PSG overturned a one-goal deficit in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal to defeat Barcelona and advance to the semifinals. In the reverse leg, Barcelona won at the Parc des Princes in a five-goal thriller. Despite Barcelona scoring the first goal of the game to establish a two-goal lead in the tie, four unanswered goals from the French visitors, including three in the second half, sent PSG through.

The difference was a red card to Ronald Araujo, a true turning point to stop an otherwise controlling Barcelona side.

PSG began the contest with an inspired effort. A high press from Luis Enrique’s side put Barcelona under immediate pressure. However, Xavi depended on the talent of his young stars to open the scoring. Lamine Yamal, just 16 years old, picked up the ball on the right side. A quick skill to beat Nuno Mendes allowed the Spaniard to square the ball into Raphinha. The Brazilian did not get the cleanest contact, but he did enough to bundle the ball in. Barcelona now owned a two-goal lead on aggregate.

The Catalans controlled much of the ball after that, but the game flipped in an instant after the half-hour mark. A long ball to Bradley Barcola put center-back Ronald Araujo under serious pressure. The pacy Barcola took a smart touch inside to get position on Araujo, who brought the Frenchman down just outside the box. As Araujo was the last defender, the referee brandished the Uruguayan with a red card, and he was out for the remainder of the game.

PSG turned that into results just 10 minutes later. Barcola played a low cross across the face of the goal. Waiting at the back post, former Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele pounded the ball into the back of the net. It was Dembele’s second goal of the tie but just his third in the entire season.

With the man advantage, PSG cramped Barcelona into a defensive block. PSG prodded and pried away at the defense, but Barcelona survived until the halftime whistle.

Second-half domination sees PSG past Barcelona in Champions League again

PSG leveled the tie by taking the lead in the game via a sensational strike. Vitinha, who scored the second of PSG’s two goals in Paris did the same in Barcelona. A simple corner kick routine gave the ball to Vitinha over 20 yards from goal. The Portuguese midfielder rifled a ball across the face of goal and the ball dove beyond an outstretched Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The tie was even, and PSG had the lead on the night.

Barcelona almost had an instant response through Ilkay Gundogan. A rare foray forward yielded a pass from Robert Lewandowski into the German midfielder. Gundogan’s shot hit the outside of the post as Gianluigi Donnarumma scrambled to his near post.

Then, it did not take long for PSG to assert itself atop the tie. A clumsy challenge from Joao Cancelo in the box on Ousmane Dembele gave PSG a penalty and a chance to take the lead in the tie. Kylian Mbappe, stifled for most of the game and the tie as a whole, calmly dispatched the penalty into raucous celebrations.

PSG had no impetus to score with the lead in the tie secured. A dominant second half of possession sapped all the energy out of the 10 men of Barcelona. Barcelona’s chances were few and far between as there would always be an open man for PSG to pass to.

Barcelona tried to press forward with Robert Lewandowski squandering several strong chances. With the entire Barcelona lineup save ter Stegen pushing forward, Kylian Mbappe bagged his brace. Ter Stegen made two great saves to deny PSG, but Mbappe scored on a third shot in quick succession. It locked up a spot in the semifinals for PSG for the first time since the 2020/21 season. The final score on aggregate would be 6-4 after PSG’s 4-1 win.