The Cavaliers, the Cubs, the Patriots. Now Barcelona can be added to the list of teams to overcome what appeared to be an insurmountable deficit to win. Well, hold up, Barcelona didn’t quite win the Champions League (yet), but the team’s 6-5 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday stamped Barcelona’s ticket to the quarterfinals.
And because the team began the day behind 4-0, thanks to a dismal away performance in the first leg of the matchup, the celebration after Sergi Roberto sent the winning goal into the net rivaled that of any NBA championship, World Series or Super Bowl.
— Palestino (@SamadHussain_7) March 8, 2017
Even reporters in the press box couldn’t contain themselves after the shocking ending.
— Reshmin Chowdhury (@ReshminTV) March 8, 2017
Barcelona is now the first team in Champions League history to overcome a four-goal deficit, according to ESPN.
“This is why we watch the game,” Fox Sports 1 commentator Alexi Lalas said. “We are privileged to be alive to witness this.”
Even more astonishing, the final three goals of the nail-biting match came in the game’s final minutes. With the aggregate score 5-3, Neymar scored on a sublime free kick to make the aggregate 5-4. Two minutes later, striker Luis Suarez earned a penalty after being brought down in the box. The team elected Neymar to do the honors and once again the 25-year-old Brazilian didn’t disappoint. With a quick stutter-step, he sent PSG’s goalkeeper diving the wrong way to tie the aggregate at 5-5. Now with the historic comeback very much in sight, the team pulled out all the stops.
Barcelona sent goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to the front, leaving the team’s goal empty. Now with 11 men surging forward, PSG had to rely heavily on its defense, but a breakdown led to the final goal of the night when Neymar floated the ball over the heads of everyone and everything except teammate Roberto, who replaced Rafinha in the 77th minute. With a tap of his right toes, the ball sailed past Kevin Trapp to seal the unlikely victory in injury time.
“This is a historic achievement that will be remembered forever,” Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu said after the game.
The players appear to agree. Some took to social media immediately after the game to express their excitement.
Aun no se acabo..It's not over yet..Henüz hiçbir şey bitmedi!
While Barcelona’s comeback victory might have shocked soccer fans, there’s one man who knew the team was capable of this result all along.
On Tuesday, Barca Manager Luis Enrique casually predicted Wednesday’s result.
“If they can score four goals against us, we can score six,” he said (via France24). “We have nothing to lose and a lot to win.”