Tag: PSG

Champions League: Barcelona 2-0 PSG (agg 5-1)

Neymar stars as Barcelona ease past PSG into Champions League semifinals

Barcelona reached the Champions League semifinals for the seventh time in eight years after comfortably brushing aside the challenge of Paris Saint-Germain.

Barca did most of the damage in the first leg with a 3-1 win in Paris and they finished the job off with relative ease at the Camp Nou, with two first-half Neymar goals earning a 2-0 win.

Luis Enrique’s in-form side will now go into Friday’s mouthwatering draw for the last four along with Bayern Munich, with one of last season’s two finalists — Atletico and Real Madrid — joining them, as well as either Juventus or Monaco.

The 5-1 aggregate victory also keeps Barca firmly on course for the Treble, having already reached the final of the Copa del Rey and boasting a two-point lead in La Liga with six games to go.

Neymar broke the deadlock in the first leg and it was the Brazilian who got things up and running on Tuesday as well, although it was some Andres Iniesta magic that made it happen.

Iniesta, wearing the captain’s armband, missed the weekend win over Valencia through injury but showed no sign of any ill-effects as he brilliantly beat three players as he charged through the PSG midfield before threading a perfect pass into Neymar’s path.

The Brazilian did the rest, rounding Salvatore Sirigu and slotting into an empty net.

Dani Alves tested Sirigu with a long-range piledriver that the PSG keeper did well to parry, but he was beaten for a second time in the 33rd minute as Barca further strengthened their grip on proceedings.

Alves teased former Barca team-mate Maxwell on the right before floating in a left-footed cross that Neymar, having ghosted in behind David Luiz, easily headed past Sirigu.

The tie was as good as over, although PSG continued to battle and another of their ex-Barca contingent Zlatan Ibrahimovic — who had an effort correctly ruled out for offside in between Neymar’s strikes — almost brought them a goal midway through the second half.

The Sweden international, who missed the first leg due to suspension, ignored the run of an unmarked team-mate to try his luck from 25 yards out and his well-struck effort drew an awkward save out of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Edinson Cavani and Blaise Matuidi then tried to scramble the ball home with 10 minutes left as the French champions continued to probe, albeit against a Barca side that already knew the job was done.

Substitutes Lucas Moura and Ezequiel Lavezzi both also spurned openings to get on the scoresheet for Laurent Blanc’s men before Lionel Messi fired a shot just wide at the death for Barca, who have now won 23 of their 26 competitive games in 2015.

Read more at ESPN

Champions League: Chelsea 2-2 PSG (PSG win on away goals)

Chelsea crashed out of the Champions League on a stormy night at Stamford Bridge as Paris St-Germain reached the last eight on away goals after extra time.

PSG came from behind twice to take revenge for last season’s quarter-final exit at the hands of Chelsea – showing great character to play for the last hour of normal time and the added 30 minutes without talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic after he had been sent off for a foul on Oscar.

In an ugly eyesore of a match punctuated by fouls and contentious incidents, Gary Cahill’s late goal looked to be sending Chelsea through until their former defender David Luiz thumped home a header to send this last-16 tie into extra time.

Once more Chelsea went ahead through Eden Hazard’s penalty following Thiago Silva’s handball but PSG’s Brazilian defender made amends perfectly with another superb header six minutes from time to give coach Laurent Blanc’s side the progression they deserved.

While PSG complained about Ibrahimovic’s red card – and the reaction that saw nine Chelsea players crowd referee Bjorn Kuipers – Chelsea suffered injustices of their own as Diego Costa was denied a clear first-half penalty when he was fouled by Edinson Cavani.

As a series of running battles broke out, Costa was fortunate to stay on for a shove on Marquinhos, having been booked earlier for a wild lunge on Silva – the game degenerating into a niggly, fractious affair.

For Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, who sets such store by the Champions League having won it with Porto and Inter Milan, this will be a devastating blow but he can hardly make a case that his side were unlucky after such a flat performance, even with a numerical advantage.

And now the Premier League, so often boasting its status as the greatest in the world, faces the prospect of a Champions League wipeout at the last-16 stage with both Manchester City and Arsenal also fighting against the odds after home defeats by Barcelona and Monaco.

Ibrahimovic had been on the periphery of a game that had plenty of slick passing without cutting edge – but he was the central figure as he received his red card after 31 minutes.

The giant Swede arrived late in a 50-50 challenge with Oscar, leaving the Brazilian writhing on the ground in agony.

