PSG 4-0 Barcelona: Angel di Maria punishes sloppy Barcaby Rohan Toure 14/02/2017 18:16:00 0 comments 1 Views
- Paris Saint-Germain tore Barcelona apart as they secured a 4-0 Champions League victory
- The hosts dominated the early stages of the game before Angel Di Maria's free-kick put them ahead
- PSG went in at the break 2-0 up thanks to a goal from German forward Julian Draxler in the 40th minute
- Di Maria then doubled his tally and made it 3-0 as he curled in a shot from outside the penalty area
- They weren't done at three, with Edinson Cavani finally getting on the scoresheet himself for number four
By Pete Jenson for MailOnline
Published: 16:36 EST, 14 February 2017 | Updated: 18:16 EST, 14 February 2017
Birthday boy Angel di Maria scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain ripped Barcelona to shreds in Paris, suggesting that, after six years of incredible spending, they have finally arrived at the Champions League top table.
It had to be Di Maria, with his Real Madrid past and his love-heart celebration, perfect for Valentine's night, but this was a stunning team performance that left Barcelona shell-shocked and facing elimination from Europe at the last-16 stage.
PSG have spent just over €700m in the last six years – and it was their last big acquisition, Julian Draxler, who ran the first half and also got on the scoresheet.
Angel Di Maria scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain humbled Barcelona during a dominant display at the Parc des Princes
Di Maria gave the hosts the lead as his free-kick went through the wall before ending up in the back of the Barcelona net
It was 2-0 before half-time, as Julian Draxler fired home from a tight angle to double the home side's advantage in Paris
As the PSG players jumped on Draxler, they knew they had set the stage for a big result in the Champions League
It was Draxler's first goal in the Champions League for his new club, following his move from German side Wolfsburg
The third arrived 10 minutes after the interval, as Di Maria scored his second from outside the area before being replaced
Edinson Cavani put in a superb performance on a stunning night in France, with the Uruguayan finally scoring a goal himself
Lionel Messi and his colleagues now have it all to do when the two sides play the second leg at the Nou Camp in three weeks
STATS AND MATCH ZONE FROM PARC DES PRINCES
PSG: Trapp, Meunier, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa, Verratti (Nkunku 67), Rabiot, Di Maria (Lucas Moura 61), Matuidi, Draxler (Pastore 86), Cavani.
Subs: Areola, Maxwell, Aurier, Ben Arfa.
Goals: Di Maria 18, 55; Draxler 40; Cavani 71
Yellow cards: Rabiot
Barcelona: ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Andre Gomes (Rafinha 58), Busquets, Iniesta (Rakitic 73), Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar.
Subs: Cillessen, Denis Suarez, Alcacer, Digne, Mathieu
Yellow cards: Busquets, Gomes, Rafinha
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
Lionel Messi had an unusually quiet night as he struggled to make any kind of impact. See more from our brilliant Match Zone here
Things started badly for Barcelona when Samuel Umititi upended Draxler on the edge of the area on 18 minutes and Di Maria stepped up to take the free-kick. It wasn’t his greatest, but it was enough to beat Suarez’s jump and fly past a static Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Draxler had won the free-kick and he would torment Barcelona for the rest of the half. His shot on 22 minutes almost crept in at Ter Stegen’s near post, with the German keeper having to bat it away for a corner.
Barcelona were chasing shadows as PSG pressed with all the intensity you would expect from one of Unai Emery’s teams and the Spanish coach had done his homework – Barca are weak down their right-hand side with Sergio Roberto, a midfielder, filling in at full-back, and that is where Draxler was doing most of the damage.
At the other end of the pitch Lionel Messi was largely anonymous. He hit one free-kick straight at the wall and was then caught in possession by Adrien Rabiot, who had not allowed an early booking to slow him down.
