Barça fought like a champion in Paris. He played very well and yet he did not even win the match after contesting a comeback against a lucky PSG. The Barça performance was convincing and luminous in the European showcase. The contrast with the runner-up was overwhelming in an event without a trophy or crown, conditioned by the 1-4 at the Camp Nou. The result of the first leg was a relief for the French champion, who in the return speculated with the scoreboard, subdued by the excellent football of Barça.
PSG played a tie and, on the other hand, Barcelona only appeared in the Paris match . There was no other team in the Parque de los Príncipes than the Barça player, condemned for his lack of forcefulness against a superb Keylor and weighed down by an error by Lenglet and a penalty missed by Messi . The contest did not stop circling around the figures of Barcelona. They failed individually and, in return, won the team in self-esteem and pride in the demanding Champions.
PSG Keylor Navas, Marquinhos, Florenzi (Colin Dagba, min. 76), Layvin Kurzawa (Abdou Diallo, min. 45), Kimpembe , Verratti (Rafinha, min. 83), Paredes, Idrissa Gueye (Danilo Pereira, min. 58), Draxler (Di María, min. 58), Kylian Mbappe and IcardiBarcelona Ter Stegen, Frenkie De Jong, Óscar Mingueza (Júnior Firpo, min . 34), Clement Lenglet, Sergiño Dest (Trincão, min. 65), Busquets (Moriba Kourouma, min. 78), Alba, Pedri (Pjanić, min. 78), Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé (Braithwaite, min. 78) and Messi Goals1-0 min. 29: Kylian Mbappe. 1-1 min. 36: Messi. Referee Anthony Taylor Yellow cards Layvin Kurzawa (min. 7), Óscar Mingueza (min. 25), Clement Lenglet (min. 29), Frenkie De Jong (min. 37), Idrissa Gueye (min. 49), Paredes (min. 49) and Icardi (min. 88)
Barça were traveling on a wave of optimism since their double win against Sevilla. The victory morale multiplied with the arrival of Laporta. Expectations of success reached even the Paris party. "What if …" whispered the fans while visualizing the match: "What if …" was the way of admitting the impossibility of eliminating PSG without ruling out the greatest of surprises in the event that a series of circumstances occurred in favor of the Koeman's team.
The coach was consistent with the general enthusiasm and arranged a lineup favorable to suspense: in the absence of defenses, Piqué and Araujo injured, he formed with Griezmann and Dembélé and placed De Jong as third center-back in place of Umtiti. Koeman bet on a special match while Pochettino tried to trace the return match to the first leg with the exchange of Draxler for the ill Kean. Pochettino's knowing how to be and how to do has for PSG the same effect as Laporta for Barça. Unlike Tuchel, the Argentine pampers the players, especially Mbappé
PSG entrusted itself to its star, who did not stop looking for Mingueza, while Barça unbalanced with Dembélé's depth. The contest was summarized in a duel of the selective Mbappé against the omnipresent Dembélé. The azulgrana started as the last forward and repeatedly lined up Keylor. The meeting opted for the Barça side, more courageous and imprecise than PSG. Uncomfortable with the pressure from Barcelona, Pochettino's team stretched out with the transitions, powerful into space, always protected by Keylor.
The intense rhythm of the Barcelona fans ended up roiling PSG. Dest finished off the crossbar and Dembélé demanded an excellent intervention from the goalkeeper to later put a goal ball for Messi. The 10th did not arrive by a finger. Barça was risking non-stop and PSG was simply betting on Mbappé when, in an innocuous play, the clumsy Lenglet stepped on Icardi. The referee whistled a penalty, the fourth of the season committed by the Frenchman, and Mbappé scored 1-0. There is no game without Lenglet's stain. The error interrupted for a moment the Barça speech before a lucky PSG who was entrusted to Keylor and Mbappé.
The Barcelona fans, however, reacted quickly after Junior replaced the admonished Mingueza. Messi angrily hooked a left-footed shot from outside the area that slipped through Keylor's right squad. The violence of the shot contrasted with the candor of Dembélé's shots. The great Barcelona match demanded a single player to mark the differences as is the 10. And then the Rosario missed a penalty committed by Kurzawa to Griezmman. Keylor rejected the shot of 10 with his thigh and the ball went to the crossbar to certify the misfortune and lack of aim of Barça.
Barça did not stop persevering after the break, which ended with 13 shots on goal by Keylor, while PSG improved. The French team stabilized better on the court, had more ball possession and the Catalans lost freshness and speed, more tired and less inspired, although dominant and well refreshed from the bench by Koeman. Although the montoneras followed one another against Keylor, the game lost the point of madness that Champions nights require. The Catalans never managed to finish well the plays for more laps that they gave to the game against the cowering PSG. "The" what if … "did not happen in Paris and, nevertheless, it is still valid for Barça in the Cup and LaLiga. There was no reward or reproaches in a Barça affirmation night.