Suárez at the double as Barcelona beat Paris

Paris Saint-Germain 1-3 FC Barcelona
Two second-half goals from Luis Suárez consigned Paris to their first home defeat of the season, leaving Barça on the brink of the last four.

Luis Suárez scores twice to inflict first home defeat of the season on Paris
The quarter-final first leg as it happened at the Parc des Princes
Zlatan Ibrahimović among three suspended for Paris; Thiago Silva limps off early
Exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from the first leg
The second leg takes place next Tuesday, with the semi-final draw on Friday

Luis Suárez claimed two second-half goals to leave FC Barcelona well set for a seventh UEFA Champions League semi-final in eight years.

Paris were unbeaten in 24 home matches on all fronts going into the first leg but that record was decimated here. Barcelona were leading through Neymar's early effort when Luis Suárez took the headlines with two fine strikes in 13 second-half minutes heralding a 3-1 win.

The first came from the right as he cut into the box, nutmegging David Luiz as he did so, then outmuscled Maxwell before firing inside the near post. With 11 minutes to go he scored again, playing a one-two with Javier Mascherano, once more slipping the ball between Luiz's legs, before a sumptuous finish into the top corner. Jérémy Mathieu's own goal did little to take the gloss off.

Laurent Blanc spoke on the eve of the game about using September's 3-2 home victory over Barcelona – the first of what is now three meetings between the sides this season – as the benchmark. It was soon apparent that the visitors possessed a very different blueprint. Messi served warning, swivelling on the edge of the area and bending a shot past the back-tracking Maxwell and onto the post; and Luis Enrique's Blaugrana forged ahead on 18 minutes.

The move started innocuously enough, with Sergio Busquets catching Adrien Rabiot in possession tight to the touchline near halfway. Barcelona's transition from defence to attack was withering. The tackle fell to Andrés Iniesta and he fed Messi, who hustled and bustled before placing the ball into the path of Neymar. The Brazilian, with Gregory van der Wiel trailing in his wake, coolly slotted in under Salvatore Sirigu.

It was not what Blanc wished to see, nor was the sight before the restart of Thiago Silva joining him on the bench with a knock. With Zlatan Ibrahimović among three suspended for Paris, it was the last thing the hosts needed; on came Luiz, a huge pre-match doubt with a hamstring problem.

Suárez joy after double in Paris
Suárez joy after double in Paris

All was not lost, though. The lively Blaise Matuidi had carved out a decent early chance that Javier Pastore fluffed. The France midfielder was also the instigator around the half-hour as he broke, sending Ezequiel Lavezzi scurrying down the left. For a moment PSG looked to have men over but Edinson Cavani could not profit, Mascherano timing his tackle to perfection.

Paris had been here before. They trailed Chelsea FC three times in the last 16 but still went through. Pastore and Rabiot tested Marc-André ter Stegen as the second half got under way yet an uphill struggle became treacherous when Suárez waltzed in to make it 2-0.

The Uruguayan's second of the night left Paris with a mountain to climb though they are at least clinging on after Van der Wiel's speculative attempt took a wicked deflection off substitute Mathieu and ballooned in.

Barcelona go through their paces before kick-off at the Parc des Princes
Barcelona go through their paces before kick-off at the Parc des Princes©AFP/Getty Images
Brazil team-mates Neymar and Thiago Silva greet each other in the tunnel
Brazil team-mates Neymar and Thiago Silva greet each other in the tunnel©Getty Images
Javier Pastore was involved early on, putting Sergio Busquets on the back foot as he advanced
Javier Pastore was involved early on, putting Sergio Busquets on the back foot as he advanced©Getty Images
Neymar breaks the deadlock on 19 minutes
Neymar breaks the deadlock on 19 minutes©Getty Images
The Barcelona No11 wheels away in celebration
The Barcelona No11 wheels away in celebration©Getty Images
Neymar celebrates after outstripping Gregory van der Wiel to make it 1-0
Neymar celebrates after outstripping Gregory van der Wiel to make it 1-0©AFP/Getty Images
Neymar celebrates with the man who created his opener, Lionel Messi
Neymar celebrates with the man who created his opener, Lionel Messi©AFP/Getty Images
Gerard Piqué, making his 300th appearance for Barcelona, heads over to celebrate with Neymar
Gerard Piqué, making his 300th appearance for Barcelona, heads over to celebrate with Neymar©AFP/Getty Images
Edinson Cavani goes into acrobatic mode as he attempts to find an equaliser
Edinson Cavani goes into acrobatic mode as he attempts to find an equaliser©AFP/Getty Images
Goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu reacts after taking a knock
Goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu reacts after taking a knock©AFP/Getty Images
Luis Suárez celebrates after making it 2-0 in Paris
Luis Suárez celebrates after making it 2-0 in Paris©AFP/Getty Images
The Uruguay forward makes it 3-0
The Uruguay forward makes it 3-0©AFP/Getty Images


 

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