Di Maria inspires PSG to 4-0 rout of Barcelona

Following the agent's comments, the French champions thrashed Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of their last 16 tie, thus taking a big leap towards reaching the quarter-finals of the tournament.

"PSG did what we expected them to do and produced their best version and we were at our poorest". Jordan Henderson was among those to defend the team at the time as he insisted that they were thanking the supporters rather than celebrating the result. No team has ever recovered from such a deficit to progress in Champions League history.

Zubizarreta did warn PSG, though, that if any side can recover from such a thrashing, it is Barcelona with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in attack.

PSG captain Thiago Silva was ruled out due to a muscle problem, and head coach Unai Emery handed 21-year-old Presnel Kimpembe his Champions League debut as a central back along with Marquinhos.

Speaking with L'Equipe, Barca legend Xavi paid full credit to PSG and said he was surprised by such a comprehensive thrashing for his former club. The sides will meet again at Camp Nou on Wednesday March 8.

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 champion tore apart a disorganised Barca side.




PSG have also never kept a clean sheet against Barcelona (nine games, all competitions). "The score reflects what happened in the game", Barcelona coach Luis Enrique told the club's website.

And things went from bad to worse for the Catalan giants as another fine strike from outside the box by Di Maria made it 3-0 in the 55th minute, before his fellow Argentinian Cavani added a fourth with 19 minutes to go. They are still the best team in the world.

In the 18th minute, PSG's Angel Di Maria delivered a sumptuous free kick that dipped over Barcelona's defensive wall and sailed past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Emery was brought to the French capital a year ago as the successor to Laurent Blanc in order to help take PSG to the next level in Europe after four consecutive quarter-final exits in the Champions League.

"We created great chances tonight and we could have scored more goals but we are satisfied and we will stay grounded". If Cavani, Di Maria and Draxler continue like this, PSG can be a Champions League contender.

 
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