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April 16, 2024
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Mbappe’s late goals seal dramatic Champions League win amid red cards

Xavi, speaking on Movistar TV after Barcelona’s heart-wrenching elimination from the Champions League, expressed a cocktail of emotions: “We are annoyed, angry, as we feel Araujo’s sending off marks the tie, completely. 11-v-11 we were going well, but it was another game afterwards. The red card was excessive, it is not good for football to play so long with 10 players.”

Barcelona’s possession statistics tell a dismal tale. Last week against PSG, they registered their lowest possession figure on record since 2003-04, with a mere 41 percent. Today, their possession plummeted even further to a meager 33 percent, largely attributed to Ronald Araújo’s expulsion in the 29th minute.

Paris Saint-Germain, for their part, inflicted a bitter blow on Barcelona, eliminating them from the Champions League for the third time in history. Their previous triumphs came in the round of 16 in 2021 and the quarter-finals in 1995.

While Araujo’s red card undoubtedly influenced the game’s course, PSG displayed prowess even before the pivotal moment. The decision to send off Araujo was deemed just, further highlighting Barcelona’s woeful performance.

Despite trailing by two goals with an hour to go, PSG orchestrated a remarkable comeback, netting four goals and sealing their place in the semi-finals. Mbappe’s impending departure from PSG adds poignancy to their victory, with just one more UCL game left for him at the Parc des Princes.

It was a disappointing night for La Liga overall, with Atletico Madrid suffering a 4-2 defeat in Dortmund and exiting the tournament 5-4 on aggregate. The prospect of an Atletico-Barcelona semi-final, once tantalizing, now remains a distant dream.

As attention shifts to Madrid’s fixture tomorrow, many Barcelona fans may find solace in supporting Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, hoping for a better outcome in the remaining Champions League fixtures.

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