Barcelo sp PSG's streak, close in on semis

Champions League

Paris, April 16: Barcelo have closed in on the Champions League semi-fils after beating Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 to sp the Ligue 1 champions’ 33-game unbeaten run at home here.

The first-leg quarter-fil encounter saw Neymar and Luis Suarez on target while Gregory van der Wiel later deduced the deficit for the hosts at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night, reports Xinhua.

Neymar opened the scoring (18th minute) when he netted from close range after latching onto a Lionel Messi pass, following a quick counter attack.

Suarez doubled the advantage (67th) after dribbling past David Luiz and shrugging off two other defenders to power in the box. The Uruguayan put the hosts in deeper trouble when he repeated the breakthrough routine and kicked the ball into the top corner with 11 minutes remaining.

PSG pulled one back just three minutes later as van der Wiel’s shot was deflected off Jeremy Mathieu. This was the first loss of ‘Les Parisiens’ at home since 2006.

With PSG captain Thiago Silva not feeling well after 21 minutes into the game, Laurent Blanc sent in Luiz, who sustained a hamstring injury just 10 days ago and was formerly expected out for a month. The Brazilian central back endured a difficult match and Blanc admitted that he’s not 100 percent fit.

“The injury to Thiago Silva was the start of our problems. We had to replace him with a player who was not 100 percent fit,” said Blanc.

PSG had to host Barcelo without their top-scorer of the season Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was suspended after picking up a red card in the last-16 second leg at Chelsea.

Injured Thiago Motta and the suspended Marco Verratti were also missing from the Ligue 1 champions’ squad for the quarterfil. The return leg will be played at Camp Nou in Barcelo next Tuesday. IANS

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