Paris Saint-Germain defender David Luiz has told Le Parisien that his side can still reach the Champions League semifinals despite Wednesday's damaging 3-1 defeat to Barcelona.
Luiz, 27, came off the bench after 21 minutes of PSG's first-leg loss at the Parc des Princes, which gives them just a two percent chance of going through to the last four, according to statistics published in L'Equipe based on previous European competition results.
Though Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti will both return in Spain on Tuesday after serving one-game bans in the first leg, PSG will have to do what no other team has done at the Camp Nou this season: score at least three times to have a hope of progressing.
PSG did find the net three times against Barca in their 3-2 group stage win over the Catalan giants in the French capital in September, and Luiz believes they can do so again.
"It will be difficult, because I don't think they have conceded three goals at the Camp Nou this season. But I believe in my team, in its qualities and I am telling myself we can qualify," the Brazil international said.
Luiz was a surprise inclusion in the PSG squad for the game after initially being ruled out for a month due to a thigh injury sustained in his club's league win at Marseille on April 5.
However, he was named among the substitutes by coach Laurent Blanc, who was then forced to throw the former Benfica and Chelsea defender into the fray when Thiago Silva sustained a thigh injury early in the game.
Luiz revealed he had worked intensively with the Brazilian physio of Zenit St. Petersburg, who employs a revolutionary method to heal muscle injuries more quickly.
"I'm a little tired as I worked 12 hours a day last week. I was supposed to play 30 minutes in the second half. Unfortunately, Thiago Silva got injured after 20 minutes," said Luiz, who saw Luis Suarez nutmeg him twice before the Uruguay international scored Barca's second and third goals. "It wasn't a great evening for me, but that's part of football."
While Luiz could play, PSG -- in addition to the banned Ibrahimovic and Verratti -- were also without the injured Thiago Motta as they slumped to a first home defeat in European competition in 34 matches.
Gregory van der Wiel, whose goal eight minutes from time gives PSG some hope of reaching the last four, told media the absence of key players was not to blame for the defeat.
"It's no excuse," the Netherlands international said. "We just had to be better defensively, but we weren't. They scored three goals too easily. It's a very bad result."
"We weren't agressive enough," PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi told RMC. "With their great players, if you're not aggressive enough, it's impossible to beat Barca. I'm certain the coach will speak about that with the players and analyse the mistakes we made this evening.
"We have to continue focusing on the league and the Champions League. We're disappointed not to have beaten Barca at home, but it's not the end of the world."