Barcelona 2-0 (5-1, agg.) Paris Saint-Germain: Neymar brace eases Barca into Champions League semifinals

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Already holding a 3-1 aggregate lead, Barcelona handled business at Camp Nou today, beating Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 and advancing to the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

Barcelona has now reached the semifinals of the tournament seven times in the past eight seasons. It is the club’s 11th semifinal appearance, the most of any team in Europe.

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Paris Saint-Germain had Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in the lineup after being suspended for the first leg, but his presence made little difference as Barcelona controlled the match from the opening whistle.

A brilliant piece of individual skill from Andres Iniesta helped Barcelona open the scoring, as the Spanish playmaker took the ball from from his own defensive half, dribbling by three defenders before breaking through the midfield. Iniesta played Neymar in, who cooly cut around Salvatore Sirigu and passed into an open net.

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Just over 20 minutes later it was Neymar again, as the striker scored one of his easiest goals of the year. Dani Alves beat his defender on the right hand side and crossed into the box, where Neymar stood with yards of space in all directions. Standing wide open in the middle of the box, Neymar easily headed home to put Barca ahead 2-0 in the match and 5-1 on aggregate.

Luis Enrique’s men controlled possession and the tempo of play, not allowing PSG to attack on the counter where they have been dangerous all season long. Once Barca got out to a 2-0 lead and had the game in hand, they stayed tight defensively and only allowed PSG to get two shots on goal.

It was a clinical performance by Barcelona, who must now wait to see who they will face in the semifinal leg.

LINEUPS

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets (Roberto, 55′), Rakitic, Iniesta (Xavi, 46′), Suarez (Pedro, 75′), Messi, Neymar

Goals: Neymar (13′, 34′)

Paris Saint-Germain: Sirigu, Maxwell, Luiz, Marquinhos, Van der Wiel, Matuidi (Rabiot, 80′), Cabaye (Lucas, 66′), Verratti, Pastore, Ibrahimovic, Cavani (Lavezzi, 80′)