Football

Barcelona were beaten at their own game by PSG at the Parc des Princes.

Steven Gerrard explains Barcelona's one big issue during Paris Saint-Germain defeat

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Paris Saint-Germain played Barcelona at their own game as they smashed the Spanish giants 4-0 at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday evening.

Few, if anyone, saw such a convincing result from the Parisians coming and PSG boss Unai Emery has appeared to bring his prowess in European competition with him from Sevilla.

The Spaniard is used to facing Barcelona, following his time in charge of Los Nervionenses, where he won three successive Europa League titles, and his tactical plan against the Catalans was pulled off to perfection.

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Angel Di Maria enjoyed the perfect birthday with a goal in each half, in between Julian Draxler's 40th-minute strike, while Edinson Cavani wrapped up a wonderful evening in the French capital.

PSG's owners sounded out Emery as the perfect replacement for Laurent Blanc, who they sacked last summer, as they go in search of an elusive Champions League crown. And 2017 could well be their year.

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To give an idea of just how woeful Luis Enrique's men were, their star man, Lionel Messi, was given a rating of just two by L'Equipe in France.

But it was not simply down to the Argentinian, as each and every Barcelona player looked beaten at their own game - failing to show urgency to win the ball back as soon as they lost it.

Messi was put partly at fault for Julian Draxler's second PSG goal, after squandering possession in the build up, but Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard slammed their "passive" nature on a night to forget for the reigning La Liga champions.

Gerrard: Barca showed no effort

"He (Messi) wasn't alone, many more Barca players struggled all night and showed zero effort, especially when they lost the ball," Gerrard told BT Sport, as per the Daily Mail.

Paris Saint-Germain v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

"There was no reaction all night from any of them.

"There was only probably Neymar who put in any kind of Barcelona-like performance.

"We've known Barcelona to have quality on the ball over the years but we've also been so impressed with their reactions when they lose the ball - they all press, hunt in packs and win the ball back but there was none of that tonight.

"When they didn't have the ball they were just passive."

Catalans to break long-standing record 

It's been 10 years since Barcelona last exited at the last-16 stage of the Champions League, losing to Liverpool, and Enrique is under huge pressure to make sure their season doesn't fall apart over the coming weeks.

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-BARCELONA

The Blaugrana are second to Real Madrid in La Liga, a point behind the league leaders who boast two games in hand. And with their European hopes all but over, their Copa del Rey final against minnows Alaves has become even more crucial.

It's very rare Barcelona have to respond to such a damaging defeat, but their La Liga meeting with Leganes on Sunday has become a huge game for Enrique and his players, now.

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Topics:
Neymar
Gerard Pique
Lionel Messi
Luis Enrique
Football
Barcelona
Luis Suarez

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