Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick as PSG dismantled Barca at Camp Nou in February, but last week’s Copa del Rey comeback against Sevilla and a 16-game unbeaten run in La Liga have fuelled belief at the Catalan club heading into Wednesday’s second leg in Paris.
“There’s always life,” Barca coach Koeman said in a news conference on Tuesday. “It depends on how we start the game, the energy we put into making it difficult for PSG and on being clinical.
“They were very clinical in the first game, so we will have to match that in the return match. We always create chances, but we will have to be effective. If we are, nothing is impossible.”
The last time the two sides met in the Champions League in 2017, Barcelona famously overturned a 4-0 defeat in Paris to make the quarterfinal of the competition, winning 6-1 at home in the second leg.
However, Koeman said it will be even harder to turn things around this time, given PSG have four away goals and are also playing at home.
“The cup comeback against Sevilla has given us a lot of confidence,” he added. “But we can’t compare overturning a 2-0 loss away from home with a 4-1 defeat at home. It is much harder.
“PSG are also a strong team who aspire to go all the way in the Champions League. To have a chance, we must produce an almost perfect performance and be clinical. But we’re going there to give it a go.”
The return of Joan Laporta as president and the draw between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid on Sunday, which saw Barca cut the gap on leaders Atletico to three points, has also increased the feel-good factor at the club ahead of the PSG game.
“I think you should always believe,” midfielder Frenkie de Jong said. “It starts with belief, so we believe we can come back. We have to show that on Wednesday.”
Meanwhile, PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said memories of the 6-1 defeat four years ago will have no effect on his side’s performance this week.
“For me, the past goes back to Jan. 3 and there’s no more history than that,” he told a news conference. “That is when we joined the club, so everything I have heard and been asked about before that is something I have no feeling about.”
Asked about Koeman’s comeback comments, he added: “The most important thing in football is to believe and to be optimistic.
“But the reality is we have to play well. We must be focused like we were in Barcelona and we must attack and play our own game, that’s our thought process.
“We know they’re a top side and, for us, the game starts at 0-0, so we want to win to go through. That is the mentality we need.”