Sport Champions League

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Suarez strikes stunning brace to sink PSG

Paris SG 1Barcelona 3

Deadly Duo: Barcelona’s Luis Suarez, left, celebrates with Neymar after scoring his team’s second goal during the Champions League quarter-final clash with PSG in Paris last night.
Deadly Duo: Barcelona’s Luis Suarez, left, celebrates with Neymar after scoring his team’s second goal during the Champions League quarter-final clash with PSG in Paris last night.
Barcelona's Neymar celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Paris Saint Germain at the Parc des Princes last night
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring Barcelona's third goal
Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action with PSG's Marquinhos
Paris Saint-Germain's midfielder Blaise Matuidi vies with Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi

Two brilliant goals from Luis Suarez helped Barcelona take a big step towards the Champions League semi-finals with a resounding win over Paris St Germain in last night's quarter-final at the Parc des Princes.

PSG, who had been billed as one of the coming European power-houses following their victory over Chelsea in the previous round, were shown what level they still need to reach if they are to challenge the continent's elite.

Suarez's two strikes in the second half came after Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi combined to set up Neymar for a slick opener in the 18th minute.

Gregory van der Wiel's effort was deflected past Marc-Andre ter Stegen by Barca substitute Jeremy Mathieu to give PSG some hope late on, but Laurent Blanc's side have it all to do in next Tuesday's second leg at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona were threatening to score as early as the 13th minute when Suarez found Messi on the edge of the box, but the Argentina captain's fine left-footed effort struck Salvatore Sirigu's left post.

Barca did not have to wait too much longer to open the scoring, however, as a swift break culminated in Messi playing a neat pass to Neymar, who took a touch to steady himself and then slotted calmly past Sirigu.

David Luiz made a surprise appearance from the bench in the 21st minute after his Brazil team-mate Thiago Silva sustained an injury. Blanc had said on 7 April that Luiz was likely to face four weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring problem.

Luiz was dispossessed by Suarez three minutes before half-time on the left side of the PSG box, but Sirigu spared the centre-back's blushes.

PSG, without the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic, were struggling to test the Catalan giants, and found themselves two goals down midway through the second half thanks to Suarez's virtuoso effort.

The Uruguay frontman received the ball on the right, cut inside Luiz, held off Marquinhos and Maxwell and then beat Sirigu at his near post.

Barca's third goal did arrive in the 79th minute, Suarez nutmegging Luiz to race free and despatch a superb curling shot beyond Sirigu.

The home fans had something to cheer about three minutes later when Jordi Alba's defensive header was blasted straight back into the danger area by Van der Wiel, with Mathieu's intervention sending it past a helpless Ter Stegen but it remained comfortable for Barca.

Irish Independent

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