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.
Waiting for Messi, Barcelona still reeling after 8-2 loss
A worker holds a shirt with the name of Barcelona soccer player Lionel Messi at a F.C Barcelona store in Barcelona, Spain on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. Barcelona is banking on a face-to-face meeting with Lionel Messi to try to convince him to stay. Talks with Messis father-agent are expected this week in Barcelona but the club also hopes to sit down with the player himself. Messi invoked a clause that allowed him to leave for free at the end of the season, but Barcelona said the clause expired in June. But so far no word from Messi on anything, and as he keeps quiet, Barcelona keeps reeling.
Spanish league forced to deal with another star departing
Barcelona's Lionel Messi leaves the pitch after the the Champions League quarterfinal soccer match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich in Lisbon, Portugal, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. The Spanish league is about to see another top player leave one of its clubs, all within a four-year span. The league wasnt hugely affected financially after Neymar left Barcelona or Ronaldo left Real Madrid. The league still benefited from Messis presence after Ronaldo left, but now it wouldn't have that same star power anymore. Since Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, Spain gained few top-notch players.
Messi's departure jeopardizes Barcelonas restructuring plan
Barcelona's Lionel Messi during the Champions League quarterfinal match between FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez/Pool)MADRID Lionel Messis surprise decision to leave Barcelona has dealt a blow to the clubs restructuring project even before it began. What might have upset him the most was the decision to get rid of Luis Surez, Messis longtime teammate and friend. With its aging team, Barcelona endured one of its toughest seasons, the first without a title since 2007-08. A lengthy legal batter would further hurt Barcelonas restructuring project, as would Messis departure without any financial compensation.
Barca may need youth to get past Napoli, reach CL final 8
Barcelona will be without midfielders Sergio Busquets, Arturo Vidal and Arthur for Saturdays second leg of their round-of-16 tie. The match will be played five months after the Spanish side earned a 1-1 draw at Napoli before the pandemic brought most sports to a halt. Both Rique and Ansu are ready to play, Setin said Friday. Fati, 17, made a huge splash this season by becoming the youngest player to score in the Spanish league and the Champions League, among other precocious scoring milestones. With only 13 first-team players available, Setin has called up seven members of Barcelonas youth squad, including American Konrad de la Fuente.