PSG Ties Barca With Last Kick in Champions League; Bayern Wins
Paris Saint-Germain snatched a 2-2 draw against visiting Barcelona with the final kick of their Champions League soccer quarterfinal opener. Bayern Munich beat Juventus 2-0 in a matchup of former winners.
Blaise Matuidi scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time in Paris last night after Xavi Hernandez looked to have given Barcelona a 2-1 lead for the return game with an 89th-minute penalty kick. Lionel Messi put the Spanish team ahead in the first half before Zlatan Ibrahimovic tied it in the 79th minute.
“I personally don’t think it was a good result,” PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said in a news conference. “The second leg will be very difficult but we want to score two goals there, which we managed to do this evening. I have confidence.”
In Germany, four-time champion Bayern Munich got goals from David Alaba and Thomas Muller to move a step closer to its third semifinal berth in four years. It was the first loss in nine Champions League games this season for two-time winner Juventus.
Barcelona and Juventus will host the return matches in the two-game series on April 10, with the winners advancing to the semifinals of Europe’s elite club competition.
“Nothing is settled yet,” Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said on the website of tournament organizer UEFA. “We will need another performance just like this one next week in order to prevail in Turin.”
The other quarterfinals begin tonight as record nine-time European champion Real Madrid hosts Galatasaray and Borussia Dortmund visits Malaga, Spain’s third team in the final eight.
At the Parc des Princes, world player of the year Messi sat on the bench in the second half with a right hamstring injury. He’ll be examined today, while fellow Argentine Javier Mascherano will miss six weeks after tearing a ligament in his right knee, Barcelona said on its website.
“If neither Messi nor Mascherano can play the return leg it will be a very big blow for us,” Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura told reporters.
PSG’s Ezequiel Lavezzi hit the post with a shot in the fifth minute. Barcelona took the lead when Dani Alves curled a pass into the area for Messi, who shot past Salvatore Sirigu.
Messi fired over the crossbar five minutes later and was rubbing his hamstring soon after. He finished the half before being replaced by Cesc Fabregasafter the break.
Ibrahimovic tied the game with 11 minutes left, though he appeared to be offside when he put in the rebound after Thiago Silva hit the post.
Barcelona, seeking its fourth European Cup title in eight seasons, went back in front 10 minutes later when Xavi converted from the penalty spot after Alexis Sanchez was taken down by Sirigu. In the closing seconds, Ibrahimovic won a header to send the ball back to the edge of the area, where Matuidi shot past Victor Valdes, who was going the wrong way.
“We deserved the draw,” PSG midfielder David Beckham told U.K. broadcaster ITV. “It’s better than it was at 2-1. It’s going to be difficult but there’s no reason we can’t go there and get a result.”
Bayern scored in the first 30 seconds as Alaba’s shot from about 35 yards out took a deflection off Arturo Vidal into the bottom right corner past goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who was unable to recover after starting the other way.
The 2010 and 2012 runner-up doubled its lead in the 63rd minute after Buffon stopped Luiz Gustavo’s shot. The rebound went to Mario Mandzukic, who passed to the center of goal for Muller to tap into the unguarded net.
Bayern missed a chance to take a three-goal lead to Turin in the final minute as Buffon made a one-handed save from Muller, who put the rebound over the open goal.
“Bayern played with great tempo, they won almost every challenge and did not allow us to play our game,” Juventus coach Antonio Conte told reporters. “It’s difficult for me to get angry. We faced a great team, better than us.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at email@example.com.