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Luis Suarez's genius pays dividends for Barcelona in Paris

Paris St Germain 1-3 Barcelona

By Robert Jones

Published 16/04/2015

Goal-den boy: Barcelona’s Luis Suarez (left) celebrates with Neymar after scoring his team’s second goal against PSG
Goal-den boy: Barcelona’s Luis Suarez (left) celebrates with Neymar after scoring his team’s second goal against PSG

Barcelona took a big step towards the Champions League semi-finals with a resounding 3-1 victory over Paris St Germain in last night's quarter-final first leg at the Parc des Princes.

Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi combined to set up Neymar for a slick opener in the 18th minute and Luis Suarez added two brilliant strikes in the second half to seemingly seal matters.

Gregory van der Wiel's effort was deflected past Marc-Andre ter Stegen by Barca substitute Jeremy Mathieu to give PSG some hope late on, but Laurent Blanc's side have it all to do in next Tuesday's second leg at the Nou Camp.

Former Liverpool favourite Suarez said: "We weren't overly dominant. We played intelligently, and worked hard.

"When you play against an opponent like them you have to play with intensity to get the win. We knew we had to win. There's 90 minutes still to go and nothing is sorted, but we have a good advantage.

"I prefer the win than talking about my goals. We know it was an important game and it's a good result but in football you never know what can happen and we have 90 minutes more next week."

Barca opened the scoring in the 18th minute as a swift break culminated in Messi playing a neat pass to Neymar, who took a touch to steady himself and then slotted calmly past Salvatore Sirigu.

David Luiz made a surprise appearance from the bench in the 21st minute after his Brazil team-mate Thiago Silva sustained an injury despite it being thought he was an injury doubt himself.

PSG, without the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic, were struggling to test the Catalan giants, and found themselves two goals down midway through the second half thanks to Suarez's skill.

The Uruguay frontman received the ball on the right, cut inside Luiz, held off Marquinhos and Maxwell and then beat Sirigu at his near post.

Messi then almost added a magical third 17 minutes from time with a typically mazy run to the edge of the box, but for once was let down by a wayward finish.

Barca's third goal did arrive in the 79th minute, Suarez nutmegging Luiz to race free and despatching a superb curling shot beyond a stunned Sirigu.

The home fans had something to cheer about three minutes later when Jordi Alba's defensive header was blasted back into the danger area by Van der Wiel, with Mathieu's intervention sending it past a helpless Ter Stegen.

PSG: Sirigu, van der Wiel, Thiago Silva (Luiz 21), Marquinhos, Maxwell, Rabiot (Moura 65), Cabaye, Matuidi, Lavezzi, Cavani, Pastore.

Goal: Van der Wiel 83

Subs not used: Douchez, Camara, Bahebeck, Digne, Kimpembe.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Montoya (Adriano 80), Pique, Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Rakitic (Mathieu 74), Busquets, Iniesta (Xavi 53), Messi, Suarez, Neymar.

Goals: Neymar 18, Suarez 67, 79

Subs not used: Pedro, Rafinha, Bravo, Bartra.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (England)

Belfast Telegraph

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