Ludovic Giuly says this time will be different

Ludovic Giuly, in his days with both FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. / FCB
The Frenchman played for both teams and believes Barça are in top form at the moment

“The quarter-final clash will be very different from the group stage. There is much more at stake this time and in football every game is different,” said Ludovic Giuly before the big Champions League tie between FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. The first leg is at Parc des Princes on Wednesday. The French ex-forward, who played for both Barça and PSG, praised Luis Enrique’s team. “Barça are in great shape, the system works well and the defence is very good when they lose possession of the ball.”

Giuly thinks the coming duel is going to be one of the best in this competition and recognises that the game is appealing to master tacticians Luis Enrique and Laurent Blanc. “Both are great coaches and they each use a different system. We’ll see two great matches both at Parc des Princes and at Camp Nou. Whoever is better will go on to the semi-finals,” he said.

The former Barça player believes that both PSG and FC Barcelona are two of the best squads in the world, but acknowledges that the club has one big advantage — Leo Messi. “All players are important, but Messi plays a bigger role.”

Giuly said the biggest moment of his career, without doubt, was when he played for FC Barcelona. “The Champions League title with Barça was the most exciting. It was the most important title that I won and, in addition, we did it in Paris, in my country.”

Parc des Princes home to plenty of FC Barcelona memories

Andrés Iniesta during the Club's last game at the Parc des Princes / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
FC Barcelona will make their fourteenth visit to the famous Paris venue on Wednesday: they’ve won seven, drawn three and lost three so far in their history

Barça’s visit to the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night will mark their fourteenth appearance at the stadium, where they first played in the 1952 Copa Latina. Only three of those games have been against PSG  – who didn’t become the stadium’s permanent tenants till 1974 – but Barça have won seven games, drawn three and lost just three at the famous Paris venue.

Below we look at all 13 games Barça have played at the Parc des Princes so far:

26 May 1952. Copa Latina. Semi-final. FC Barcelona beat Juventus 4-2 thanks to goals from Manchón, Basora (2) and Kubala.

29 May 1952. Copa Latina. Final. Three days after seeing off the Italians, Barça beat Nice 1-0 in the final with a goal on 79minutes from César to claim their second Copa Latina.

8 June 1955. Friendly. Barça beat Racing de París 3-5 with Suárez, Villaverde (2), Mahjoub (o.g.) and Mandi getting the goals

3 October 1956. Friendly. Racing Paris got their revenge a year later with a 4-2 win. Martinez and Basora scored for Barça

29 November 1962. Friendly. Goals from Fusté and Kocsis saw off Racing as Barça won 1-2 in the teams’ third meeting in seven seasons.

10 May 1967. Friendly. Barça drew 2-2 with Nantes, with Silva getting both the Barça goals.

9 October 1974. Friendly. Facing a combined team made up of Reims and PSG players, Cruyff (2), Marcial (2) and Heredia were the scorers in an impressive 1-5 win.

19 April 1977. Friendly. In the first ever game against PSG, Cruyff scored Barça’s goal in the 1-1 draw.

13 November 1982. Friendly. Four years later, PSG were brushed aside 1-4, with Quini, Maradona, Alonso and Morán on the scoresheet for the Catalans

15 March 1995. Champions League. 17 years after their last visit to the stadium, Barça went into the second leg of the Champions League quarter final after drawing 1-1 at the Camp Nou and were knocked out after going down 2-1.

4 August 2012. Friendly. Barça took the Paris Trophy, beating PSG on penalties after Messi and Rafinha had scored in normal time.

2 April 2013. Champions League. Messi and Xavi scored for Barça as they came away with a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals. Ibrahimovic scored for PSG and Matuidi’s injury time equaliser gave the French side some hope for the return leg, but a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou saw Barça into the semi-finals.

30 September 2014. Champions League. Despite goals from Messi and Neymar, Luis Enrique’s side lost the Champions League group game earlier this season after David Luiz, Verratti and Matuidi scored a vital win for the French team who went on to qualify  for the knock out stages by coming second to Barça in their group.

HIGHLIGHTS: All the goals from Barça's 2–2 draw in Sevilla

Leo Messi scored the first goal of the game in Sevilla. / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Barça leave Sánchez Pizjuán with a tie on first-half goals from Leo Messi and Neymar

FC Barcelona drew 2–2 Saturday with Sevilla at Sánchez Pizjuán, going ahead with two goals from Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr.In the second half, however, Unai Emery‘s squad drew even. Check out the highlights of the of the match.

