PSG fightback impresses Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic admitted Paris Saint-Germain could harbour regrets over missed chances, but hailed a "fantastic game" by the Ligue 1 leaders after snatching a 2-2 draw with Barcelona.
The Swede, 31, has often been critical of his PSG team-mates this season, but the demanding striker was gushing in his praise of his team's performance as they grabbed a late equaliser to give themselves some hope to cling to ahead of next week's quarter-final second leg in Spain. The former Barcelona forward did, however, lament the fact Carlo Ancelotti's side might have had more scope for optimism had goalscoring opportunities been taken prior to Lionel Messi giving the visitors a 38th-minute lead.
"I think we played a fantastic game. We can have some regrets about a few chances in the first half before their goal, which could have changed the game, notably striking a post," Ibrahimovic, who saw Ezequiel Lavezzi hit the woodwork just five minutes in, told Canal+. "Barca had one shot in the first half, and scored. Above all I'm happy that we kept on fighting. We're happy to have equalised as it would have been much tougher had we lost."
Ibrahimovic is the main reason PSG will step out into the Camp Nou next Wednesday with - as L'Equipe calculated based on past games in Europe - a 20% chance of reaching the quarter-finals. One of the assistants of German referee Wolfgang Stark must, however, also take some of the credit for keeping his flag down when Ibrahimovic, clearly from an offside position, pounced to equalise 11 minutes from time.
After Xavi fired home an 89th-minute penalty to put Barca in front once more, Ibrahimovic led the PSG rally, having another goal ruled out for offside in stoppage time before - with the penultimate touch of the game - heading down for Blaise Matuidi to fire home the hosts' 94th-minute equaliser.
"Fifteen minutes before I scored, Ibra told me to get closer when a long ball was played up to him as something would come from it," Matuidi, who benefitted from his team-mate's competition-leading sixth assist this season, told the press. "That shows that great players even give good advice, as well as their talent. I can only thank him."