Marquinhos leads PSG past Barcelona into UCL quarter-finals
A Marquinhos-led PSG saw out their UEFA Champions League last 16 second leg against Barcelona as they avoided another ‘Remontada’.
PSG survived a first-half onslaught from Barcelona, where Lionel Messi scored but missed a penalty, to draw 1-1 and progress 5-2 on aggregate.
PSG faced 16 shots in the first half but grabbed their lifeline with a penalty that was dispatched by Kylian Mbappe as he became the youngest player in Champions League history to score 25 goals in the competition, taking over from Messi.
The Argentine would equalize with a marvelous strike from 30 yards then have his key penalty saved by Keylor Navas as they went into the break level.
The second half would petter out as PSG were more solid and saw out the 5-2 aggregate win.
Despite Barca’s domination during the first half sparking fears of another Remontada, the French champions were able to overcome the psychological demons as Marquinhos disclosed.
The Brazil international revealed Mauricio Pochettino’s fiery half-time team talk made the difference for the Parisians.
“We’re not going to give away all the secrets [of the talk],” Marquinhos told RMC Sport.
“It was hot, it reflected the difficult moments we had, we lacked a lot in the defensive phase, they took advantage with their full-backs. He asked for more engagement, with little videos. This is what made the difference.”
Marquinos admirably led his team from the back as he made a vital second half block on Messi.
PSG have now qualified for consecutive quarter finals after last 16 elimination three years straight and would look to do one better than their appearance in the 2020 final.