PSG 3-2 Barcelona: Messi and Neymar goals were insufficient
Goals: Messi¬†(12′), Neymar¬†(55′)
Match date: September 30,¬†2014
Stadium:¬†Parc des Princes
Competition:¬†UEFA Champions League
Barcelona line-up: Ter Stegen, Daniel Alves, Mathieu, Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Iniesta, Rakitic, Pedro, Messi, Neymar.
In their 8th game of the season, Barcelona have finally conceded the first goals in Luis Enrique‘s era, as well as the first loss of the campaign. It all happened¬†this Tuesday night at the Parc des Princes, in a match against a¬†PSG side that proved to be the most serious opponent Bar√ßa had yet to face since the season began. Even without Zlatan Ibrahimovic available,¬†the French champions marked their superiority and managed to¬†beat Barcelona with a 3-2 final score.
The hosts broke the deadlock in the 11th minute of the first half, following a free-kick taken by Lucas on the left and David Luiz made the best of after controlling the ball inside the box and hitting it to the back of the net against an helpless Ter Stegen. We didn’t have to wait that long for Barcelona to come out with a good response and the visitors somehow reached the equalized right in the minute after. Luis Enrique‘s men showed a great chemistry upfront in a sequence of 1 and 2-touches passing, and which ultimately allowed Lionel Messi to finish it off with a low left-foot¬†shot. It’s the Argentinian 68th goal in the competition and he’s now only 3 goals away from surpassing Ra√ļl‘s all-time record of 71 goals.
The 27th minute of the game brought us a quite unusual moment. PSG‘s midfielder, Marco Verrati, not only scored his first goal-ever for the club but he¬†did it after responding to a corner-kick cross to the far post with¬†a header. The 1,65m French player benefited from Ter Stegen‘s poor¬†approach to the cross and basically got to head¬†Thiago Motta‘s long cross into an empty net, making it 2-1 for the hosts. For a team who hadn’t conceded a single goal in the season until tonight, those were two defensive plays where a lot more¬†should have be done…
PSG¬†would extend the¬†lead later in the second half, when a cross from Van der Wiel found Matuidi free from any marking at the far post, where he easily pushed the ball¬†past Ter Stegen for the third time on the night. Once again, the Blaugranas were struggling to keep their opponents away from their box and Paris-Saint Germain were happy to make¬†them pay.
However and similarly to what had happened after the hosts’ opening goal, Bar√ßa reacted¬†just two¬†minutes later and this time the blow was to be struck by Neymar. The Brazilian ace saw Lionel Messi¬†drawing the attention of 3 PSG players when he¬†jumped in the middle of the area attempting to head a Daniel Alves‘s cross, but with none of them actually making contact with the ball, Neymar picked it up a few meters behind and aimed his shot at the far post. The 22-year old curled it perfectly through the several bodies that were in front of him and got to reduce the visitors’ lead to one goal, with still more than half of an hour left to be played…¬†Nevertheless, PSG held on tight to their narrow advantage and Bar√ßa couldn’t avoid to leave Paris with¬†their first loss of the season.
Next Saturday, Barcelona¬†visits¬†Rayo Vallecano for La Liga‘s 7th fixture.
Sources: fcbarcelona.com / ronaldo7.net / itv.com /¬†sports.yahoo.com