Last 16, sec­ond leg, 2016-17

Australian Four Four Two - - FEATURES -

“This is a sport for crazy peo­ple,” said Barça coach Luis En­rique after­wards. “I’d like to cry, but tears do not come out.” Dumb­found­ed­ness seemed like the ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse in the wake of the most pre­pos­ter­ous game of foot­ball in re­cent Cham­pi­ons League mem­ory. Barça were play­ing only for pride, re­ally, hav­ing been flag­el­lated 4-0 in the French cap­i­tal three weeks ear­lier, and yet they raced into a 3-0 lead within 50 min­utes thanks to Luis Suarez (who was at his de­vi­ous and di­vey best), an own goal from Layvin Kurzawa and a Lionel Messi penalty. The swell of hope around the Camp Nou was bru­tally punc­tured, how­ever, when Edin­son Ca­vani’s 62nd-minute strike left the Cata­lans need­ing three more to go through. And in the last five min­utes, they some­how got ’em. Two Ney­mar goals and a late Sergi Roberto win­ner prompted scenes of delir­ium on an in­dus­trial scale. Only Ger­ard Pique seemed to know how to re­spond. “There will be a lot of love made tonight,” the cen­tral de­fender laughed at full-time. Shakira, Shakira.

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