Barcelona must make Champions League history to reach quarter-finals

Antonio JonesFeb 15, 2017

Barcelona was supposed to be the favorite in the Round of 16 match, but the night turned into a damage limitation exercise, the way it does when weak sides are totally outclassed.

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The Catalans have faced the French capital club twice in the knockout stages and have progressed on both occasions.

The expected response from Barcelona just never arrived, and it was Emery's side that continued to threaten more goals, with Lucas's pace and Cavani's movement opening up space after space in the final third of the field.

Blanc was derided for being tactically unsophisticated, relying too much on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and failing to get past the Champions League quarterfinals.

Easier said than done against Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez — a dream attack mixing skill, subtlety, cunning, speed, power, aggression and devastating finishing. The French champions have lost just one Champions League game at the Parc de Princes since the injection of Qatari money at the club (although that was against these opponents). I spent almost three years there.

Emery's future will likely depend on whether it can get past Barcelona in the round of 16 of the Champions League, which begins with the first leg on Tuesday.

One PSG banner in the stadium read "Jouez comme des guerriers, vos soldats sont derriere vous" (Play like warriors, your soldiers are behind you).


Despite this, Luis Enrique expects to face a significantly better PSG side than from two years ago.

"We have to take our responsibilities and do everything to win".

Barcelona had no answers to PSG as they dominated the midfield through Di Maria and Verrati.

The Parisians continued their intensity and were rewarded with a second goal five minutes before half-time after catching Barca in possession inside their own half. Knowing Unai, he will try to make life hard for us.

His absence is another blow for PSG coach Unai Emery, who is without his most experienced midfielder Thiago Motta through suspension.

For Barcelona, Gerard Pique may come back after sitting out the win over Alaves. The gloss was taken off that performance by a serious ankle injury to in-form right-back Aleix Vidal, who could now miss the rest of the season, but confidence in the camp is high. They remain, as they have done all season, favourites for the Champions League.

It was a night to remember for the Uruguayan: his 30th birthday, his first goal against Barcelona and a goal to top his best-ever Champions League tally in a season.

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