Barcelona’s Lionel Messi reacts after PSG’s Kylian Mbappe scored his side’s first goal in the Champions League round of 16, the first leg between FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday February 16, 2021 (AP Photo / Joan Monfort)

MADRID – Barcelona had just received the equalizer against Paris Saint-Germain when veteran defender Gerard Piqué attacked his teammates at Camp Nou

Piqué stood in the penalty area after PSG earned a corner and asked the team – screaming and with explosives – to keep at least one long possession in attack

Antoine Griezmann, who tried to back up the defense when PSG dominated and got closer to goal again, told Piqué to calm down and “stop screaming, they argued for a few seconds and berated each other when teammates tried to get them to focus on the game

“We suffered and it’s been five minutes now,” said Piqué. “We went like crazy here”

“I run like crazy too,” Griezmann replied as the ball came back into play and the discussion apparently ended

But the fights for Barcelona, ​​who lost 4-1 in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday, were far from over

And this time around, there is no sign of another memorable comeback for the Catalan club as it did almost four years ago with a 6-1 win against a 4-0 defeat in the first leg in Paris

The team looked beaten and injured after their home defeat on Tuesday Player and coach Ronald Koeman admitted that Barcelona were not up to the task against a better PSG team and admitted that things need to change

There was no positive spin or any real attempt to boost the team’s confidence after the game The deflation loss left the players dejected The tone in their voices showed a discouraged troop Koeman could not convey a hint of optimism and stayed close to defeat stand before he played the second leg in Paris in three weeks

“I could lie to you,” said Koeman. “But after a 4-1 home defeat there are very few opportunities for advancement”

There was disappointment with the result and with how the team lost and was played out at Camp Nou for most of the game

“We have to admit that they were superior,” said Koeman. “They showed, especially in the second half, that they have a more complete team. We have to accept it and try to keep improving. We know that their team currently lies ahead of us in many ways ”

A lot has changed since the 6-1 comeback in 2017, and Barcelona have slowly lost their dominance in Europe. PSG have now added top players and are getting closer and closer to the breakthrough with the European title. Last season, it was second at FC Bayern Munich, who defeated Barcelona 8-2 in the quarter-finals

“We are about to change things,” said Koeman, who arrived shortly after the embarrassing defeat against Bayern. “This game showed that we are still missing some things to be at the highest level, especially in the Champions League ”

Barcelona, ​​who were aiming for their first Champions League title since 2015, got into a crisis after losing to Bayern last season and have since experienced political turbulence and financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic

The Catalan club have made it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League 13 times in a row, most recently in 2007 in the round of 16. The 2007/08 season was the last in which Barcelona could not win a title in a competition until last season

However, the team had improved upon entering the matchup against PSG and appeared to have gained an advantage when Neymar was excluded from the French squad due to injury Ángel Di María was also injured while Lionel Messi was in tip top shape and in had scored nine goals in the last nine games

But after a decent start after a penalty in the 27th Minute led to Messi’s goal, Barcelona had nothing against a more organized and effective PSG squad, led by Kylian Mbappé’s hat-trick and another goal from Moise Kean

It was PSG that looked like the great European powerhouse, and it seems like it was for Barcelona players too

“It’s difficult when they score four goals for you at home,” said Griezmann. “It’s not the image we want to show of Barcelona”

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