PSG 2-3 Barcelona: Player ratings as Raphinha brace helps Barca to first-leg victory

  • Barcelona beat PSG 3-2 in first leg of their Champions League quarter-final
  • Raphinha scored twice for Barca before Andreas Christensen grabbed winner
  • Ousmane Dembele and Vitinha goals had put PSG ahead at start of second half
Raphinha was the Barcelona hero
Raphinha was the Barcelona hero / Pedro Salado/GettyImages

Barcelona edged a Champions League classic to take a slender one-goal lead into the second leg of their quarter-final with Paris Saint-Germain.

The reigning French champions were made to pay for a largely flat and naive performance, eventually succumbing to a 3-2 loss on home soil.

Xavi's young guns held their nerve and ran out deserved winners at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night.

How the game unfolded

After an opening 20 minutes of half-chances coming to nothing, Barcelona nearly took the lead when Gianluigi Donnarumma failed to claim Ilkay Gundogan's corner, and Robert Lewandowski's header had to be cleared off the line by Nuno Mendes.

PSG wanted a penalty when Kylian Mbappe was taken out by Joao Cancelo when trying to reach a loose ball in the 18-yard box, but the offside flag had been raised. VAR also briefly reviewed the challenge for a potential red card as Cancelo's boot was high and caught Mbappe on the ankle.

Just before the break, Barcelona went in front. Robert Lewandowski did well to beat the PSG press and spread play to Lamine Yamal, whose low cross escaped the hands of Donnarumma and fell kindly to Raphinha, and he was able to pick out the top corner after having time to set himself.

But within three minutes of the restart, PSG were level. Barcelona failed to deal with a fizzing Mbappe cross, with the ball falling to Ousmane Dembele just inside the box, and he rifled it into the roof of Marc-Andre ter Stegen's net.

Almost immediately from the resulting kick-off, the hosts turned the game completely on its head. A lovely move down the right flank saw Fabian Ruiz slip in Vitinha, who poked it beyond Ter Stegen.

Barcelona looked to equalise straight away and should have at least troubled Donnarumma when Yamal's cross found Lewandowski, but the ball bounced off the top of his head and ballooned back out of the penalty area.

Ter Stegen came to Barca's rescue when he produced a fine save from Bradley Barcola, pushing his fierce attempt onto the crossbar at the end of a blistering counter attack.

Just after the hour mark, Barcelona made it 2-2. Pedri - only on for a matter of seconds as a substitute - floated a wonderful ball over the top of a sleeping PSG backline for Raphinha, who volleyed into the bottom corner with the outside of his left boot.

Ronald Araujo made a brilliant recovery challenge to deny a certain goal from Barcola having beaten Barcelona's offside trap as the game headed into the final 20 minutes.

PSG rattled the woodwork again when Vitinha recovered possession in midfield and sent Dembele racing away, only to strike the post this time.

With 15 minutes to go, Barcelona regained the lead. Gundogan's corner made it right the way into PSG's six-yard box, and Andreas Christensen's first touch after being substituted on saw him head the ball across the line.

The hosts ultimately failed to test Ter Stegen late on and have a mountain to climb when they head to Catalonia next week.

PSG player ratings (4-3-3)

Ousmane Dembele
Dembele scored only his second goal of the season / Pedro Salado/GettyImages

GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma - 2/10 - Made the Parc des Princes atmosphere uneasy with a string of minor but noticeable errors, often failing to claim crosses. This flaw in his game allowed Barcelona to take the lead on the night twice.

RB: Marquinhos - 5/10 - So often the pantomime villain in PSG's collapses, but at least he was just a bit meh rather than directly contributing to an opposition goal here.

CB: Lucas Hernandez - 4/10 - Beraldo needed a senior head to rely upon but that certainly wasn't Hernandez, who looked uncertain from the off.

CB: Lucas Beraldo - 4/10 - Only just arrived in Europe from his native Brazil in January and is still only 20 years old, but boy did his inexperience show. Given the runaround by Lewandowski, who used every bit of his experience to drag the young centre-back all over the place.

LB: Nuno Mendes - 6/10 - One of PSG's best attacking players by a considerable distance, though did have trouble keeping Barcelona quiet going the other way.

CM: Vitinha - 8/10 - Enrique's teams can sometimes be labeled dull or passive, but the 24-year-old provided the requisite thrust to bring PSG back into the contest, being rewarded with a goal for his endeavour.

