FRENKIE DE JONG
PSG draws 1-1 with wasteful Barcelona to reach CL quarters
(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)PARIS – Paris Saint-Germain withstood early pressure from a much-improved but wasteful Barcelona side to draw 1-1 on Wednesday and reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Neymar and Messi tormented PSG that night, but there was to be no reply this time. Navas then tipped Sergino Dest’s drive onto the crossbar as Barcelona opened PSG up with its passing and movement. Incessant pressure led to a penalty for Barcelona, again following a VAR check, when Kurzawa was adjudged to have impeded Griezmann. With that miss, some of the belief seemed to sap from Barcelona and the second half was more even.
AP Interview: Pedri brings back brilliance to Barça midfield
Barcelona will play the final after defeating Real Sociedad 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the game ended 1-1. (AP Photo/Jose Breton)BARCELONA – It’s no coincidence that Pedri González conjures up those flashes of exquisite playmaking brilliance that Barcelona fans have been longing for since the days of Andrés Iniesta. Like Iniesta, Pedri is silky smooth with the ball on his feet, with his dribbling and passing in tight spaces. Pedri has scored three goals this season, but it is his passing and footwork with the ball that has set him apart. Twice this season, Pedri has produced no-look flicks with the back of his heel to roll the ball behind to set up Lionel Messi for goals.
AP Interview: Sergiño Dest says 'it is my time' at Barcelona
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)BARCELONA – Amid the turmoil at Barcelona, United States defender Sergiño Dest has found his patch to flourish. The former Ajax player arrived in the aftermath of Barcelona’s devastating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League in August. Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman immediately put him to work filling in for injured fullbacks on both sides of the team’s defense. So that is why I chose Barça,” Dest said about becoming the first American player to sign for Barcelona’s senior club in early October. “I just worry about the team, and making sure we win the league and the Champions League,” Dest said.