In the 88th minute, the Brazilian Neymar converts a free kick to make it 4-5 on aggregate. Then, in the first of five minutes of stoppage time, he banks a penalty. This, it must be said, appeared the dodgiest of decisions. Suarez took a dive in the penalty area and, him being a Barca player, was rewarded. (If the PSG defender Marquinhos made any contact, it was as slight as a summer breeze. Suarez hurled himself to the ground and flung his arms, as soccer players invariably do. Sometimes it works.)
OK. Now it's 5-5 in stoppage time and Barca needs one more. After a foul against Barca goalkeeper Ter Stegen, who has joined his mates in attack, it gets a last free kick in the very last minute. It's taken short to Neymar, who clears space for himself to deliver a weighted pass to a breaking Sergi Roberto, who pokes the ball into the net. (For the record, he was clearly onside.) Barcelona wins.
Here was the reaction in the studios of BT Sport, which carries the Champions League in England. From left to right, these jaded analysts are Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen. All are Brits. Lineker played for three years at Barcelona. The one seen running around the set is Owen, who spent a year with Real Madrid, Barca's hated rival.
At first blush, this seemed the greatest comeback in the history of global sport -- 4-nil behind when the game began, still in need of three goals with seven minutes left. (And here I thought I'd never see anything to top
Manchester United over Bayern Munich in the same Camp Nou in the 1999 Champions League final
.) But then the Barca midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who's Croatian, went and said this: "
We saw it in the Super Bowl what is possible in sport."
We're now a soccer city, but we're still a football city. And that really hurt.