Barcelona’s pride was wounded by a 4-0 thrashing handed to them by Paris St Germain in the Champions League last 16 first leg but the team believe they are capable of turning the tie around in tonight’s second leg, striker Luis Suarez said yesterday.
Barca scraped a 2-1 win over struggling Leganes in their first game after their harrowing defeat in Paris, but they head into tonight’s return leg on a high after hammering Sporting Gijon 6-1 and Celta Vigo 5-0 in their last two outings.
“A lot of time has passed since then, but the hardest thing was the first few days,” Suarez said.
“That defeat hurt us a lot, but a few days later we were able to lift ourselves up with a change in attitude and by scoring goals.”
Barca overcame a 2-0 defeat to AC Milan in a last 16 first leg in 2013 to win 4-0 and knocked Gothenburg out of the 1986 European Cup after losing a semi-final first leg 3-0, although no side has ever clawed back a four-goal deficit in the Champions League.
“Nothing is impossible in football and if any team is capable of scoring four goals it’s Barca, but we’ll do it our way.
“We need to remember the game lasts 94-95 minutes and we need to be patient and not get desperate,” added Suarez.
“We can’t go crazy, we want to turn the situation around and go down in history more than anyone else, but we need to play with a sense of calm.
Suarez produced one of his best displays in a Barcelona shirt against PSG, scoring twice in a 3-1 win at the Parc des Princes in a 2015 quarter-final first leg.
After the shock of the defeat three weeks ago, the Uruguayan said the team is prepared to produce a history defining performance.
“The great thing about football is you can lift yourself up immediately, and we’re feeling confident and lively, and with the support of our fans we believe we can rise to this great challenge,” he added.
“If we pull it off it will be the greatest game of my career. It’s one of the most important games I’ll play and we have to convince ourselves we can do it. We’re going to fight until the end.”
Barca boss Luis Enrique was similarly bullish.
“I’ve been convinced for a couple of weeks that there will be a stage in the game where we will be close to achieving what we need.
“If a team can score four against us then we can score six against them. The result in the first leg was very clear but this is a knock-out tie and we’re only at half-time.”
PSG are unbeaten in 16 games, of which they have won 14 and drawn two, while they have not conceded four goals in any match this season.
Striker Edinson Cavani said the team must forget about their advantage.
He said: “That’s behind us now and we have to focus on the return match. In Paris, we showed great concentration from the first minute to the last. That’s what you need to beat a team like Barcelona.
“We know that their supporters will be cheering them on, but we will be ready.”
Cavani has taken over the mantle from the departed Zlatan Ibrahimovic impressively, scoring 36 goals in 35 appearances so far this campaign.
But he insisted trophies are what matter, saying: “I work hard every day to keep improving, to score as many goals as possible, because I want to help the team.
“That’s the attacker’s job, but the most important thing of all is to win trophies. If you score a lot of goals, but don’t lift any silverware, you cannot be completely satisfied.”
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