Champions League quarter-finals: Super Suarez sinks PSG as Barcelona win
Two second half goals from Luis Suarez added to a Neymar opener and made Gregory van der Wiel’s late consolation look almost irrelevant as Barcelona took a two goal cushion back to the Nou Camp in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.
From the off, it was typical Barcelona, stroking the ball around comfortably, with their hosts looking to play on the counter-attack. With neither team really carving out a clear cut chance in the opening 15 minutes, it was Lionel Messi who came the closest first, as his curling left foot effort from the edge of the area struck the post and went wide.
Witht the game opening up slightly, Barca sensed a goal, and when Andres Iniesta took possession in a pocket of space, he threaded it through to Lionel Messi, who had options right and left, before deciding on the latter to slide Neymar in, who side-footed past goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu to open the scoring. Trademark Barcelona.
Not long after it went from bad to worse for the French side, who lost centre back Thiago Silva who pulled up with an injury, prompting Laurent Blanc to reluctantly risk bringing on a half-fit David Luiz; a decision he would come to regret.
PSG had to wait until 10 minutes before half time for their best chance, as Edinson Cavani connected with a Maxwell cross, though his volley flew straight past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
The second half started with the same optimism we have come accustomed to seeing from Barcelona, who sought to kill the game off. On 67 minutes, Suarez netted the first of his double. A fine solo effort as the Uruguayan cut into the box from the right, skipped past Luiz as though he wasn’t there and slotted a shot past the flailing Sirigu.
Moments later, PSG could have been back in it, though Ter Stegen’s stunning reflex save kept out Cavani’s crashing long-rang volley. When Suarez played a one-two with Jeremy Mathieu not long after, it was Luiz left as the last man who rashly jumped in to be nutmegged by the striker, before the Barca ace curled a sensational finish into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Van der Wiel’s consolation a minute later gives PSG hope going into the second leg, though even that was hit with hope, and took a deflection off Mathieu, as the match finished 3-1 to Luis Enrique’s side.