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Barça’s first big match in Europe ended with a convincing win for the Blaugrana. The team managed by Xavi Pascual comfortably defeated PSG in Round 4 of the Champions League. The win was secured in the second half thanks to Barça’s stalwart defence, which only conceded five goals in the opening 15 minutes after the break. Saric, Tomás, Karabatic and Rutenka all had notable performances in Paris.
5-1 at the start
The match started with one man claiming the limelight: Patrice Annonay. Despite being organised going forward, FC Barcelona were stalled by the very motivated French goalkeeper, who helped his team to a 5-0 run after Barça’s opening goal. Xavi Pascual called timeout and he urged his men to continue employing the same attack pattern. The team, despite being down four goals, was not playing poorly.
It was only a matter of time before Barça reacted. The exclusion of Gojon led to three consecutive goals for the Catalans thanks to Tomás and Karabatic, the team’s main attacking options halfway through the first half. No other Barça player scored until the score was 8-8, that’s when Lazarov netted the go-ahead goal.
Exclusions mark the flow of the match
The first half was marked by power plays. Barça struggled when Lazarov and Karabatic were made to sit out for two minutes, and the team benefited when Narcisse and Gujon were sent to the bench by the referee. The teams went to the break with 17 to 17 on the scoreboard.
Barça take the lead
The second half started off very differently from the first. Barça stormed to a 1-4 run which allowed the team to take a 18 to 21 advantage. The Catalans’ defence also played a crucial role as they only conceded five goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second half.
The Blaugrana seal the win
PSG were unable to claw their way back into contention in the dying minutes of the match thanks to Barça’s solid defence and organised attack. The French team attempted to threaten Barça’s lead with a keeper-player but the tactic backfired. Barça jumped to a 7-goal lead and Saric was simply unstoppable in goal. The match came to an end and the Blaugrana came away with a prestigious win in Paris.
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