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Football: PSG in good hands with super keeper Navas

Football: PSG in good hands with super keeper Navas

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Angers v Paris St Germain - Stade Raymond Kopa, Angers, France - January 16, 2021 Paris St Germain's Keylor Navas during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS: Paris St Germain looked shaky as they completed a 5-2 aggregate victory against Barcelona and reach the Champions League quarter-finals, but keeper Keylor Navas kept them afloat when their demons resurfaced.

On the stroke of halftime on Wednesday, Barca had a penalty that could have put them 2-1 up and two goals away from forcing extra time after a 4-1 defeat in the first leg at the Nou Camp.

A repeat of the 2017 "remontada", when Barca beat PSG 6-1 to overturn a 4-0 first-leg defeat in the last 16, seemed more than just a pipe dream.

"Really, we deserved more for that effort. It should at least have been 2-1 to us at half time. If we'd led at the break, the second half would have been a whole different affair," said Barca coach Ronald Koeman.

But Navas deflected Lionel Messi's spot kick onto his crossbar and out, leaving the visitors needing to score three goals in the second half.

Costa Rica's Navas won three consecutive Champions League titles with Real Madrid from 2016-18 and he showed again he was the keeper PSG needed when he denied Ousmane Dembele twice in the opening 25 minutes, making nine stops in the whole game.

"Their keeper was player of the match," Koeman said.

Navas was only beaten when Messi's long-range missile flew into the top corner in the 37th minute after Kylian Mbappe had put PSG ahead with a 31st minute penalty against the run of play.

"Navas once again showed all his qualities. He's a top-level goalkeeper," said PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino. "He's one of the best keepers in the world."

Midfielder Marco Verratti also sang Navas' praises.

"He's done it more than once, he won the Champions League three times with Real Madrid. Tonight he showed what a great keeper he is. We're happy to have him in Paris", the Italian said.

Source: Reuters

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