Enrique in awe as Barcelona seal football's greatest comeback
Barcelona 6 Paris SG 1 (Barcelona win 6-5 on aggregate)
Barcelona's amazing 6-1 victory over Paris St Germain that sent them through to the Champions League quarter-finals last night was not the Harlem Globetrotters, according to coach Luis Enrique.
The Spanish side, who lost the first leg 4-0, struck three late goals in six minutes to complete an extraordinary comeback.
They led 2-0 at the interval last night after Luis Suarez's header and an Layvin Kurzawa own goal.
Lionel Messi then slotted home a penalty before PSG struck back through Edinson Cavani.
That meant they were 5-3 down on aggregate in the 88th minute but a beautiful Neymar free-kick, a penalty from the Brazilian and a 95th-minute Sergi Roberto goal sealed perhaps the greatest comeback in football history.
"I was brought to my knees. I would like to thank everyone who kept their faith after we lost 4-0. This is dedicated to them because this isn't the Harlem Globetrotters, this is football," Enrique, who is leaving at the end of the season, said.
"I don't think anyone stopped believing. After seeing them sit back despite the goal, the team were incredible.
"We risked everything and it paid off. You get finales like this very occasionally in football and this time it was our turn.
"A feat like this does everyone good and I'm delighted to enjoy a moment like this. The key was our efficiency. The sixth goal was scored with the hope of the fan who was on the other side of the world."
Ivan Rakitic added that he could hardly understand what he had just been involved in after Barca sealed a 6-5 aggregate victory.
"I cannot believe it. It was really impossible, 15-20 minutes after the game, it is crazy and unbelievable," the Croatian said.
"The first game in Paris was hard for us, a lot of people spoke hard on our team but the reaction was special. It is history. We want to keep going on.
"We had to believe. Four-nil was hard, but it is football.
"We saw it in the Super Bowl, what is possible in sport.
"This is Barcelona, the best team in the world and we want to continue our dream in the Uefa Champions League."
For PSG coach Unai Emery, the dream which looked set for a place in the quarter-finals was shattered.
"When we analyse it, it is true that we have missed a major opportunity," said the Spaniard, who had guided Sevilla to Europa League glory in three consecutive seasons before heading to Paris.
"The first half was our fault and we didn't manage to press or do things with the ball. We defended very deep and they had more chances to score. We made mistakes for the two first-half goals.
"We were calmer in the second half and better positioned. We improved and had a chance for 3-2. The refereeing went against us and we lost everything in the closing minutes. Barcelona are capable of doing that. It was all or nothing for them.
"It is a negative experience for me and for the club. We need to learn from it."
BARCELONA: ter Stegen, Rafinha (Sergi Roberto, 76 mins), Umtiti, Pique, Mascherano, Iniesta (Turan, 65 mins), Busquets, Rakitic (Andre Gomes, 84 mins), Neymar, Luis Suarez, Messi. Unused subs: Cillessen, Alcacer, Jordi Alba, Digne.
PSG: Trapp, Meunier (Krychowiak, 90 mins), Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Kurzawa, Lucas Moura (Di Maria, 55 mins), Rabiot, Matuidi, Draxler (Aurier, 75 mins), Verratti, Cavani. Unused subs: Areola, Kimpembe, Pastore, Ben Arfa.
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Germany)
Man of the match: Neymar
Match rating: 10/10