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Messi, Barcelona On The Brink After Suffering First-Leg Nightmare At PSG

Messi, Barcelona On The Brink After Suffering First-Leg Nightmare At PSG Lionel Messi

Paris Saint-Germain thrashed Barcelona at the Parc de Princes, putting Barca in dire straits heading into the second leg.
Craig Burley questions Luis Enrique's ability as a top coach after Barca's hammering against PSG in the Champions League.
Barcelona have had their most inconsistent season thus far, the FC crew debate if their dominance is coming to a close.

Memories of the 4-0 drubbings by Bayern Munich in 2013 and AC Milan in 1994 came rushing back as Barca endured a nightmarish 90 minutes to rival those two debacles as their worst ever European night. Luis Enrique's side were overwhelmed by Unai Emery's men, and the Spaniard enjoyed a dish of revenge served extra cold after suffering so many defeats at the hands of Barca over the years.

The knives will be out for Luis Enrique, not just because the coach suffered his worst defeat in a major competition, but because the team looked so ill-prepared for the game.

Leg 1

Paris Saint-Germain   Paris Saint-Germain: 4

BarcelonaBarcelona: 0


Barca will struggle to find a way to comfort themselves after this harrowing defeat. Marc-Andre ter Stegen's saves in the first half are the only thing that might console them.


Every player with the exception of the German goalkeeper had a display to forget, and that's putting it kindly. Barring a miracle at the Camp Nou (no side has overturned a 4-0 deficit in a two-legged tie in any competition in the club's history), Barca will be heading out of the competition at the earliest stage since Liverpool knocked them out in the last 16 in 2007. With the league title edging closer toward Real Madrid, their last shot at a trophy is now looking like the Copa del Rey.

Manager rating out of 10

4 -- The main question before the game was whether Luis Enrique would opt for Andre Gomes or Ivan Rakitic. He opted for Gomes with the apparent aim of having more control in possession, but Barca dearly missed the Croatian's tenacity, while Andres Iniesta looked woefully short of full match fitness. Beyond selection questions, the team was tactically inept and the coach had no solutions to PSG's merciless dominance.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 7 -- On an individual level he had a better night than he did in his two other trips here, and he kept Barca in the contest in the first half with a marvelous point-blank save from Julian Draxler followed by a double save, but he was powerless to stop the deluge after the break.

DF Sergi Roberto, 4 -- Again displayed his lack of experience in the right-back role as he looked lost on Draxler's goal and was frequently caught out of position or brushed off the ball.

DF Gerard Pique, 6 -- One of the few players to provide leadership on a horrendous night and was not directly at fault for any of the goals. Gave the team extra presence in the opposing area as they searched in vain for an away goal, almost assisting Samuel Umtiti.

DF Samuel Umtiti 5 -- Gave away the foul for Di Maria's opener, and although he made some important blocks to prevent further embarrassment, he was every bit as culpable as his ravaged teammates. 

DF Jordi Alba 5 -- Had one of his worst displays. He was monstered by Draxler and drowned in PSG's intensity.

MF Andre Gomes 4 -- Allowed Marco Verratti to dance past him on Di Maria's second goal and looked cumbersome in his defensive duties, providing little compensation in attack. Was cowardly in the wall on Di Maria's free kick.

Lionel Messi had one of his worst games in a Barca shirt, and like his teammates, he failed to create much of anything vs. PSG.

MF Sergio Busquets, 5 -- Was given the run around by Adrien Rabiot and could do little to stop the tide of attacks from the home side.

MF Andres Iniesta 5 -- Looked well off the pace, embarrassed by Angel Di Maria for the third goal, and could not provide the usual pause and thought in possession.

FW Lionel Messi, 4 -- Proved he is not incapable of the odd nightmare and had one of his worst displays in a Barca shirt. He was mugged in the lead up to Draxler's goal and was unable to conjure any of his usual magic.

FW Luis Suarez, 5 -- Huffed and puffed but had hardly any chances, and his usual hard work bore little fruit for his attacking partners. A shadow of the player who nutmegged his way to two goals here in 2015.

FW Neymar, 5 -- Made a good start but was always in Thomas Meunier's back pocket and was quickly kept in check every time he threatened to get in behind.


MF Rafinha (for Andre Gomes), 5 -- Rakitic would have been a more suitable replacement, and he provided little improvement on the bungling Portuguese.

MF Ivan Rakitic (for Iniesta), NR -- Gave the team some respite from PSG's high press and was on the pitch for their best spell.

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Messi, Barcelona On The Brink After Suffering First-Leg Nightmare At PSG
Richard Okoye

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