Iniesta says draw isn't the end of the world

Iniesta carries upfield against Sevilla. / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Iniesta spoke to the media following Barça’s 2–2 draw in Sevilla

Next training session on Monday

FC Barcelona are off on Sunday and will train again on Monday at the Ciutat Esportiva at 11.00am CET in a closed-door session.

After FC Barcelona’s disappointing 2–2 draw at Sevilla, the Barça players spoke to the media. The team feels down for letting in the equaliser after a generally good performance in the Sanchez Pizjuan, especially in the first half. Nevertheless they are still aware that they depend on themselves in the race for the league title. “There are still a lot of games ahead,” said Ivan Rakitic, while his teammate Andrés Iniesta made clear that the tie wasn’t the end of the world. “We have to stay positive and have confidence in the team.”

Andrés Iniesta:

“We played very good first half but the goal gave them wings. Maybe we were a little out of position from the goal to the break. In the second half they pressed but we had chances to make it 3–1.”

“We’re the leaders we shouldn’t dwell on this tie. We need to analyse what we have done wrong and move on.”

Ivan Rakitic:

“We’re a little down and angry with ourselves. We controlled the first half well and we did a great job. There are several things that we have to improve and we’ll study them, but there are still lots of games ahead.”

“With the goal Sevilla got more comfortable. But I’ll take the fact that we did well on a very difficult pitch. We need to move on, improve what we did wrong and be better next game.”

“We never talked about that being the last tough match. We know that everything is still in our hands, and we’re calm knowing that we could have won today.”

Sergio Busquets:

“We were better in the first half but in the second Sevilla were more intense. The result is fair.”

“It’s hurts because we’re leaders and we wanted to keep winning, but we knew we were facing a great Sevilla, who haven’t lost at home in more than a year and are in top form.”

“On one counterattack, a mistake of our own making, Sevilla got the draw.”

“It mathematically changes the table because it’s less than a one-game margin, but we have to continue giving our all.”

Sevilla FC v FC Barcelona: Catalans falter late, draw in Andalusia (2-2)

Rakitic, al Sánchez Pizjuán / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Two-goal first-half lead evaporates as Sevilla stay unbeaten at home

Tie takes a pair of points from Barça who now are only up two in La Liga

FC Barcelona came into the Sánchez Pizjuán in Sevilla on Saturday night with the distinction as the last team to have won there, and they’ll head back home with no change to that status. The Catalans left the field on a sour note after failing to put away their Andalusian rivals despite going up 2–0 in the first half hour, eventually conceding the tying goal to Sevilla’s Kévin Gameiro with eight minutes left to play in a match that stood out for it’s breakneck pace and wild twists and turns that left many following the match almost as exhausted as the players.

Lionel Messi and Neymar scored on 13 and 30 minutes, respectively, but Sevilla’s Éver Banega got one back before the half. Sevilla poured every ounce of energy they had into an effective forward press in the second half and were handsomely rewarded when José Antonio Reyes led sneaky counter attack out of midfield that ended with Gameiro beating Barça goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to draw Sevilla back even in the 82nd.

With Barça wearing their bright crimson with navy blue trim and Sevilla in their home whites with red trim the game got off to a blistering pace in the opening minutes with neither side wasting any time charging out onto the attack. Neymar and Iniesta both tried nearly identical long-range strikes that were foiled by Sevilla keeper Sergio Rico before Messi broke the ice with a quick shuffle step at the edge of the area and a hard shot with the left foot that curled around Rico and inside the far post

The goal energised Barça who then ran their possession up to 76% before Neymar made it 2–0. The Brazilian stood over a free kick with Messi, the two cohorts strategising with their hands covering their mouths, before Neymar stepped up and drilled it over the wall and into the upper left corner.

But in a strange turn of events, that goal did the unthinkable. Instead of sinking Sevilla, Barça’s second goal gave the hosts a burst of their own. After Suárez and Bacca each missed great chances at opposite ends, Banega wound up and fired at the Barça goal straight on from 24 metres. Bravo dove got his hand on it but the ball went hard off the post and in.

Iniesta and Suárez failed to deliver on back-to-back wonderful chances to open the second half while the game’s physical battles warmed up. Sevilla went with a full out press and it paid dividends for a while, forcing Barça into an unfamiliar defensive posture for stretches at a time.

Sevilla made their first two changes around the 70th minute to keep their legs fresh and Barça brought in Xavi for Neymar to try and stabilise the midfield. Sevilla made their final change in the 75th, bringing in Gameiro for Bacca. Along with Gameiro came the game-tying goal just shy of ten minutes later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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