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A 37-31 victory over PSG in Cologne means Barça have ended the season 2022/23 winning bronze in the TruckScout24 EHF FINAL4 2023. Five handball trophies is an immense haul, but the biggest of all was lost in the semi-final against Magdeburg, and instead the Catalans had to raise their heads following that disappointment and battle for the consolation prize in the game that nobody wants to play.
Janc, Makuc, Aleix Gómez and Pérez de Vargas were among the outstanding performers in a win based on solid defence and quick transitions, with a simply stunning 9-1 streak as good as deciding the game early on with the score at 14-6.
Barça clearly wanted to end their season on a high, and in fact delighted the Cologne crowd with some simply sublime handball, while a rather grey-looking PSG never really looked like mounting any kind of reaction. Barça wouldn't let them, and took their lead into double figures, with Aleix Gomez becoming the all-time highest goalscorer in Final Four games, 70 goals in his ten appearances at the event.
The Parisians managed to save face with a few late goals to close the gap to six, but there was never any doubt where this game was going. Barça are coming home with medals, but they are not the medals they came to Germany for. Sunday raised a smile. But only half a smile. And with that, the 2022/23 season comes to a close for this remarkable team.
Barça: Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas (-), Janc (7), Wanne (5), Richardson (5), Frade (2), Carlsbogard (1) i Aleix Gómez (4), Thiagus Petrus (-), Ludovic Fabregas (-), Pol Valera (3), Martí Soler (1), N'Guessan (5) i Makuc (4)
PSG: Green (-), Balaguer (1), N'Tanzi (7), Nenadic (1), Mathe (4), Luka Karabatic (1) i Grebille (2), Palicka (), Toft Hansen (), Kristopans (-), Syprzak (7), Gibelin (), Prandi (4), Keita (1) i Solé (3)
Periods: 3-3; 8-6; 14-7; 15-8; 18-12; 22-13 // 26-17; 28-20; 30-23; 32-25; 34-28; 37-31
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