Belief for treble chase regained

BARCELONA • A suddenly revitalised Barcelona are eyeing a second treble of Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey wins in three seasons.

The Spanish football giants' stunning revival from a 0-4 first-leg deficit to beat Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 in their Champions League round-of-16 home tie on Wednesday has given them a huge lift.

Brazilian striker Neymar, the architect of the win, said the team are full of confidence. "We believed before and now even more so," he said.

It is for nights like Wednesday that Barca paid millions to recruit and then renew Neymar's contract last October till 2021.

Three times in a frantic final seven minutes, the Brazilian took responsibility and dragged Barca back from the brink into a record 10th consecutive quarter-final.

"A night worthy of the Ballon d'Or," said Spanish sports daily Marca. "With his speed, skill and powerful strike, PSG folded up against the best version of the Brazilian."

After partying into the early hours of Thursday morning with three-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, Barca and Neymar travel to Deportivo La Coruna tomorrow looking to avoid a hangover and renew their bid for a third successive La Liga title. Real Madrid are a point behind the leaders with a game in hand.

"We have never been cautious and we want to win the three competitions," said manager Luis Enrique, whose side will play Alaves in the King's Cup final in May.

Meanwhile, police have launched an investigation after the PSG players were heckled by angry supporters upon their return to Paris. Vehicles were also damaged at the Bourget Airport.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2017, with the headline 'Belief for treble chase regained'. Print Edition | Subscribe