HomeChampions LeaguePSG 2-3 Barcelona: Raphinha goals help Barca win Champions League quarter-final first...

PSG 2-3 Barcelona: Raphinha goals help Barca win Champions League quarter-final first leg in Paris

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Andreas Christensen headed the winner 13 minutes from time as Barcelona won a thriller to claim a first-leg advantage over Paris St-Germain in the first leg of their Uefa Champions League quarter-final.

Raphinha pounced to fire Barca into a 37th-minute lead before PSG returned rejuvenated after the break, scoring twice in three minutes through powerful Ousmane Dembele and Vitinha strikes.

Newly-introduced substitute Pedri set up Raphinha’s second after 62 minutes, and Bradley Barcola and Dembele hit the woodwork for PSG with the score at 2-2.

Christensen met Ilkay Gundogan’s corner to decide the contest, setting up a suspenseful second leg in Spain on Tuesday.

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PSG v Barcelona: Goals galore

With 18 goals across four games, this is the highest-scoring set of first legs in the quarter-finals of the competition since the 1956/57 European Cup – and these European heavyweights played their part in pulsating fashion.

Both traded numerous early chances, most notably when Nuno Mendes cleared Barca striker Robert Lewandowski’s effort off the line.

At 16 years and 272 days, Lamine Yamal marked his landmark as the youngest player ever to start a Champions League quarter-final match with the cross which unsettled PSG’s defence sufficiently to lead to Raphinha arrowing in the opener.

Dembele crashed in the first equaliser of the night against his former club, and Vitinha reacted ruthlessly when opportunity knocked to turn the scoreline around.

Against opponents with an imperious home record, Barcelona could have been forgiven for accepting a slender defeat.

Their first-half performance had shown Xavi’s side had other ideas, though, and Raphinha’s volley restored parity to spoil Marquinhos’ club-record 436th appearance for Paris.

Worse was to come for former Spain manager Luis Enrique’s team, Christensen celebrating his 28th birthday with the decisive header in an enthralling game.

Barca are in the quarter-finals for the first time since their memorable thrashing in August 2020, when Bayern Munich handed them their heaviest ever defeat in Europe by winning 8-2. This victory will have gone some way to remedying the pain of that memory.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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