PSG vs Barcelona: Raphinha's brace and Christensen's header help the Blaugranas secure a 3-2 victory over PSG in the first leg of the UCL 2023-24 Quarter-Finals

Raphinha's brace and Chistensen's late goal helped the Blaugranas secure a 3-2 victory against the Paris Saint-Germain at the away leg of the UCL Quarter-Finals 2023-24

Abishek Goswami
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PSG vs Barcelona UEFA Champions League 2023-24 QF: Raphinha and Christensen help Barcelona with a huge 3-2 win over PSG |

PSG vs Barcelona: The Blaugranas are heading into the second leg with a 1-goal lead over PSG

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Andreas Christensen’s late second-half winner helped FC Barcelona secure a 3-2 victory against Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. The Blaugranas did take the lead in the first half with the help of Raphinha's superb goal but Dembele and Vitinha's goals brought the home side back into the game right after the start of the second half. Barcelona showed their mentality, returning from 2-1 down to win the game by 3-2 at the Parc des Princes. The home side kept most of the possessions but couldn't win the first leg and now it's an advantage for the Blaugranas in the second leg at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys Stadium. This is FC Barcelona's first win in the UCL Quarter-final in five years since Lionel Messi left the club.

Read Also: PSG vs Barcelona UEFA Champions League 2023-24 QF: Raphinha and Christensen help Barcelona with a huge 3-2 win over PSG

PSG vs Barcelona: A blockbuster encounter at the Parc des Princes

The last time these two teams played, PSG thrashed Barcelona 5-2 on aggregate after a 4-1 win and a 1-1 draw in the round of 16 back in 2020-21. Paris Saint-Germain are sitting at the top of the Ligue 1 points table and playing good football under ex-Barcelona football manager Luis Enrique. Conversely, Barcelona's season has been a hit-and-miss despite delivering some sensational performances on the big occasions. Before Barca's qualification to the Quarters, Xavi had already announced that he was leaving at the end of the season. But his side has performed brilliantly in the last couple of months and now they are right there, fighting for the Semi-Final spot of the UEFA Champions League 2023-24.

The picture says everything
The picture says everything | Image: X

PSG were the favourites before coming into the clash as they have the World's best football player at the moment right now but Xavi showed his tactical masterclass, neutralizing Kylian Mbappe at the Parc des Princes. He was restricted to just three shots, none of which were on target, and had the fewest touches of any outfield PSG player to play the full game (44). 

"The best player in the world, Kylian Mbappe, didn't perform today and when he doesn't perform then invariably PSG don't perform," said 2008 Champions League winner Rio Ferdinand. "He can't be as bad again. There is no concern about him freezing on the big stage, it is normally when he comes alive. If he decides to turn it on, then he is the guy that can take them through," Ferdinand added.

The match started with a 50-50 contest at the Parc des Princes with the home fans making all the noises. PSG had a few good chances early in the match, but Raphinha converted first for the visitors for his first-ever UCL goal. The Blaugaranas had taken a 37th-minute lead despite PSG's domination in the early stages. But PSG made a huge turnaround in the second half and changed everything. 

Raphinha scored his first UEFA Champions League goal against PSG |
PSG vs Barcelona: Raphinha scored his first UEFA Champions League goal |

Read Also: Arsenal vs Bayern: The Bavarians secure a 2-2 draw against the high-flying Gunners in the first leg of the UCL 2023-24 Quarter-Finals

Ousmane Dembele, playing against his former club found the net in the 48th minute and then Vitinha scored three minutes later to give PSG the lead. But, the Barcelona players didn't let their shoulders drop and Xavi Hernandez's substitution worked like magic. Pedri came in and assisted within one minute for Raphinha and Barcelona's second goal in the 62nd minute. Then, in the 77th minute, Andreas Christensen, another substitute player came in from the bench and scored the all-important winner for the Blaugranas. But, what happened in the second half?

Barcelona were caught sleeping in the early stages of the second half and were punished by Dembele and Vitinha. Dembele went on to celebrate his goal against his former club which is another huge talking point but he played brilliant football in the match. Meanwhile, Vitinha who had a very poor first season with the Paris-based club, is now bossing their midfield. Although it was not a great performance from him, he scored an all-important goal to bring his side back into the game.

Vitinha gave PSG the lead in the second half of PSG vs Barcelona 1st leg quarter-final | Sportz Point
Vitinha gave PSG the lead in the second half of PSG vs Barcelona 1st leg quarter-final | Sportz Point

But, the match was not over and Xavi's team silenced the home crowd, scoring the equaliser and the winner. It took Pedri only 51 seconds to provide an assist after coming off the bench against PSG. Raphinha from the middle, volleyed the ball past Donnarumma with his left foot to make the scoreline equal. In the defence line, 17-year-old Pau Cubarsi and Ronald Araujo were superb for the Catalonian team. They did concede two goals but other than that, it was a top-notch performance from the Barcelona backline.

Just after conceding the equalizer, PSG almost took the lead again. An excellent pass from Vitinha and Dembele just opened up and took a shot with his right foot to hit the post. Xavi decided to bring Ferran Torres and Christensen in to replace Raphinha and Frenkie de Jong and it proved to be a masterclass move. Gundogan sent in a perfect cross from the corner and the substitute, Christensen who just came in minutes earlier, headed the ball in for Barcelona's third of the night. Andreas Christensen, on his birthday, netted a clutch goal to give his side the lead which was enough to defeat PSG at their turf. 

Andreas Christensen scored a goal on his birthday | Sportz Point
PSG vs Barcelona: Andreas Christensen scored the winner on his birthday | Sportz Point

After this win, Barcelona would hope for a good game at their home in the second half. However, with Mbappe not having a great night in Paris, PSG fans can hope for a magical turnaround at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys Stadium next week.

Uefa Champions League Fc Barcelona Uefa Ucl Psg Kylian Mbappe Raphinha Dembele