By James Agberebi:
Paris Saint-Germain put up a masterclass performance as they thrashed Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg second round of the UEFA Champions League at Parc Des Prince on Tuesday night.
A brace from Angel Di Maria on his birthday and a goal each from Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani sealed the emphatic win for PSG.
PSG become the sixth team after Chelsea, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Dynamo Kiev and Valencia to score four goals against Barcelona in a Champions League match.
PSG had the first big chance on six minutes through Cavani but his goal-bound shot was blocked by Sergi Roberto.
In the 11th minute PSG went close again, this time from Blaise Matuidi whose shot was saved by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
PSG’s early domination eventually yielded dividends in the 18th minute following a brilliant free-kick from Di Maria whose strike went over the Barcelona wall.
Barcelona’s first real chance came on 28 minutes after a superb solo run by Neymar but Andre Gomes’ low shot was deflected away for a corner by Kevin Trapp in goal for PSG.
Ter Stegen was Barcelona’s saviour on 35 minutes as he made a one-handed save from Julian Draxler following a counter by PSG.
PSG doubled their lead on 40 minutes as Draxler shot past Ter Stegen off an assist from Marco Veratti.
Di Maria made it 3-0 for PSG on 55 minutes following a superb left-footed curler into the top right corner.
Substitute Lucas Moura went close to extending PSG’s lead but his weak shot was held by Ter Stegen.
In the 72nd minute Cavani got on the score sheet to make it 4-0 to PSG after feeding on a perfect through pass by Thomas Meunier.
Barcelona almost got on the score sheet on 79 minutes but Neymar’s strike went agonisingly wide.
On 84 minutes, Samuel Umtiti almost got a consolation goal for Barcelona but his header came off the post.
In the second game of the night Benfica pipped Borussia Dortmund 1-0 thanks to a Konstantinos Mitroglu in the 49th minute.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had the chance to draw Dortmund level from the penalty spot on 58 minutes but missed.