PSG Shock Barcelona With A Comprehensive 4-0 Victory
You’d have to go all the way back to the 2006-07 season for the last time Barcelona failed to advance beyond the Champions League round of 16, but that streak is in extreme danger following a 4-0 thumping at the Parc des Princes.
Barcelona almost certainly needed to salvage an away goal before the March 8 return leg at the Camp Nou, but PSG simply outclassed Barcelona around the park on a night that will live long in the memories of PSG supporters.
PSG came flying out the gate against a Barcelona side that seemed carless and lethargic. A decent save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen on Blaise Matuidi in the 11th minute was Barca’s first warning, and the opening goal arrived only seven minutes later.
A foul on Julian Draxler saw PSG awarded a free kick in a dangerous position. Angel Di Maria’s resulting shot was low to the wall, but Luis Suarez appeared to duck out of the way and it flew past Ter Stegen in net.
Barcelona’s carelessness was once again demonstrated when Lionel Messi was robbed of possession by the relentless Adrien Rabiot in midfield, and Marco Verratti slipped in Draxler for PSG’s second goal of the opening half.
Julian Draxler this season:0 goals in 14 matches for Wolfsburg.
5 goals in 9 matches for PSG. #PSGFCB #UCL https://t.co/ETnEg8z6QC
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 14, 2017
Barcelona needed to come out transformed in the second half, but a sensational effort from Angel Di Maria in the 55th minute appeared to completely dispirit the five-time champions.
Have another look at Di Maria's second goal. https://t.co/fse0aXPmS5
With Barcelona pushing forward in search of a vital away goal to give themselves any chance in the second leg, a gorgeous counterattack from the Parisian side saw Edinson Cavani get PSG’s fourth.
Andre Gomes, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets were dominated by Rabiot, Matuidi and Verratti in midfield, and PSG’s front three of Cavani, Di Maria and Draxler outclassed Messi, Suarez and Neymar.
Barcelona will now need to go on the all-out attack at home, but giving away a single away goal to PSG would be completely fatal. After landing 10 shots on target in this match, it'd difficult to see PSG not scoring in Barcelona.