UEFA Champions League: Barcelona stumbles to PSG, birthday boy Di Maria nets two

The Champions League returns on Tuesday with the last-16 stage, with Barcelona's trip to Paris St-Germain the evening's stand-out match.

Baracelona play like champions. They literally play like no other team does, but yesterday PSG played like Barcelona and that is what made the difference. As a viewer it was surprising to see Barcelona being caught on the wrong foot. It rarely happens. They got a treatment of their own medicine.

For PSG and its manager Unai Emery, the tie was a daunting test of their place in Europe’s elite, made more vital by the £600m spent on transfers since 2011. Emery has won once in 23 games against Barca, whose striker Luis Suarez faces Uruguay team-mate Edinson Cavani. This is their biggest European humiliation since losing 7-0 on aggregate to Bayern Munichin the semi finals of 2013.

Ace striker Angel Di Maria scored a brilliant brace on his birthday as Paris Saint-Germain destroyed Barcelona at the Parc des Princes in their Champions League last 16 first leg yesterday. Di Maria, the former Real Madrid star, opened the scoring in the 18th minute and then he curled in another in 10 minutes into the second half to celebrate his 29th birthday in style. January signing Julian Draxler also netted in between while Edinson Cavani marked his 30th birthday by adding his name to the scoresheet in the 71st minute in the French capital.

Birthday boy Maria post match said, “To win 4-0 against Barcelona on my birthday is incredible, we are so happy. It was the perfect match and we are delighted with the result. To go through we will need to produce another performance like this. We scored four goals but they are capable of doing the same thing.”