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Emery lifts lid on Barca's UCL remontada vs PSG

Unai Emery finally lifts lid on what went wrong for PSG in Barca's 2017 UCL remontada

February 10, 2020 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The ex-manager of the French club highlighted what actually went wrong to set his side on course to the historic defeat.

Posterity will remember Paris Saint-Germain as the side that ultimately 'choked' on one of world football's biggest stages but Unai Emery insists that it should not have been so in the first place. The Spanish manager who was in charge of the French outfit at the time has revealed that poor officiating in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg encounter with Barcelona cost his side qualification to the next stage.

Prior to the infamous defeat at Camp Nou, PSG staged a remarkable performance at Parc des Princes and headed into the second clash with a 4-0 advantage. Needless to say, Barca successfully reversed the four-goal deficit and eventually run away as winners on aggregate with Sergi Roberto scoring a dramatic late goal to seal a 6-1 win for his side.

"La Remontada" - as it has since been affectionately called - was labelled as "astonishing", "incredible", and "a miracle" by the media but Unai Emery holds a different sentiment as he reckoned that there was foul-play. The Spanish manager, who currently remains unassigned after being shown the exit door by Arsenal, insisted that Barcelona would have been denied the unprecedented feat had they not been favored by the referee. He further attributed Les Parisiens shortcoming against Real Madrid in the subsequent campaign to another case of poor officiating.

"I won Ligue 1, and four domestic cups, as well as two Trophee des Champions titles," Emery told France Football.

"Our ultimate objective was the Champions League, and in the first year (2016-17), against Barcelona in the round of 16, we produced a very impressive first leg performance.

"In the second leg, we were eliminated because VAR did not yet exist. We were clearly eliminated by refereeing decisions."

He added: "In my second year, against Real, we lost to a team that won three titles in a row.

"However, again, in the first leg, we can also point to the refereeing.

"Overall, we lost for the first time because of refereeing decisions, and then to the eventual winners."

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