The players were greeted by a display amongst the fans as they emerged for the start of the game at the Parc des Princes
It was a big night for young French defender Presnel Kimpembe, who came in to replace talismanic captain Thiago Silva
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique flings out a right foot to try and bring the ball down under pressure from Angel Di Maria
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin was in the stands for the Champions League contest in the French capital
Paris Saint-Germain had the better of the early play and tested Barcelona, but the Edinson Cavani couldn't take his chances
Marco Verratti (right) falls while challenged by Barcelona's Neymar as Andres Iniesta looks on during the early stages
But after Draxler was fouled on the edge of the penalty area, Di Maria was handed the chance to test Marc-Andre ter Stegan
And test him he did, as the Argentine's shot deflected off the top of the wall and flew into the back of the Barcelona net
As the Barcelona players trudged back to the halfway line they knew they had a tough night ahead of them to turn it around
The Paris Saint-Germain players dash over to the corner to celebrate with Di Maria after his goal stunned Barcelona
There was another worry for Barcelona moments later as Brazilian striker Neymar went down and needed to be treated
The visitors then began to work their way into the contest, with Lionel Messi firing in a shot to test goalkeeper Kevin Trapp
From Messi’s lapse came the second goal. Marco Verratti motored forward and released Draxler, who shot past Ter Stegen to give the home side a deserved 2-0 half-time lead.
Despite the first-half horror show from Barcelona, it was PSG that started the second 45 minutes as if their Champions League survival depended on it. Verratti, Rabiot and Blaise Matuidi continued to over-run Sergio Busquets and, on 55 minutes, Di Maria had his second.
Matuidi got away from Andre Gomes and fed Di Maria. He wriggled into space and curled the third goal into the top right-hand corner of Ter Stegen’s net. It was vintage Di Maria and it pushed Barcelona closer to a Champions League exit.
A combination of Ter Stegen and Andre Gomes had to keep out an effort from Blaise Matuidi before half-time
But the German goalkeeper was unable to keep his fellow countryman Draxler's shot out of his net as he added the second
Draxler finished superbly in the bottom right corner of Ter Stegen's goal before running away to celebrate his effort
There were contrasting emotions on the touchline, with Unai Emery animated and Luis Enrique subdued after the second goal
Legendary All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter, who plays for Racing 92 in the French capital, was an interested spectator
Di Maria went off to a standing ovation on the hour. He had shown all the form that he failed to display at Old Trafford - hindered by Louis van Gaal’s tactical straight-jacket and by his own failure to adapt quickly to life in Manchester.
There was another change on 68 minutes and this time it was forced, with Verratti hobbling off after twisting his knee in a clash with Messi.
It made no difference to the game. Barcelona were still wide open in midfield and when Neymar was robbed by Thomas Meunier and he was allowed to roam forward and release Edinson Cavani who rifled his shot first-time past Ter Stegen.
The Uruguayan celebrated as if PSG had won the European Cup - they are very close to having knocked out one of the favourites, so who’s to say they won’t.
It continued to be one-way traffic at the start of the second period, with Di Maria superbly curling home his side's third goal
Di Maria celebrates his second of the evening, in what was almost his final act before he was replaced on the hour mark
The Barcelona players looked a shadow of themselves during much of the contest under the lights in the French capital
The Barcelona inquest will start in earnest now. Under Luis Enrique they have relinquished the Pep Guardiola possession-based football that made them kings of Europe in 2009 and 2011.
It has not mattered up until now because the front three of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar have been spectacular and justified the urge to the get ball forward as quickly as possible.
But critics have suggested Barcelona have become no more than their forward line and if a team was able to starve the supply then they would be in trouble. The trouble came at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night.
Umtiti headed the ball on to the bar from a Gerard Pique assist but there was no away goal. Barcelona had been embarrassed by Emery’s high-intensity PSG machine and 90 minutes will not be enough to save their Champions League campaign, their season, and quite possibly their coach Luis Enrique.
But it got worse, as Uruguayan striker Cavani strolled through the Barcelona defence before scoring the fourth goal
Cavani slides on his knees in celebration of a job well done by both he and his Paris Saint-German team-mates