CM: Lee Kang-in - 6/10 - Kept possession well and forced a comfortable save out of Ter Stegen early in the evening. Last action before being substituted was a limp dive trying to win a penalty off of Cancelo.

CM: Fabian Ruiz - 6/10 - Came up with the assist for Vitinha but that was as penetrative as his passing really got.

RW: Ousmane Dembele - 7/10 - An abysmal first-half display meant Dembele was fortunate not to have been hooked after 45 minutes, but he repaid Enrique's faith with a show-stopping goal out of the blocks.

CF: Marco Asensio - 4/10 - Easily snuffled out by Araujo and Cubarsi in the first half. Understandably withdrawn at the break having made no major impact.

LW: Kylian Mbappe - 5/10 - Threatened to threaten with his trademark pace and willingness to shoot, though for the most part was marshalled well by a combination of Kounde and Araujo.


SUB: Bradley Barcola (46' for Asensio) - 7/10 - Changed the game by allowing PSG to have a third option to run in behind and stretch Barcelona.

SUB: Warren Zaire-Emery (61' for Lee) - 5/10

SUB: Goncalo Ramos (86' for Ruiz) - N/A

Subs not used: Keylor Navas (GK), Arnau Tenas (GK), Milan Skriniar, Yoram Zague, Danilo Pereira, Manuel Ugarte, Carlos Soler, Senny Mayulu, Randal Kolo Muani


Luis Enrique - 5/10 - Schooled by his apprentice. Aside from a five-minute spell after half-time, PSG were clearly the inferior side.

Barcelona player ratings (4-3-3)

Christensen scored the winner / MIGUEL MEDINA/GettyImages

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen - 6/10 - Can't really lay blame for PSG's goals at his door. Wasn't afraid to go long to Lewandowski and take advantage of the hosts' unbalanced high line.

RB: Jules Kounde - 8/10 - Put absolutely everything into nullifying compatriot Mbappe, limiting him to shots from distance.

CB: Ronald Araujo - 7/10 - Helped Kounde double up on Mbappe at times. Used his godly athleticism to make recovery challenges.

CB: Pau Cubarsi - 6/10 - The youngest defender to ever start a Champions League quarter-final at 17 years and 79 days, but played with the confidence and assurance of someone who had played 500 times in this competition.

LB: Joao Cancelo - 6/10 - A tad lucky not to have been punished for a rash challenge on Mbappe in the first half and was the weak link of a strong Barcelona defence, but proved a net positive with his contributions pressing and on the ball.

CM: Sergi Roberto - 6/10 - Booked early for a cynical foul which rules him out of the return leg. Offered little other than energy and was crucially substituted for Pedri in the second half.

CM: Frenkie de Jong - 6/10 - Brought his usual technical excellence to the midfield battle but his influence waned as the game went on, which isn't surprising given this was his first match since returning from a month-long injury lay-off.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan - 8/10 - If De Jong provided a higher level of technique, then Gundogan was the bringer of the composure this young Barcelona team needed. Took the first half by the scruff of the neck and then assisted Christensen's goal in the second.

RW: Lamine Yamal - 7/10 - Never let his head drop despite the hostile atmosphere and reception. Produced the teasing cross which eventually led to Raphinha's opening goal.

CF: Robert Lewandowski - 6/10 - Pulled PSG to-and-fro with his excellent movement. Occasionally called out for not providing anything for his team other than goals, but this was display was the inverse of such criticism.

LW: Raphinha - 9/10 - Barcelona are deranged to even contemplate selling the Brazil winger. Provided them with a direct point of attack and delivered two fine goals on a huge stage with the world watching.


SUB: Pedri (61' for Roberto) - 8/10

SUB: Joao Felix (61' for Yamal) - 6/10

SUB: Andreas Christensen (75' for De Jong) - 8/10

SUB: Ferran Torres (75' for Raphinha) - 6/10

SUB: Fermin Lopez (86' for Gundogan) - N/A

Subs not used: Inaki Pena (GK), Ander Astralaga (GK), Inigo Martinez, Marcos Alonso, Hector Fort, Oriol Romeu, Vitor Roque


Xavi - 8/10 - Barcelona are fools for allowing Xavi to get to the point where he wants to leave the club. Another masterful coaching performance.

Player of the match - Raphinha (Barcelona)

Raphinha was standout / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages