Paris Saint-Germain heads to the Camp Nou level at 2-2 against Barcelona in the first leg quarter final match of the UEFA Champions League match.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were being taught a painful lesson in taking chances in European football until Blaise Matuidi’s injury-time strike salvaged a more than deserved draw for the capital club.
PSG will arrive in Spain for the second leg with renewed hope after putting in a performance of the highest quality to contribute to a spectacular encounter.
A late strike from Zlatan Ibrahimovic had cancelled out Lionel Messi’s opener, which came against the run of play in the first half, but a late penalty from Xavi had looked to have won the match for the Catalans.
However, Matuidi, so vital for Ancelotti’s side this season, scored a fortuitous but thoroughly merited equaliser to send the home fans into wild jubilation.
The result, on reflection, is a fair one.
PSG were punished for some occasionally naive defending although their struggle to take their chances did not cost them dearly as it could have.
In the other quarter final game, Bayern Munich’s bid to reach a third UEFA Champions League final in four years remains on track after they earned a deserved 2-0 victory over Juventus in the first leg of their quarter-final clash on Tuesday.
A goal inside the first minute from David Alaba set Bayern on their way and Thomas Muller added a second just after the hour mark as the German giants built a healthy advantage to take to Italy for their return leg.
However Bayern, runners-up in 2010 and again last year when they lost the final on home soil to Chelsea following a penalty shoot-out, will be wary of getting too confident.
In the previous round, they beat Arsenal 3-1 away from home in the first leg but were then made to sweat for a place in the last eight after losing the home leg 2-0.
That was Bayern’s only setback during a run of 13 wins in 14 matches coming into Tuesday night’s game though, and on Saturday they moved to within one win of claiming the Bundesliga title with a 9-2 thrashing of Hamburg.