Published: Wed, February 15, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

PSG utterly annihilate Barcelona in shock Champions League last 16 clash

PSG utterly annihilate Barcelona in shock Champions League last 16 clash

Paris Saint-Germain's Ángel Di María was at his vintage best as he scored twice on his birthday in a 4-0 demolition of Barcelona in their Champions League last 16 first leg.

Domestically, Barcelona are just one point behind Real Madrid, but their eternal rivals have played two fewer league games, and when they meet in April, it will be at the Bernabeu.

The game's next opportunity came for PSG after Draxler drove past Roberto before attempting to beat Ter Stegen at his near post, but the Barcelona goalkeeper made another smart save to prevent a second goal.

Perhaps most ominously, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar - 11 goals between them in the six most recent tussles with PSG - were all on the scoresheet as the Catalans romped to a 6-0 win at Alaves on Saturday.

The Barca boss will have to decide whether Andres Iniesta, who reappeared as a substitute in Vitoria, is fit to start or whether he will again bring him on from the bench, in which case Ivan Rakitic or Denis Suarez will start alongside Andre Gomes. The news is a major blow for Emery as he will also be without Motta due to suspension. They remain, as they have done all season, favourites for the Champions League.

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While Dani Alves was hardly the world's most accomplished full-back in the traditional sense, he more than made up for it by using attack as his best form of defence.

At just 23, left-back Digne has already experienced the demands at the top level with PSG in his homeland and Roma in Italy, but nothing comes close to the demands he faces day-to-day since joining Barcelona in July.

Javier Mascherano and Arda Turan are sidelined too, although one man who could feature is Rafinha, who was named in the squad but will need a mask to protect a broken nose.

Digne was on the losing side when Barca propelled themselves towards a fifth European Cup by sweeping aside PSG 5-1 on aggregate at the quarter-final stage two years ago.

Unai Emery's side simply outclassed the La Liga giants and could easily have added to their four goal tally such was their dominance at the Parc des Princes in the round of 16 first-leg. However, he has never scored in 350 minutes of Champions League action against Barcelona. Thomas Meunier surged forward from right-back and set up Cavani, who thumped home his 34th goal of the season in all competitions. We have good memories of this ground and this team.

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