While Barcelona fans were celebrating the most famous of comebacks, PSG supporters were fearing the club had gone backwards under Unai Emery
Most fans of the beautiful game are just about recovering from the emotions of Wednesday night’s Champions League clash between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, be you a Parisian, a Barca fan or an enthralled neutral.
The electrifying game at Camp Nou was the perfect reminder of why football is, well, football. Not just any sport. On top of that, it was a reminder of how Barcelona can do things most human beings can’t even imagine. And of how much PSG have to grow to reach that level.
A recent survey by UEFA.com based on past seasons put the Blaugrana as the team that will win the Champions League this year. That was before the incredible four-goal deficit loss at the Parc des Princes in the first leg. After that, many thought UEFA’s prediction was already mistaken.
Oh, how wrong were day. Under fire coach, Luis Enrique said Barca could score six if they had conceded four in the pre-game press conference, and Luis Suarez added if any team could turn the comeback into reality it would be them.
With football, there is a component of how good a side is, and one of how bad the opponents were. PSG simply got everything wrong. After Barca’s crazy start it did seem like they could do it until Edinson Cavani fired home to kill almost every hope. To score six seemed simply impossible. And then on the 95th-minute history was made. Yet again at the Nou Camp.
Where to go from here? UEFA’s prediction seems now very true. If a team manages to do that, winning the whole competition seems like a formality. PSG return home with L’Equipe saying their performance was simply too bad to even comment on. Unai Emery seemed like the man who, after the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, could finally breakthrough with PSG in Europe.
It did not happen. To face Barcelona was always an unlucky draw, but after the first game who could have imagined the outcome? The repercussions could be even worse. PSG go back to focus on the domestic league that sees them trailing three points behind leaders Monaco, one of the most in-form European sides.
Under Emery, PSG have often seemed in a state where the potential didn’t translate into performances and results. Against Barcelona in the first leg, it just finally worked. It looked like finally, everything had slotted into place.
The 6-1 result is like the coldest of showers with which to wake up. An absolute disaster. Just when things were getting there, PSG went back to square one on the worst possible night. For the first time in years, this could be a season with no considerable titles. A step back which the owners and fans may not tolerate.