach, said his side already knew what they had to do at the Nou Camp.

"Tonight's game was pretty clear to me," he said.

"Against Barcelona you have to defend because they dominate possession but when you have the ball you need to make the most of it."

PSG put Barca under pressure in the opening half-hour and David Beckham, the first British player to represent four clubs in the Champions League, excelled in a holding midfield role.

"His ability to play forward passes was key," Ancelotti said of the 37-year-old former England captain's performance.

"He played really well with good passes."

Although the first chance fell to PSG in the opening minutes, it was Messi who would open the scoring with seven minutes remaining of the first half.

Alves curled a staggering pass into the box with the outside of his right foot and Messi ran on to the ball and fired first time inside the far post.

The Argentinian curled another effort millimetres over the bar but appeared to tweak his right hamstring in the process and was a passenger as half-time approached.

PSG looked to pressurise their opponents in search of an equaliser, which came after Javier Mascherano brought down Jeremy Menez for a free kick. The attempt was deflected behind and the resulting corner caused chaos.

Jordi Alba and Mascherano collided and were both prone in the six-yard box, playing three PSG players onside as the half-cleared set-piece was returned into the box, and Valdes was forced into a point-blank save from Ibrahimovic's shinned effort.

Barca had to defend the next corner with nine men and the controversy continued even after the pair returned, Thiago Silva heading Menez's free kick against the post before the rebound was jabbed home by an offside Ibrahimovic.

Mascherano was carried off minutes later after suffering knee ligament damage which will likely sideline him for the next six weeks.

With a minute of regulation time remaining, Sirigu was booked for pulling down Sanchez and Xavi sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot- but there was still late drama to come.

Ibrahimovic nodded the ball back and Matuidi's shot was squeezed between the legs of substitute Marc Bartra, wrong-footing Valdes and levelling the scores.

The controversy over Ibrahimovic's equaliser left Jordi Roura, the Barcelona assistant coach, unhappy.

"The referee (German Wolfgang Stark) made some questionable calls," he said after the match.

"It's a good result but it comes at a high price."

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National