Barca Find Pride Despite Another Champions League Collapse

Barca find pride despite another Champions League collapse

Barcelona, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Apr, 2024) Barcelona woke up with a familiar sinking feeling on Wednesday, another Champions League hangover, after Paris Saint-Germain thrashed them 4-1 at home to eliminate them in the quarter-finals.

After a string of painful European exits the five-time champions extended the list, meaning their wait to lift the trophy again will stretch to at least a decade, although this time around Barcelona can find shards of hope and pride among the wreckage.

Leading by two goals in the tie after their 3-2 win in Paris and Raphinha's early strike, the outcome hinged on Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo's red card after 29 minutes that left his team unable to cope with the quality of PSG's attackers.

Ousmane Dembele, Vitinha and then Kylian Mbappe's brace helped PSG rout Barcelona and progress 6-4 on

aggregate, cutting short the Catalans' revival, snapping their 13-match unbeaten run.

Madrid-based media were gleeful, celebrating Mbappe's role in the knock-out, ahead of his expected move to the Spanish capital in the summer.

"Mbappe kills Barca," ran the headline in AS. In Catalonia the focus was instead on Araujo's red card after 29 minutes which turned the tide in PSG's favour.

"Dismissed from Europe," wrote Diario Sport, while Mundo Deportivo said it was a "lethal red".

Beyond the taste of defeat from being dusted up by Mbappe on home soil, and despite the ugly-looking scoreline, there were differences.

When Barcelona threw away huge leads against Roma and Liverpool in 2018 and 2019, mentally they had caved.

That same fragility was on show in 2020 when Bayern Munich hammered them 8-2, and the years since have somehow been more ignominious.

PSG thrashed them 4-1 in the last 16 first leg in 2021 in a match which was barely a contest, while in the subsequent two seasons they failed to escape their group.

In this campaign Barcelona battled well against Europe's best sides and were it not for Araujo's dismissal, might have progressed.

"We are a club, a team in construction, constructing something that could be fruitful and beautiful," Xavi told reporters.

"We've competed against top level teams, Porto, Napoli, PSG, and we've been better -- at least until certain decisions, or circumstances that we cannot control.

"From these situations is when you learn most, unfortunately, in life, and in football too."