Sports

April 17, 2024

‘We always believed’, says Dembele after PSG comeback

‘We always believed’, says Dembele after PSG comeback

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward #10 Ousmane Dembele celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between FC Barcelona and Paris SG at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona on April 16, 2024. (Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP)

Ousmane Dembele said there was never any doubt Paris Saint-Germain could overturn a first-leg deficit against Barcelona as the French champions won 4-1 in Spain on Tuesday to reach the Champions League semi-finals.

Trailing 3-2 from last week’s clash in Paris, Luis Enrique’s PSG fell further behind in the tie when Raphinha turned in Lamine Yamal’s cross in the 12th minute.

But a red card for Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo was the turning point, with Dembele bringing PSG back into the quarter-final as he fired home shortly before half-time.

Vitinha brought the visitors level on aggregate before Kylian Mbappe struck twice, converting a penalty and then applying the fatal blow a minute from time to complete a 6-4 aggregate victory.

“Everyone believed we could do it, even though we lost 3-2 in the first leg. We didn’t throw in the towel. We knew we would score goals here. The whole team did a great job,” Dembele told Canal Plus.

“We have done a lot of work tactically all week and the coach’s tactics were perfect. We saw in the game, even though we lost the first goal, we didn’t give up. We kept believing because we had to win the match.”

It was the first time in club history PSG had won a Champions League tie after losing the first leg at home.

Their reward will be a meeting with another of Dembele’s former sides, Borussia Dortmund, who overcame Atletico Madrid 5-4 on aggregate after winning 4-2 at home Tuesday.

“It was a great effort. Everyone was exceptional throughout the whole game. I saw that Borussia Dortmund got through and there’s another club I played for,” said Dembele, who shrugged off a frosty reception in Barcelona.

“I had a great evening. Being booed by the Barcelona fans is not going to affect me. I gave everything. I scored and won a penalty, so I am pleased with my performance.”