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EHF Champions League

Barça deservedly snatch a point in Paris

EHF / Kevin Domas

After Barça’s win in the first game, Paris Saint-Germain Handball were motivated to turn things around at home on Thursday evening, just like they did against Lomza Vive Kielce last week. It showed in the opening minutes of the game, as the French team made a roaring start.

But despite Timothey N’Guessan’s injury, Barça turned things around in the second half thanks to a stronger defence and a stellar performance from Gonzalo Perez de Vargas. In the dying seconds, both sides could have won the game but instead took one point each as the match ended 28:28.

Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA) vs Barça (ESP) 28:28 (17:15)

  • PSG held an early five-goal advantage after making a better start, and Nedim Remili scored his 400th EHF Champions League goal along the way
  • but as the first half was divided in two parts, Haniel Langaro set things straight for Barça, netting four times to put his team back on track before the break
  • Barça came out much more aggressive defensively after the break, conceding only three goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half thanks to Gonzalo Perez de Vargas
  • on the other side of the court, as Aleix Gómez and Haniel Langaro did not miss much, the Spanish side led by two goals in the 47th minute
  • the game was decided in the last seconds: while Gómez scored his last penalty, Mathieu Grebille converted his last shot, meaning that both teams were level at the final whistle
  • the top scorer of the game was Ferran Sole, who netted eight times for PSG
  • both teams are level on 12 points after this draw. PSG are in second place in the group standings; Barça are fourth

Gonzalo Perez de Vargas – what a show

After conceding 17 goals in the first half of the game, Barça only conceded 11 goals in the second half – and they can thank Gonzalo Perez de Vargas.

After sitting on the bench at the end of the first half, the Spanish goalkeeper only let in three goals in the first 16 minutes of the second half. If Barça coach Antonio Carlos Ortega thought that his performance was not worth it in the first half, he must have changed his mind at the final whistle after Perez de Vargas had denied the PSG players victory.

Congratulations to Barcelona tonight. The first half was very good for us, we were very concentrated and everybody played perfect. (The) second half was more difficult for us. Barcelona was great in defence, but we played better at the very end of the game.
Raul Gonzalez
Paris Saint-Germain HB head coach
It was a very tough match and a beautiful match for spectators. We were at minus five or minus six at one moment in the first half, but we kept our calm and took it step by step to be back in the game. Our second half was much better. Our defence was better.
Antonio Carlos Ortega
Barça head coach

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