History is very much on PSG’s side. When Zlatan Ibrahimovic left Inter Milan for Barcelona, Inter won the Champions League, when he left Barcelona for Milan, Barcelona too won the Champion league the year after. The Parisians will be hoping the “zlatan pass on syndrome” displayed by Inter and Barcelona will be with them this year after Zlatan switched Paris for the red side of Manchester last summer. Despite having a formidable 13 league titles to his name, Ibrahimovic has never won the Champions League title. The swede is also one of only 9 players to have played for Inter, Milan, and Juventus, other players in this exclusive club include Roberto Baggio, Andrea Pirlo, Edgar Davids and the great Giuseppe Meazza to name a few.
Now let’s look at this week’s Champion League round of 16 performances:
PSG thrash Barcelona as Angel Di Maria scores twice
Two goals from Angel Di Maria and one apiece from Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani gave Paris Saint-Germain an unexpected and potentially unassailable 4-0 lead against Barcelona in their Champions League round of 16 first leg tie.
The result equaled Barca’s worst in Europe, last achieved by Bayern Munich at the semi final stage fours years ago, but could easily have been worse as they were outfought, outrun and outclassed.
Former Real Madrid playmaker Di Maria opened the scoring with a fine free-kick on his 29th birthday and curled home a second in between efforts from Draxler and another birthday boy, 30-year-old Cavani.
Barca were flat from the off, with the likes of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique reduced to bystanders by a lean, focused PSG display.
When the sides reconvene for the second leg at Camp Nou, even their very best may not now be good enough to save the tie.
Unai Emery was without the suspended Thiago Motta and the injured Thiago Silva but saw huge performances in their absence, with Champions League debutant Presnel Kimpembe, Marco Veratti and Adrien Rabiot all rivaling the goal scorers.
Real Madrid cruise to comfortable first-leg defeat of Napoli
Two goals in five second-half minutes helped Real Madrid come from behind to beat Napoli 3-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 clash at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Brazilian Casemiro scored a stunning second-half goal to cap a thrilling comeback after Lorenzo Insigne’s audacious eighth-minute opener had threatened to pull off an upset for the visitors.
Karim Benzema equalised for the hosts within 10 minutes before Toni Kroos put Real in front and Casemiro lashed a 30-yard volley past Jose Reina to complete an impressive victory.
Dortmund lose to Benfica as Aubameyang misses penalty
Kostas Mitroglou scored the only goal of the game as Benfica took advantage of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s off day to grab control of their Champions League last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund in Lisbon.
Dortmund dominated the game for large periods but saw their celebrated centre-forward fluff a second-half penalty amid a series of modest finishes and an outstanding goalkeeping performance from Ederson.
Greece striker Mitroglou succeeded where Aubameyang had failed, converting scrappily but decisively from a 48th-minute corner to put the underdogs in charge heading into the second leg.
Both sides were short of key men with Benfica’s Brazilian striker Jonas and Lisandro Lopez both injured and Andrija Zivkovic suspended. Dortmund, meanwhile, saw Mario Gotze fail a fitness test to join Sven Bender, Nuri Sahin and Sebastian Rode on the treatment table.
Bayern Munich sweep aside Arsenal with ease as Thiago hits brace
Arsenal will have to produce something special to reach a first Champions League quarterfinal since 2010 after suffering a 5-1 defeat to a rampant Bayern Munich side in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie at the Allianz Arena.
Despite Alexis Sanchez drawing Arsenal level on the half-hour mark following Arjen Robben’s early opener, Bayern outclassed the visitors after the break with Robert Lewandowski, Thiago Alcantara — twice — and Thomas Muller scoring to give their side a hefty advantage to take with them to the Emirates Stadium for the second leg.
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