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FC Barcelona have a gargantuan task ahead of them on Wednesday night (9.00pm CET, Parc des Princes, Paris). After losing 4-1 in the home leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie with Paris Saint Germain, they now go to the French capital knowing that they need to score a minimum of four goals to have any chance of going into the draw for the quarter finals.
Not even a 3-0 win would be enough, as PSG would still win on the away goals rule. Should PSG score a goal, then Barça would need five. PSG get two then Barça need six … and so on.
Of course, if a miracle does happen, then it would not be for the first time. Fresh in everyone’s memory is the night when Barça mounted one of the most incredible comebacks in European football history, and against this very same side. The Catalans needed to score at least four that night too, and PSG made the job even harder by scoring a goal of their own – but still Barça went on to win 6-1.
To emulate what happened that night, Barça would need a performance on a par with the game recently voted by fans as their greatest game ever. It’s an almost impossible task, but while there is still a chance there is also still hope…
And if there is any team that does comebacks, then that team is FC Barcelona. Let's believe it can be done!
How to watch
We have a complete guide to kick-off times and broadcasters here. You can also follow our in-studio coverage in our Match Center, including minute-by-minute text updates and live commentary on Radio Barça. And you can also keep up to date with all the news from Paris on all our social networks.
The return leg will be played at the 47,929 capacity Parc des Princes. PSG have played there since 1974, originally sharing it with the French national rugby and football teams, until the Stade de France was built for the 1998 World Cup. This is the third stadium on the same site. The one that hosted the first ever European Championship Final in 1960 was replaced by the current version in 1972 and there are plans for a further expansion to 60,000.
1994-95 Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg
PSG 2-1 Barça
(PSG advanced 3-2 on aggregate)
2012-13 Champions League Quarter Final First Leg
PSG 2-2 Barça
(Second leg ended 1-1 and Barça advanced on away goals)
2014-15 Champions League Group F
PSG 3-2 Barça
(Barça and PSG both advanced from the group)
2014-15 Champions League Quarter Final First Leg
PSG 1-3 Barça
(Barça won the second too and advanced 5-1 on aggregate)
2016-17 Champions League Round of 16 First Leg
PSG 4-0 Barça
(Barça won the second leg 6-1 and advanced 6-5 on aggregate)
PSG form guide
PSG have won seven of the last eight editions of Ligue 1, but they still have work to do to win it this time round. They are two points adrift of leaders Lille, and third-placed Lyon are just one point behind. Monaco, who stunned Les Parisiens with a 2-0 victory at the Parc des Princes are also still in the hunt.
PSG and Lille will also go head-to-head in what promises to be a cracking round of 16 tie in the French Cup.
The top scorers this season (all competitions) are: Kylian Mbappé (25), Moise Kean (15), Neymar (13), Pablo Sarabia (6) and Mauro Icardi (6).
With Gerard Piqué and Ronald Araujo both out, it’s in the centre of defence where Barça are most troubled with injuries. Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto and Ansu Fati are also unavailable.
A thigh injury meant Brazilian superstar Neymar missed the chance to play against his former club in the first leg. And although he on the verge of returning to action, he has finally been ruled out of Wednesday’s clash. Juan Bernat also misses out with a knee problem and Moise Kean, who scored in the first leg, is in quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19.
The First Leg
16 February 2021
Barça 1 (Messi 27, pen) PSG 4 (Mbappé 32, Mbappé 65, Kean 79, Mbappé 85)
Did you know?
In the entire history of this competition, no team has ever lost at home by three goals or more in the first leg and gone on to qualify.
It’s crucial that PSG don’t score on Wednesday, but since a 0-0 draw with Real Madrid in 2015, they are on a run of 22 consecutive games with at least one goal in Champions League fixtures at the Parc des Princes. Home and away, if they score in this game, they will set a competition record of scoring in 25 games in a row. However, Barça have yet to concede an away goal in this year’s edition.
The last time PSG won away from home in the first leg of a Champions League, 2-0 at Manchester United in 2018, they ended up going out of the competition after losing 3-1 in Paris.
Barça have never lost three consecutive games in this competition before. After losing to Juventus and PSG, let’s hope it’s not going to happen this year either.
Barça have not failed to reach the Champions League quarter finals since 2006/07, a tournament record run of 13 editions.
Barça have only won one of their last nine away legs in the UCL knockout stages (1-0 at Manchester United in 2019).
Lionel Messi was the youngest player to score 25 times in the Champions League. But Kylian Mbappé is 206 days younger than the Argentinian was when he set the record and needs just one more to reach 25 goals.
Five of the current Barça squad have played football in France: Clément Lenglet (Nancy), Samuel Umtiti (Lyon), Miralem Pjanić (Metz & Lyon), Ousmane Dembélé (Rennes) and Martin Braithwaite (Toulouse & Bordeaux).
What they are saying
FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman: "Nothing is impossible'
FC Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong: 'We'll do the best we can'
PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino and goalkeeper Keylor Navas:
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