FC Barcelona produced the greatest fightback in the history of the Champions league when they defeated Paris Saint Germain (PSG) 6-1 in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie in the Camp Nou Stadium to qualify 6-5 on aggregate.
No side had ever overturned a 4-0 first leg defeat as the one Barca suffered in the Stade de France three weeks ago, but a dramatic finish with three goals in the last seven minutes and a 95th-minute winner from late substitute Sergi Roberto made footballing history.
Barca’s cause had looked lost after Esteban Cavanni had scored for PSG just after the hour, leaving Barca needing three goals to qualify after the Catalans had gone 3-0 up on the night.
Knowing the task ahead of his side at the start of the game Barcelona coach Luis Enrique took a risk by playing a three-man defense in order to fit Rafinha, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic into his side.
He was rewarded for his courage in the third minute when Luis Suarez headed Barca into the lead, after reacting first to a hanging ball into the PSG penalty area.
It was just the start Barca needed and they almost doubled their lead on the night after 15 minutes when Neymar sent a long range shot inches wide of the post.
PSG was defending deep in their own half, but in a rare break, Gerard Pique was shown the yellow card for a rash challenge.
Barca got a second goal when pressure and a cheeky backheel from Andres Iniesta caused panic in the visitors’ defense and Layvin Kurzawa kneed the ball into his own net in the 40th minute.
Three minutes after the break it was 3-0 as Thomas Meunier brought Neymar down in the PSG box. The referee consulted with the official behind the goal and gave a penalty which Leo Messi smashed into the corner of the net to leave Barca just one goal away from forcing extra time.
At the other end, a rare PSG attack saw Edinson Cavani hit the outside of the Barca post, moments before Angel Di Maria was brought on by PSG.
He did better just after the hour, beating Ter Stegen with a powerful volley from the edge of the penalty area to score the vital away goal that left Barca needing three more goals to qualify.
The goal didn’t stop Barcelona attacking, but it did seem to take some faith from their play until Neymar scored an 88th-minute free kick to make it 4-1 on the night.
In the last minute of normal time, Barca was awarded a second penalty for a foul on Suarez and Neymar sent Trapp the wrong way to bring them right back into the tie with five minutes of injury time remaining.
The cause looked lost but in the last chance of the game Sergi Roberto stuck out a leg on a ball over the PSG defense to score the vital goal and make history.
(With Inputs From Xinhua)