The Roar
The Roar


What the UCL?!: 'Crazy scenes' as Barca self-destruct with three reds, Dortmund down Atleti in thriller

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16th April, 2024

PSG have gone a long way to exorcising the ghosts of 2017 by turning around a first leg deficit to dump Barcelona out of the Champions League, with Kylian Mbappe icing a penalty to see the French champions through after Ronald Araujo’s early red card.

Six years on from the famous remontada, where PSG conceded three times late on in one of the all-time great collapses, and across the city while the Camp Nou is under renovation, the Parisians were able to hold their nerve, get ahead and, finally, stay there.

Trailing 3-2 from the first game in France, they went further behind after an early Raphinha goal but fought back through Ousmane Dembele and Vitinha before Mbappe slammed home from 12 yards to put PSG ahead for the first time in the tie.

Though Barca opened the scoring, they lost Araujo to a clear red card in the first half for a last man foul on Bradley Barcola, and then had manager Xavi and a second member of the coaching staff sent off as well.

WIth the Catalans throwing men up the field to chase the winner, PSG’s star added a fourth with minutes to play.

This was far from a controlled performance, but it was hard to argue that the result was not deserved. Much as Barca’s fans moaned at the referee, he got all the major calls right and, in the cold light of day, the supporters might more readily aim their ire at their defenders.


There could be no complaints about the decision to march Araujo, who clearly fouled Barcola in advance of the penalty area to avoid conceding a spot kick. In hindsight, he might have been better to just let him go and hope he missed rather than leaving his side with ten men for over an hour.

The penalty, too, was the right call. Dembele had actually miscontrolled the ball, but Joao Cancelo dived in and got the man, who was going away from goal and offering no threat. It was brainless stuff from the Portuguese defender.

“Absolutely crazy scenes,” said England legend Rio Ferdinard on the BBC.

“I think PSG have to thank Araujo for that red card. It changed the game. I think at that point Barcelona looked the most complete and the most confident of the two teams.

“PSG then looked like a team that were really in control and the confidence went through the roof. Barcelona played their part in a brilliant two-legged tie.”

In the other game, Dortmund advanced to the semis after a stone cold classic with Atletico Madrid, overturning a 2-1 deficit from the game in Madrid to win 4-2 in Germany and set up a meeting with PSG.


They had scored twice in the first half to set themselves up, with two goals in five minutes from Julian Brandt and Ian Maatsen giving the Germans a lead in the tie.

They were pegged back by an own goal from Mats Hummels that would have sent the game to extra time, only for Angel Correa to send the visiting Spaniards into the lead.

That sparked Dortmund into life: again, they made a quick double strike with first Niclas Fullkrug, then Marcel Sabitzer raising the roof off the Signal Iduna Park with 71st and 74th minute goals.