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Apr 3, 2013

Ancelotti: Barcelona's Sanchez 'dived'

Paris Saint-Germain manager Carlo Ancelotti has labelled Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez a serial diver after a foul on the Chilean led to the La Liga leaders claiming a crucial second away goal in the clubs' first-leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

• Blog: PSG prove potential
• Lomas: Fearless PSG rattle Barca

The French club twice fought back to claim a 2-2 draw against the Spanish side, Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalising after Lionel Messi opened proceedings before Blaise Matuidi brought the Ligue 1 leaders level again following Xavi's converted penalty in the last minute of normal time.

And it was the action leading up to Xavi taking aim from the spot which has infuriated Ancelotti, the Italian believing Sanchez had conned the referee into awarding Barcelona a 'gift'.

"Alexis looked for the goalkeeper, it was not a penalty," he told Canal + after the match. "It was a gift from the referee.

"We have experience with Alexis, in the friendly in August he also dived. We know him. He likes to dive. It is nothing new."

However, the former AC Milan and Chelsea boss was proud of the way his player managed to work their way back into the match, and though admitting it will be difficult to find a result at the Nou Camp next week, was upbeat his side could pull off a major coup and shock the Barcelona fans in their home ground.

"It was a good game. We played well in the first few minutes but it got complicated. We used a lot of energy to level the score," he continued.

"We have opportunities for the return game. It is still open, even if it will not be easy. We showed that we can compete against Barca. We will have to score twice there. We did it tonight, let's do it the same way in the second leg."

PSG's director of football Leonardo agreed with his coach that the club was well worth the result against their heavily fancied opponents.

But the Brazilian saved the greatest praise for Ancelotti himself.

"We are very, very proud. We conceded when we were at our best in the game, and to come back in the game against Barcelona is not easy," Leonardo said

"Carlo was amazing today. He studied Barcelona hard, and it is true that if you look at the game, we had a nearly perfect strategy. We had one goal when we were the best. But if you leave a few millimetres to (Lionel) Messi, this is what happens.

"I believe that after all we've been through in the past few months, today is truly a wonderful thing, because it is not easy to build a team. We are very proud of our game, our behaviour, our approach to the game.

"It is true that it is very difficult there (at Camp Nou]. But you never know. With this spirit, we'll try everything."

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