The remountada is only a distant memory. Almost four years after that nightmarish evening of March 2017, during which Paris Saint-Germain had collapsed against FC Barcelona, PSG finally took revenge at Camp Nou (4-1). At the end of a game controlled from start to finish, the Parisians impressed and sent a strong message to the rest of Europe.
This Tuesday evening, Paris fully assumed its status as finalist leaving the competition. Like Kylian Mbappé, on fire and the author of a hat-trick on the Camp Nou lawn, the Parisian players have raised their level of play to seek a deserved victory in the second half. If Mauricio Pochettino, who was leading his first European match with his new team, has not yet fully put his foot down to PSG, clues as to what the Argentine technician wants to set up appeared on Tuesday.
A second dream period
The first ten minutes of the second period have said everything about Parisian domination on Tuesday night. Movements, calls for the ball, high intensity pressing … At 1-1, PSG could have taken the advantage at that point in the game if Mbappé had found the frame (47th) and if Marc-André Ter Stegen did not had not released a superb parade on a strike from Moise Kean (50th). But this start of the second act hinted at the switch of the meeting in favor of the Parisians after a balanced first act.
Because if the PSG could have opened the scoring from the first minute of play on a nice in-depth acceleration from Mbappé, Barcelona and Parisians had returned to the locker room with a score of parity after a first period of great beauty. The artists were out and the goal actions were raining, with opportunities for Antoine Griezmann (14th, 37th) and Ousmane Dembélé (29th) for Barça, Mauro Icardi (19th, 45th), Laywin Kurzawa (35th) and Kean (38th) ) for PSG.
While the two teams surrendered blow for blow, Laywin Kurzawa awkwardly hooked Frenkie de Jong in the Paris area. A penalty transformed with coolness by Lionel Messi (27th) for the opening of the scoring. Five minutes later the Mbappé show began. The 2018 world champion reminded the people of Barcelona of his technical finesse, equalizing in a pocket square in the heart of the Barcelona area after a superb Parisian action. In the second period, the former Monegasque prodigy then gave the advantage to his people on a center behind Alessandro Florenzi (65th).
FC Metz, then Paris
Author of a single goal in eight matches of the final stages in the Champions League since his arrival at PSG, Mbappé silenced all criticism tonight, by offering himself a hat-trick a few minutes from the end of the match on a counter- Parisian attack (85th). A goal came to conclude a superb evening, during which the very good Moise Kean had also scored on a free kick shot by Leandro Paredes (70th).
Barça, which had regained color for a few weeks, will finally have sunk in the second period against the impressive collective of PSG. Until there, FC Metz were the only French club to win at Camp Nou in the European Cup, in 1984, the Garnets had also won 4 goals to 1.
Paris therefore leaves Barcelona with a feat in hand and the feeling of duty accomplished. Four years later, the remountada is now a distant memory for Marquinhos and his partners. All that remains is to confirm next March 10 at the Parc des Princes to find the quarter-finals.