Published: Thu, March 09, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Barcelona responds to Luis Enrique's departure with season-best showing

No side in the European Cup's 61-year history has progressed after losing a first leg by four goals, although Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was beaming with optimism in his pre-game news conference.

They were facing a PSG team that would probably fold early under their attack, Luis Enrique was one of the most consistent managers in the world and they were feeling great.

Recall that Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has made a decision to quit his position at the end of the season and the first leg defeat to PSG was among the rationales that forced him to decide.

Boosted by the improvements, the Barca boss added that "anything can happen in 95 minutes" and emphasised his belief that his side will find their way back into the tie - even if they ultimately come up short. "And when we're close, our morale will keep on growing and [PSG's] may decrease". When you are close, our confidence will soar and theirs could start to diminish.

Barcelona's humiliation three weeks ago instead leaves them looking to haul back a 4-0 deficit against a Paris Saint-Germain side who aren't the type of side to lose by that margin regardless of the opposition. It would be an impressive way for Luis Enrique to bow out: the team is now one point ahead, but Madrid has a game in hand, though a trickier run-in, with matches against Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and, on April 23, a potential decider against Barcelona.

The 30-year-old told reporters: "We are all aware of how hard it is, but in football nothing is impossible. We are convinced we can do it".

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Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez all played full-time in the first-leg against PSG but none of them had a single shot on target. "All 25 players can play all the systems - and we can play an infinite number of systems".

Backed by a 16-game unbeaten streak, PSG head to the Camp Nou confident they will be able to withstand Barca's pressure. We know we can score two goals at the San Paolo.

PSG sat back and absorbed the Barcelona pressure without doing any of the pressing that won them the first leg in such incredible circumstances.

"The first few minutes will be important because they'll put us under pressure".

PSG midfielders Adrien Rabiot, Angel Di Maria and Thiago Motta are in the squad having recovered from their respective injuries.

Despite everyone thinking they were done, despite all the odds, despite history being against them, Barcelona found a way.

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