Di Maria inspires PSG to 4-0 rout of Barcelona
Published: 2017-02-15 04:13:48.0 BdST Updated: 2017-02-15 04:13:48.0 BdST
Paris St Germain's Angel Di Maria has been at his vintage best as he has scored twice on his birthday in a 4-0 demolition of Barcelona in their Champions League last-16 first leg.
The Argentina winger, 29, scored in each half with PSG's Germany midfielder Julian Draxler and Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani also finding the net as the French champions tore apart a disorganised Barca side who have it all to do in the return on Tuesday.
PSG, eliminated by the Catalans in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2013 and 2015, were the more aggressive side at the Parc des Princes and have put themselves in a commanding position ahead of the March 8 second leg at the Camp Nou.
Five-times European champions Barca, with their trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar subdued, have not exited in the last 16 since going out to Liverpool in the 2006/07 season and the score equalled their worst Champions league loss.
The only concern for PSG coach Unai Emery was the loss of the impressive Marco Verratti to a leg injury in the second half after the Italy international had put on a world class display with fellow midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
PSG were dangerous on the break and came close to scoring in the 11th minute when captain Blaise Matuidi's rasping shot was brilliantly parried by goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen after a perfect through ball from Rabiot.
The home side were rewarded seven minutes later when Di Maria whipped a free kick over the Barca wall into the net.
Paris St Germain v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg - Parc Des Princes, Paris, France - 14/2/17 Barcelona's Lionel Messi looks dejected.
Messi lost the ball in midfield and Verratti slid a perfectly weighted ball to the right for Draxler, who fired a low shot into the far bottom corner of the net.
PSG started the second half strongly and went further ahead in the 55th minute when Di Maria danced around Andres Iniesta before curling a 25-metre shot past Ter Stegen.
Verratti limped off the pitch in some discomfort after 71 minutes, being replaced by Chris Nkunku.
It did not stop PSG from continuing to push forward, though, and a minute later Cavani, who was celebrating his 30th birthday, rifled a low shot past Ter Stegen for his seventh goal in seven games in the competition this season.
The hosts also defended perfectly, with centre back Presnel Kimpembe deputising superbly on his Champions League debut for injured captain Thiago Silva as PSG claimed a deserved victory.
Barca had a chance to get an away goal seven minutes from time but Samuel Umtiti's header hit Kevin Trapp's right-hand post and Luis Enrique's side now have a mountain to climb.
No team have ever overturned a deficit of four or more goals to progress in the Champions league knockout stages.
Any unauthorised use or reproduction of bdnews24.com content for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited and constitutes copyright infringement liable to legal action.
- Wenger astonished by Sutton's fight after FA Cup win
- Man United's Rooney could miss League Cup final with muscle injury
- Isco ready to walk out on Real Madrid - reports
- Pique annoyed by Barca fans' booing of coach Luis Enrique
- Middle finger gesture costs Bayern's Ancelotti 5,000 euros
- Bangladesh see off Nepal to storm into Rollball World Cup semifinals
- Ton up for Walcott as Arsenal end Sutton's dream Cup run
- Real Madrid expect Ramos boost for Valencia trip
- Neymar, Barca, Santos to stand trial after losing appeals
- Barca president Bartomeu and Iniesta back Luis Enrique
- British Muslim schoolteacher of Bangladeshi origin denied entry to US
- PM calls for way to stop youths from speaking Bangla in English style
- Myanmar probing police 'cover-up' of deaths of two Rohingya Muslims
- BNP Chief Khaleda slammed for standing on the main platform at Central Shaheed Minar
- Italian, Swiss speak of their love for the language in Dhaka
- Bus driver gets life in prison in case over deaths of Tareque Masud, Mishuk Munier
- BSF claims its non-lethal strategy drawing more attacks along borders
- Former Jatiya Party MP Kader masterminded Gaibandha MP Liton's killing: Police
- Ex-Jatiya Party MP Kader Khan arrested over MP Liton murder
- Narsingdi man detained over murder of his three minor siblings