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Brilliant Paris blow Barcelona away

Published: Tuesday 14 February 2017, 22.40CET
Paris Saint-Germain produced a masterful display to dismantle Barcelona, Ángel Di María scoring twice and Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani once each in a remarkable 4-0 win.
Brilliant Paris blow Barcelona away
Ángel Di María after putting Paris in front ©AFP/Getty Images

Match statistics

ParisBarcelona

Goals scored4
 
0
Possession (%)43
 
57
Total attempts16
 
6
on target10
 
1
off target2
 
4
blocked4
 
1
against woodwork0
1
Corners2
 
4
Offsides0
3
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed14
 
11
Fouls suffered10
 
14
Passes426
 
580
completed378
 
522

Standings

 
Published: Tuesday 14 February 2017, 22.40CET

Brilliant Paris blow Barcelona away

Paris Saint-Germain produced a masterful display to dismantle Barcelona, Ángel Di María scoring twice and Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani once each in a remarkable 4-0 win.

Paris Saint-Germain produced a display of sustained attacking brilliance to overwhelm Barcelona at the Parc des Princes, Ángel Di María scoring two fine goals and Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani each contributing memorable strikes of their own.

Paris started at speed, harrying their opponents and pushing them back towards their own goal with Cavani and Blaise Matuidi going close early on. The breakthrough did come in the 18th minute, Di María curling a sumptuous left-foot free-kick beyond Marc-André ter Stegen from 20 metres.

Although Paris goalkeeper Kevin Trapp had to save from André Gomes, it was 2-0 just before the interval as Marco Verratti's run and pass set up the increasingly prominent Draxler for an unerring finish.

Di María: It was a perfect day

Ten minutes after half-time, it was three. Paris won the ball back on the edge of their own area and, via some slick one-touch passing, worked it to Di María on the right, who exploited the time and space afforded to him with a beautiful curling shot beyond Ter Stegen.

With Barcelona unable to make an impression, Paris looked dangerous every time they came forward – and they made it four 18 minutes from time. Thomas Meunier was allowed to advance from right-back and slipped a pass through for Cavani, who beat Ter Stegen at the near post.

That left Barça facing their joint worst European defeat, and Samuel Umtiti's late header that came back off the post summed up their evening.

©AFP/Getty Images

Ángel Di María

Key player: Ángel Di María (Paris)
What present do you give to a man who has everything? A performance like this. Di María celebrated his 29th birthday with two Messi-esque goals, the second of which was ultra-difficult to execute while running flat out, and showed exemplary technique. He delivered displays like this against Barcelona for Real Madrid, but this must have been particularly sweet.

It's just a couple of days since he acknowledged it had taken him time to get a handle on the tactical demands of Paris coach Unai Emery, but he seems fine now! The Argentinian added: "I hope we can eliminate Barça because I can imagine reaching the Champions League final and playing Madrid". This was a big step towards that. Cumpleaños feliz.

©Getty Images

Paris celebrate

Emery proves his worth
It was hard to avoid the alarming statistic that Emery had overseen just one win against Barcelona in his 23 previous games against them as a coach, but he completely bossed the tactical battle. Fielding both of his more forward-thinking full-backs, Paris were too quick and energetic for Barcelona, defending with real intelligence – Emery's video analysis clearly paying off – and attacking with crispness and efficiency. Brought in to make Paris a European force, Emery showed he has the pedigree.

Busquets shackled
The way Sergio Busquets was smothered by Cavani, particularly in the first half, was not only terrifically smart by Emery but the key reason Barcelona were cut open time and again. The Catalan is the Barça gatekeeper: cutting off attacks, beginning build-ups. Once he was almost man-marked by the Uruguayan it left so much space for players like Adrien Rabiot and Verratti to dart into unopposed. Barcelona's remaining midfielders looked slow and poorly positioned. Kudos to the Paris scouting team and to Emery's players for applying the tactic brilliantly.

Reporters' views

Chris Burke, Paris (@UEFAcomChrisB)
The Paris fans must have been pinching themselves as this game unfolded. Who saw that coming? Supposedly a weakened force this term, the French side received a major blow yesterday when captain Thiago Silva pulled out injured, but this was an effort that defied expectations. The hosts could hardly have performed better and this will go down as one of the club's greatest ever nights – one to be recalled with pride for decades to come. It may also prove the platform for a successful season at home and abroad. Who would dare write them off now?

Graham Hunter, Barcelona (@BumperGraham)
It's just short of four years since Barcelona were outplayed in this manner in Europe. That was Jupp Heynckes' Bayern but this was far, far more comprehensive. This was a one-sided contest from start to finish in which Paris did virtually everything better. The margin should have been bigger. But even taking into account the home team's excellence the Blaugrana inquest will need to centre on why it was that Paris outran, outworked and outcompeted them from start to finish. Wonderful for the Parc des Princes faithful, great entertainment for the neutrals yet a source of intense concern for Barça.

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Last updated: 06/03/17 9.49CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2017/matches/round=2000784/match=2019615/postmatch/report/index.html#paris+blow+barca+away

Lineups

paris

Paris

barcelona

Barcelona

1
TrappKevin Trapp (GK)
1
ter StegenMarc-André ter Stegen (GK)
3
KimpembePresnel Kimpembe
3
PiquéGerard Piqué
5
MarquinhosMarquinhos
5
BusquetsSergio Busquets
Yellow Card62
6
VerrattiMarco Verratti
Substitution69
8
IniestaAndrés Iniesta (C)
Substitution72
9
CavaniEdinson Cavani
Goal72
9
Luis SuárezLuis Suárez
11
Di MaríaÁngel Di María
Goal18
Goal55
Substitution61
10
MessiLionel Messi
12
MeunierThomas Meunier
11
NeymarNeymar
14
MatuidiBlaise Matuidi (C)
18
Jordi AlbaJordi Alba
20
KurzawaLayvin Kurzawa
20
Sergi RobertoSergi Roberto
23
DraxlerJulian Draxler
Goal40
Substitution86
21
André GomesAndré Gomes
Yellow Card33
Substitution58
25
RabiotAdrien Rabiot
Yellow Card3
23
UmtitiSamuel Umtiti

Substitutes

16
AreolaAlphonse Areola (GK)
13
CillessenJasper Cillessen (GK)
7
LucasLucas
Substitution61
4
RakitićIvan Rakitić
Substitution72
10
PastoreJavier Pastore
Substitution86
6
Denis SuárezDenis Suárez
17
MaxwellMaxwell
12
RafinhaRafinha
Substitution58
Yellow Card74
19
AurierSerge Aurier
17
Paco AlcácerPaco Alcácer
21
Ben ArfaHatem Ben Arfa
19
DigneLucas Digne
24
NkunkuChristopher Nkunku
Substitution69
24
MathieuJérémy Mathieu

Coach

Unai Emery (ESP) Luis Enrique (ESP)

Referee

Szymon Marciniak (POL)

Assistant referees

Paweł Sokolnicki (POL), Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)

Fourth official

Radosław Siejka (POL)

Additional assistant referees

Paweł Raczkowski (POL), Tomasz Musiał (POL)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution