Blaise Matuidi’s late strike salvaged a 2-2 draw for Paris Saint-Germain against Barcelona at the Parc des Princes and has now provided the capital club with hope ahead of next week’s second leg in Spain. Matuidi will miss out through suspension, but his strike could prove crucial for PSG, as it kept them in the tie, though they did allow the Catalans two away goals.
Lionel Messi opened the scoring against the run of play in the first half, netting from an acute angle after a sublime outside-of-the-foot pass from right-back Dani Alves. Zlatan Ibrahimovic wasn’t to be denied his share of the headlines though; he pulled Carlo Ancelotti’s side back into it with a contentious equaliser with 12 minutes remaining.
As if that wasn’t enough late drama, Barcelona were then awarded a penalty when Salvatore Sirigu felled Alexis Sanchez. Captain Xavi stepped up to convert, but there was still time for one last twist. Matuidi, consistently one of PSG’s best players this season, scored a vital last-gasp equaliser after his low shot deflected off Marc Bartra and past the helpless Victor Valdes.
The result was no more than PSG deserved, but the nature of it will hurt Barcelona. In truth though, the hosts should have won the match with a string of good chances early on, the best falling to Ezequiel Lavezzi.
David Beckham starting in place of the talented but inexperienced Marco Verratti proved a masterstroke from Ancelotti, not because of what the Englishman did in a steady but unspectacular 70 minutes, but just because he was there.
A pulsating encounter finished 2-2, and the result raises plenty of talking points.
Here are six things we learned from the clash.