It's now or never for Kylian Mbappe and PSG in Champions League

Barcelona hold upper hand in their quarter-final second leg

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Paris Saint-Germain and Kylian Mbappe have no room for error as they hope to avoid another disappointing exit from the Champions League.

PSG carry a 3-2 deficit into their quarter-final second leg against Barcelona on Tuesday, with their confidence dented.

After superstar Mbappe announced that he will not be staying beyond the end of his contract after this summer, there seemed to be a sense of purpose in PSG as they aimed to end the campaign on a positive note.

As luck would have it, PSG were handed a favourable draw for the last eight and semi-finals.

Luis Enrique's side had entered the first leg against Barcelona on a 27-game unbeaten run stretching back five months. They avoided any prospect of meeting Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Arsenal before the final.

A clash against a not-so-strong Barca and then a last-four tie against either Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund was seemingly the best possible scenario for PSG.

But they were far from their best against Barca in the first leg in the French capital.

Mbappe has scored 39 goals this season and the Parisians needed him to be at his best.

However, he was well off the mark, failing to hit the target from three shots, losing the ball 13 times and getting caught offside three times. PSG's goals came from Ousmane Dembele and Vitinha.

Despite the no-show, Mbappe received support even from those outside his team, including Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti.

If Mbappe does not find his touch soon, PSG will be left with the prospect of a star-less squad by the end of the campaign and no European trophy in the cabinet.

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez, meanwhile, expects the quarter-final second leg to be similarly exciting.

Xavi said the second leg at Barcelona's temporary Olympic Stadium home on the city's Montjuic hill would produce more of the same spectacle.

"We're not a team that will sit on our lead, we want to take the ball off PSG and win the game," Xavi said.

"I hope we are at our best, they will test us to the limit – I see a game very similar to the first leg.

"It's the Champions League, it's Paris, and a game in which no one will be holding back."

Xavi said PSG's coach Luis Enrique, who was on the Barcelona bench the last time the Catalans won the Champions League in 2015, would send his team out to harry the hosts.

"Montjuic's [atmosphere] has to seem like the big nights at Camp Nou," added Xavi.

"Luis Enrique will not hold back, he will come here to press – we have to show a lot of personality to reach the semi-finals."

Xavi, who announced in January he was leaving at the end of the season, has led a resurgent Barcelona on a 12-game unbeaten run since.

"Me and my players, everyone has been liberated [by my decision]," said the coach.

"Everyone has felt more of a sense of belonging towards the club, and I think it has gone phenomenally.

"Happy to be where we are, proud to be where we are. I think it's a good moment and I'm excited. We feel it already.

"We have to control our emotions, our temperament. It's a game of heads or tails. We want to be in control with the ball, and we want to show the best side and personality of the team.

"We need our fans to be loud because PSG will make us suffer, there's no doubt about it, and we have to be a team to beat them. All of us, together."

Updated: April 15, 2024, 1:53 PM