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Mbappé strikes twice to lead PSG past Barcelona into Champions League semis

By Paul Myers - RFI
Football News REUTERS - Juan Medina
WED, 17 APR 2024 LISTEN
REUTERS - Juan Medina

Kylian Mbappé bagged a brace on Tuesday night as Paris Saint-Germain overturned a two-goal aggregate deficit to beat Barcelona and advance to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2021.

Barcelona went into the second leg at the Estadio Olimpico Lluis Companys with a 3-2 lead from last week's first leg at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

On the eve of the clash in Barcelona, the PSG boss Luis Enrique said his players would overcome the setback and dispatch his former club.

His boast soon appeared ill-judged. Raphinha, author of a brace in the first leg, opened the scoring in the 12th minute to give the hosts a 4-2 aggregate advantage.

But with nearly half an hour gone, they imploded. Ronald Araujo was given a straight red card for a foul on the PSG winger Bradley Barcola.

Though nothing came of the subsequent free-kick, Barcola set up Ousmane Dembélé for PSG's equaliser on the night and his second goal of the tie just before half-time.

Change

Nine minutes after the restart, it was 2-1 and all square on aggregate. Vitinha, who like Dembélé scored in the first leg, fired home from the edge of the Barcelona penalty area after being set up by Achraf Hakimi.

A couple of minutes later, the Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez was dismissed and on the hour mark his team was behind.

Joao Cancelo upended Dembélé in the penalty area andMbappé rifled the spot kick high past the Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to make it 3-1.

At 5-4 on aggregate, a Barcelona goal would have taken the tie into extra-time but they could not engineer the levelly amid the fury.

Mbappé killed them off in the 89th minute following a counter-attack.

"Everyone believed in it and we didn't give up," Dembélé told Canal+

"We knew we were going to score goals. It was great work from the whole team. The coach's tactics were perfect. We made a great effort after conceding the first goal.

"Qualifying for the semi-final is a big thing," the France international added.

"We're crossing our fingers to make it to the final."

PSG will face Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals after they beat Atletico Madrid 4-2 at the Signal Iduna Park to advance 5-4 on aggregate.

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