Referee Kuipers produced the red card while surrounded by almost the entire Chelsea team, excluding the stricken Oscar and keeper Thibaut Courtois, who had arrived at the scene en masse.

If PSG were harbouring a sense of injustice, they were fortunate to escape twice in quick succession, first when Luiz appeared to catch Costa with an elbow off the ball and then when the striker was clearly tripped by Cavani in the area, only for penalty appeals to be ignored.

Cavani now carried the responsibility for getting the goal PSG required but he was guilty of a dreadful miss as the hour approached, doing everything right to round Courtois only to strike the near post from an angle with the empty goal beckoning.

It could have proved an expensive miss and PSG’s frustration only increased when they were convinced Costa should have received a similar sanction to Ibrahimovic when he flattened Silva and was fortunate to receive just a yellow card.

Their misery seemed complete when Cahill put Chelsea ahead nine minutes from the end of normal time with a goal that mirrored the game. It was a scrappy affair as PSG failed to clear a corner after keeper Salvatore Sirigu saved from Ramires, and Costa’s sliced attempt on goal fell kindly for Cahill to lash home.

Chelsea’s fans thought this would be enough but reckoned without the spirit of PSG and they took this frenetic tie into extra time as Luiz beat Branislav Ivanovic to a corner to send a thumping header high past Courtois.

PSG’s good work looked to have been undone by that handball by Silva as he contested an aerial challenge with Chelsea substitute Kurt Zouma, resulting in a penalty that was calmly converted by Hazard.

Silva was the man who made amends with a towering header from a corner seconds after he had been denied by a magnificent Courtois stop from a similar effort.

Chelsea wilted visibly and PSG, who are second in Ligue 1, saw out the game without further alarm to spark wild scenes of celebration among their thousands of supporters inside Stamford Bridge.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: PSG 1-1 Chelsea

Stubborn resistance and a Branislav Ivanovic header earned Chelsea a 1-1 draw in the Champions League last-16 first leg with Paris St Germain at Parc des Princes.

Jose Mourinho’s men are well placed to advance to the quarter-finals after Ivanovic netted a vital away goal, although Edinson Cavani equalised and PSG showed enough for Chelsea to be wary in the second leg on March 11.

Chelsea advanced to the semi-finals at PSG’s expense last term on away goals after losing 3-1 in Paris and Demba Ba’s last-gasp strike in the return in London.

The Blues had won just once in six prior attempts on French soil, at PSG in Mourinho’s first European match as boss in September 2004.

With striker Diego Costa restored following his disputed three-match ban for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can and returns for goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, defender Gary Cahill and playmaker Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea were at full strength against an injury-depleted PSG, who started with former Chelsea defender David Luiz in midfield.

Luiz stated on the eve of the match that Chelsea were a better team than last season and they fared better than on their last trip to Paris.

Chelsea’s bus became stuck entering the stadium and Zlatan Ibrahimovic caused the visitors all kinds of difficulties once the match began.

Courtois made three saves from headers in the first half, the pick from Cavani, before Ivanovic’s header against the run of play.

Cavani equalised after losing Cahill to meet Blaise Matuidi’s cross and both the Uruguay striker and Ibrahimovic had chances to double PSG’s lead.

The Swede was denied by Courtois in stoppage time to leave Chelsea in control of the tie heading to Stamford Bridge.

There are three weeks and a day before the return, by which time Chelsea’s confidence may be boosted by silverware, with the Capital One Cup final against Tottenham on March 1.

Read more at ESPN

Champions League: PSG 3-2 Barcelona

PSG beat Barcelona in five-goal thriller

David Luiz produced a man-of-the-match performance as Paris Saint-Germain beat Barcelona 3-2 at the Parc des Princes to go top of Group F.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique had picked Jeremy Mathieu to partner Javier Mascherano at the heart of a defence that had not conceded a goal in their previous seven matches this season.

But without the height and reassuring presence of Gerard Pique, they conceded their first goal in 11 hours and 21 minutes of football as Luiz turned Mascherano in the box to score following a Lucas free-kick.

Barcelona hit back within two minutes, a brilliant one-touch team goal finished off by Lionel Messi as the Argentine netted his 68th goal in the Champions League.

The French champions went 3-1 up through goals from Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi, and Neymar’s 56th minute strike set up a great final third of the match.

But Barcelona could not break down a PSG defence superbly marshalled by Luiz, as the French champions extended their unbeaten home record in European football to 30 matches.

 Read more on Yahoo Sport