Barca seek Lazarus-like comeback against PSG

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left) and Ivan Rakitic celebrating after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match against RC Celta de Vigo at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on Saturday (March 4).
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left) and Ivan Rakitic celebrating after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match against RC Celta de Vigo at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on Saturday (March 4). PHOTO: AFP

BARCELONA • Spanish Primera Liga club Barcelona's hopes of clawing back a 4-0 deficit to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the Champions League may look like a lost cause but manager Luis Enrique says he has an "unbreakable faith" that his side can turn the tie around.

Barcelona's 5-0 victory over Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday was their fourth straight win since that embarrassing last-16, first-leg defeat in Paris last month.

Enrique said after the Celta game that Barca possessed the capabilities to become the first side to overturn a four-goal deficit in the Champions League when they host PSG in the second leg on March 15.

"I've naturally been thinking about the tie for a long time. It wasn't normal that they beat us so easily but our objective is to show that we're the best team and can turn it around in 90 minutes," he said. "I have unbreakable faith that we can win the tie.

"We're going to risk everything, we want to create an atmosphere in which the fans will help us even more than they normally do."

Celta were the last team to beat Barcelona in the league but a brilliant solo goal from Lionel Messi midway through the first half lifted the home side's confidence and killed off any real hope the visitors had of pulling off another shock.

The Argentinian rounded off the scoring with another classy individual run and finish after goals from Neymar, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti had stretched Barca's lead.

The fourth straight league victory also helped Barcelona remain top of La Liga after arch-rivals Real Madrid had put the pressure on them with a 4-1 win at Eibar.

Barcelona fans are already turning their attention to the PSG game, unfurling banners reading, "We'll turn it around" and chanting, "Yes we can".

"We will give everything from the first minute to the last," Croatian international Rakitic told Spanish TV station Movistar.

"We will try and hopefully we can produce a miracle."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2017, with the headline 'Barca seek Lazarus-like comeback against PSG'. Print Edition | Subscribe