Barça 32-31 PSG: Cologne confirmed

Barça 32-31 PSG: Cologne confirmed

Barça defeat the French side at the Palau too to classify for the Final Four in Cologne in style

We are through to the Final Four! The first leg result may have been good, but Barça wanted more, and duly went on to defeat PSG 32-31 in the return leg at the Palau too, completing the knockout round in style in the hunt for European glory on June 8 and 9.

Great atmosphere at the Palau

What an atmosphere in the Palau for one of those classic European nights, which also featured a tribute to former blaugrana Nikola Karabatic who is in his final playing season. The great result in Paris (22-30) had already smoothed the path towards qualification for the Final Four and now it was time to complete the job in front of the crowd of 5,467. Barça got down to work and PSG knew they had to take the lead to apply pressure.

Despite their best efforts, Carlos Ortega's side always had an answer. A Dika Mem firecracker responded to the initial 0-1 and the Palau roared. When it looked like they were going 1-3 up, Blaz Janc anticipated and the equaliser came. The blaugranes remained in front from that moment onwards.

Barça extend lead

The blaugrana attack was firing and Richardson, Dika Mem and Blaz Janc all made the most of Gonzalo's efforts in goal to move the target even further away from the French side. Barça were playing freely and already had one foot in Cologne at half-time (17-12).

The second half was still to come and that required maintaining the intensity. Barça did just that, and when PSG came close to sighting victory, Dika Mem pulled two ingenious goals out of nowhere to again put paid to their hopes of reaching the Final Four.

Pol Valera injury the only negative

However, PSG showed that they didn't want to leave the Palau with a defeat, scoring a goal in the final minutes. Barça seemed somewhat taken aback by an injury to Pol Valera - the extent of which remains to be seen - but a final push gave the fans the win they wanted and confirmed the ticket to the Final Four in Cologne on another great night of handball at the Palau (32-31).

Cologne here we come!


Game stats

Barça 32
PSG 31

Barça: Gonzalo (0), Janc (5), Mem (7), Frade (6), Petrus (0), Carlsbogard (2) and Ariño (2) - starting seven - Nielsen (0), Richardson (4), Valera (2), Wanne (1), N'Guessan (0), Aleix (2), Langaro (0), P. Cikusa (0) and Javi Rodríguez (1).

PSG: Green, Solé (3), Tonnesen (2), Syprzak (5), Peleka (3), Steins (2) and Prandi (10) - starting seven - Villain, N. Karabaic (2), Marchán (1), Ntanzi (2), Keita (0), Balaguer (0), Grebille (0), L. Karabatic (1) and Holm (0).

Partial scores: 2-2, 5-4, 10-8, 12-10, 15-11, 17-12 / half-time / 20-14, 23-19, 26-21, 29-25, 29-27, 32-31.

Referees: Ivan Pavicevic and Milos Raznatovic.

Força Barça
Força Barça

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