Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Neymar confident of leading Barcelona to second miracle comeback


The Catalan side looked down and out after losing the first leg of their last-16 tie 4-0 against Paris St Germain in February, but produced a remarkable 6-1 second-leg triumph last month to reach the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition.

If there was a little more realism from the man he followed into the chair at the San Joan Despítraining ground, Barcelona's coach delivered what he called an "invitation to optimism".

Both sides are aiming to pull off unlikely comebacks in quarter-final second legs on Wednesday on what promises to be another night of high drama.

He said: "We need to keep our heads and find a way to score at least once". "I believe", he said. The Brazilian said that he has a lot of respect for Barcelona but knows his new team can still cause them a lot of trouble.

Pichi Alonso's hat-trick overturned a 3-0 first leg deficit against Swedish champions Gothenburg before Barca edged another penalty shootout 5-4.

The two-legged confrontation teams have not met for a long time - the last time the games were in 2003.

Player to watch: Barcelona's Luis Suarez.

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Neymar should be well rested after missing Barcelona's 3-2 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday, the first of three matches he is suspended for in La Liga, including next Sunday's Clasico. The attacking duo of Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala is potentially one of the best attacks in football right now. "I was happy but the sadness of my team-mates is also mine, so I did not celebrate the goal". But I think Juve will have their chances, so our objective is to score five. "We'll have to get six".

Barcelona are trying to return to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since beating Juventus in the 2015 final to win their fifth title. "This is a step towards being in Cardiff and it's a step we must take".

"We need to create doubts so at some point they see the tie is in danger". If we weren't against PSG and it was OK, then no.

"We can't get nervous if the goals don't come right away, they'll have to come, we'll need to work throughout the game and minimise their chances".

"We will have to play without fear because they are like sharks - they smell blood and they finish you off", he told Sky Sports Italia. It's a huge task, but if we knock out Barcelona, we will have knocked out the best side in the world.

"Don't leave in the 80th minute", he said in a message to the fans. "Last time [against PSG] some people missed goals".

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