Suarez convinced Barca can topple PSG despite harrowing first leg

By Richard Martin
Football Soccer - Barcelona news conference - UEFA Champions League - Joan Gamper training camp, Sant Joan Despi, outside Barcelona, Spain - 7/3/17 - Barcelona's Luis Suarez attends a news conference. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

By Richard Martin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona's pride was wounded by a 4-0 thrashing handed to them by Paris St Germain in the Champions League last 16 first leg but the team believe they are capable of turning the tie around in the second leg, striker Luis Suarez said on Tuesday.

Barca scraped a 2-1 win over struggling Leganes in their first game after their harrowing defeat in Paris, but they head into Wednesday's return leg on a high after hammering Sporting Gijon 6-1 and Celta Vigo 5-0 in their last two outings.

"A lot of time has passed since then, but the hardest thing was the first few days," Suarez told a news conference on Tuesday, recalling the loss that has left Barca on their earliest exit from the Champions League competition in a decade.

"That defeat hurt us a lot, but a few days later we were able to lift ourselves up with a change in attitude and by scoring goals."

Barca overcame a 2-0 defeat to AC Milan in a last 16 first leg in 2013 to win 4-0 and knocked Gothenburg out of the 1986 European Cup after losing a semi-final first leg 3-0, although no side has ever clawed back a four-goal deficit in the Champions League.

"Nothing is impossible in football and if any team is capable of scoring four goals it's Barca, but we'll do it our way. We need to remember the game lasts 94-95 minutes and we need to be patient and not get desperate," added Suarez.

"We can't go crazy, we want to turn the situation around and go down in history more than anyone else, but we need to play with a sense of calm.

Suarez produced one of his best displays in a Barcelona shirt against PSG, scoring twice in a 3-1 win at the Parc des Princes in a 2015 quarter-final first leg, sliding the ball through the legs of a hapless David Luiz for each goal.

After the shock of the defeat three weeks ago, the Uruguayan said the team is prepared to produce a history defining performance.

"The great thing about football is you can lift yourself up immediately, and we're feeling confident and lively, and with the support of our fans we believe we can rise to this great challenge," he added.

"If we pull it off it will be the greatest game of my career. It's one of the most important games I'll play and we have to convince ourselves we can do it. We're going to fight until the end."

(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Larry King)