Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain stuns Barcelona with few players; Dortmund passes Madrid

By | April 16, 2024

Kylian Mbappe's second-half penalty secured Paris Saint-Germain's place in the Champions League semi-finals.  (Reuters/Juan Medina)

Barcelona had full control of the Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

Then a red card in the first half changed everything. PSG rallied from a 1-0 hole and a 4-2 aggregate deficit with four unanswered goals against tiny Barcelona to secure a 4-1 victory. Thanks to an overall advantage of 6-4, they advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

There, PSG will face a Borussia Dortmund team that survived an own goal on Tuesday to edge past Atlético Madrid 4-2 (5-4 on aggregate).

Barcelona strikes first and doubles their lead

Barcelona went into Tuesday’s match with a one-goal lead after winning the first leg of the quarter-final 3-2. Twelve minutes later it doubled its lead with Raphinha’s goal past PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Then the tone of the match changed and it was a red card.

Ronald Araújo’s red card shifts the advantage to PSG

Around the 29 minute mark, PSG’s Bradley Barcola broke free for a scoring opportunity after a Barcelona turnover in midfield. Barcelona’s Ronald Araújo chased Barcola and pulled him from behind by his right shoulder at the edge of the penalty area to the turf.

The referee whistled a penalty, but the referees determined that the contact took place just outside the penalty area and awarded PSG a free kick instead of a penalty. But they gave Araújo a red card, which resulted in his exclusion. Barcelona would play the last 60 minutes of the match with a man down.

PSG took full advantage.

PSG scores binge and secures place in the semi-finals

Ousmane Dembélé’s subsequent free kick sailed over the net. But he would find the back of the net ten minutes later against his short-handed opponent. After 39 minutes, Dembélé sent a one-timer from the right side of the net after a Barcola cross, leveling the match at 1–1 and reducing Barcelona’s overall lead to 4–3.

It was the second goal of the quarter-final against his former team, after Dembélé equalized the first leg at 1-1.

PSG kept the pressure on from the start of the second half. Fabián Ruiz just missed the right side of the goal on a shot from the penalty area after 52 minutes. But Vitinha scored moments later, sliding the ball past goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen from just outside the penalty area.

The goal gave PSG a 2-1 lead and leveled the score at 4-4. Then Barcelona was again doomed to a penalty.

Penalty kick ensures that Mbappé gets the go-ahead

João Cancelo challenged Dembélé on the right side of the penalty area after 58 minutes. He tripped Dembélé, causing him to swing his arms towards the turf and make another mistake.

This time the mistake clearly took place in the penalty area. PSG were awarded a penalty which Kylian Mbappé sent into the left side of the net past ter Stegen.

The goal gave PSG a 3-1 lead. After trailing 4-2 in the opening minutes of the match, PSG had taken a 5-4 lead.

Mbappe then added an insurance goal after 89 minutes, putting the match out of reach for Barcelona. When it was done, PSG had stunned a Barcelona team that was heading to the semi-finals early on Tuesday.

Dortmund gets past Atlético Madrid and will face PSG in the semi-finals

In the other quarter-final on Tuesday, Atlético Madrid went into the match with a 2-1 lead after the first leg against Dortmund. Like its Spanish counterpart Barcelona, ​​it saw its opponent rally for victory.

Dortmund struck on the first Tuesday with a goal from Julian Brandt after 34 minutes, making the scoreline 2-2.

A goal from Ian Maatsen minutes later gave Dortmund a 2–0 lead in the match and an aggregate lead of 3–2.

But a mistake from Dortmund in the second half would give Madrid new life.

Own goal gets Atleti back into the game

Atlético were awarded a corner kick from the left side of the pitch after 48 minutes. The ball fell past the right side of the net, where Atleti’s Mario Hermoso headed the ball back towards the goal. There Mats Hummels from Dortmund tried to block it. Instead, he directed the ball into the back of the net for an own goal.

The goal cut Dortmund’s lead to 2–1 and leveled the score at 3–3.

An Angel Correa goal then leveled the match at 2–2 and gave Madrid the overall advantage again after 64 minutes.

But Dortmund were not impressed. After 71 minutes, a Niclas Füllkrug header gave Dortmund a 3-2 lead and leveled the score again. Two minutes later, Marcel Sabitzer scored after a kick that bounced into the net off the hands of goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

The goal on 73 minutes gave Dortmund a 5-4 aggregate lead that would last at the final whistle.

Next up for Dortmund is a date with PSG with a trip to the Champions League final on the line.

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