The Blaugrana progressed to the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday after overturning a two-goal deficit against Sevilla
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman was delighted to see his charges come back in thrilling fashion to reach the Copa del Rey final – but warned that overcoming Paris Saint-Germain is a different prospect entirely.
The Catalans went into Wednesday’s semi-final second leg against Sevilla as rank outsiders after losing the opener 2-0, but they fought back with goals from Ousmane Dembele and a last-gasp Gerard Pique effort to send the match into extra time.
Martin Braithwaite then struck to win the semi-final tie 3-2 on aggregate – and raise hopes that the 4-1 defeat PSG inflicted on the Blaugrana might yet be reversed.
What was said?
“It’s easier to come back from 2-0 than to come back from 1-4,” Koeman told reporters after the final whistle.
“PSG have a great team and great players. We will start the game to win, to see if there is a chance to go through.
“I’m so proud of my team. I can’t ask for more, really. We have changed the mindset of the team.
“I wish we had lived it with 100,000 people at the Camp Nou … I hope that some Catalans can come to the final in Seville.”
A second ‘Remontada’?
Barca, of course, have prior experience of bouncing back from a seemingly impossible position to prevail against the French giants.
In 2017, Luis Enrique’s charges looked dead and buried when they succumbed to a 4-0 thrashing at Parc des Princes in the last-16 first leg.
At Camp Nou in the return match, the Catalans moved within a single goal only to see Edinson Cavani strike to make it 3-1, leaving them needing three goals in just half an hour to progress.
But in one of the most scintillating finishes to a match in Champions League history, Neymar netted twice and Sergi Roberto popped up in the 95th minute to send Barca through with a 6-1 victory, winning 6-5 on aggregate.
That clash has gone down in club history as ‘La Remontada’ (The Comeback), although Barca’s joy ultimately proved short-lived as they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Juventus.
PSG and Barca complete their tie on March 10 at Parc des Princes.