Barcelona must avoid complacency against Paris Saint-Germain

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Football News

Barcelona have already booked their place in the Champions League semi finals if you believe what's been written in most of Thursday's papers.

After a comprehensive victory over a side that hadn't lost at home in Europe for 33 games, it's absolutely correct to say that Barca are in the box seat in the tie.

However, the late consolation from Gregory van der Wiel could just end up being the turning point in the tie.

If we look at the first leg as a whole, the Catalans were generally better in most departments than their hosts, yet on another night PSG could've had at least two more goals themselves.

Before Xavi's second-half introduction, much of Barca's passing was sloppy and their movement poor.

Poor Cavani

On at least three occasions the Catalans were carved open through the centre of the pitch and only some woeful finishing from the Parisians saw the scoreboard untroubled.

Frankly, on tonight's performance, if Manchester United want to spend £50+ on Edinson Cavani they need their heads tested.

The difference in class between him and Uruguayan strike partner Suarez was like night and day. Complete opposite ends of the spectrum.

It makes a switch out to the wing in the second leg for Cavani an inevitability especially as the returning Zlatan Ibrahimovic almost always seems to score against his old club.

Verratti's drive and purpose missing

Marco Verratti's absence was hugely noticeable too, and the drive and purpose that he will bring to the French champions in an attacking sense in the return leg could well unsettle Barca's rhythm.

Get an early away goal and the cat is placed squarely amongst the pigeons.

Camp Nou can be a nervous place at the best of times and especially when 99,000 supporters are on tenterhooks. 

And it's not as if Barca haven't been undone by their own complacency before.

Those with slightly longer memories will recall Lionel Messi's "Maradona" goal against Getafe in the semi final first leg of the 2007 Copa del Rey.

That goal was the highlight of a tremendous 5-2 victory. "Barca in the final" screamed the papers over the next few days.

Silva's loss the game changer

Believing their own press, the Catalans minds were elsewhere and Getafe promptly claimed an improbable but thoroughly deserved 4-0 victory to take them to the final in Madrid against Sevilla.

There have been other occasions, and this season home losses to Celta Vigo and Malaga were wholly unexpected.

If Thiago Silva is unable to recover in time, that will be a massive blow to PSG but a near full-strength French side will cause Barcelona problems.

And two goals isn't a mountain to climb...

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Lionel Messi
UEFA Champions League
Luis Suarez

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