Paris 4-0 Barcelona

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Press review

After promising 'hell' for Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday morning, the Spanish press was very severe with their side on Wednesday morning, using terms like 'disaster', 'humiliation' and 'catastrophe' to describe FC Barcelona's performance at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night.


The Iberian dailies all congratulated Unai Emery on getting his tactics spot-on. Marca qualified the night in Paris as "a great night for Emery, who won the tactical duel with Luis Enrique". The Madrid-based paper added that "Emery completely won the tactical battle, on every point and at all times", noting "the Basque coach's excellent preparation, which left no room for doubt" and adding that the Parisian players "as planned put the pressure on Sergi Roberto's flank with great success".

Marca also underlined the excellent performance from "the Parisian strike force of Cavani, Draxler and Di Maria, a trio tat played as a team, unlike that of Barça". The sports daily qualified Paris Saint-Germain as "immense, aggressive and with limitless ambition".


The other big Madrid-based sports paper explained that "Paris Saint-Germain humiliated Barcelona last night", detailing that "FC Barcelona lost more than just a match at the Parc des Princes yesterday". As characterised the defeat as "a sign of the end of an era in Catalonia," and added that there is now "a new project to construct".


Mundo Deportivo explained that "Paris Saint-Germain's attitude handed Luis Enrique one of the worst nights of his life". The sports daily said that "Unai Emery's tactical plan functioned perfectly", noting the "exceptional performance from Adrien Rabiot to replace the suspended Thiago Motta" and adding that "Di Maria was poison for Barcelona and they never found the antidote".

There were also congratulations for Unai Emery's "anti-Messi plan, which was executed brilliantly by Blaise Matuidi, Marco Verratti and even Angel Di Maria". For the Barcelona-based paper, "all of Paris' players were superior to the Catalans, even though Neymar did give a better account of himself than his teammates". MD also spoke of "Emery's multi-phase plan, with a new stage of the rocket kicking in after the score was opened". The paper concluded by confirming that "the wound is deep and practically irreparable".


The other major Catalan paper was categorical: "That's not Barça," indicating that a huge shockwave went through Catalonia on Tuesday night. The paper mirrored the words of Sergio Busquets and Luis Enrique, explaining that Paris Saint-Germain's tactical plan was better".

"The King abdicates at the Parc des Princes", they continued, referring to what the Spanish press saw as Lionel Messi's non-existent performance. Finally, Sport didn't hesitate to state outright that it was a "shipwreck for Barcelona and coach Luis Enrique at the Parc des Princes".

Meanwhile in France, the praise for Paris Saint-Germain was as fulsome as the Spanish criticisms of Barcelona were severe.


L’Equipe dedicated their entire front page to the Parisians' feat and a one-word headline: "Prodigious", accompanied by a photo of two-goal hero Angel Di Maria. "Paris were quite simply dazzling last night," adding that it was "an incredible display from the capital club".

The sports daily was unequivocal: Paris Saint-Germain, who "pulled off an incredible feat by crushing FC Barcelona", were "impressive in their technical precision and superior throughout the match". L'Equipe also underlined the unique atmosphere in Paris' arena, affirming that the Rouge et Bleu were "spurred on by an incandescent Parc des Princes".

L’Equipe confirmed that it "this win belongs to Emery", and that "his players applied the precepts that are dear to the Basque coach's heart: aggression, full-field pressing and getting forward quickly and in numbers". The paper characterized the first half as "a masterpiece", detailing that "the scoreline could have been much bigger at the break had it not been for an excellent Ter Stegen".

"Their domination quickly began to smack of victory," L'Equipe continued, noting that "nothing (Thiago Silva's absence, Rabiot's early yellow card) managed to stop Paris Saint-Germain's euphoric march onwards".

The paper picked out two players for special praise: "Angel Di Maria was having a party on his birthday. The Argentine's recent fine form continued as he bagged a remarkable brace." L'Equipe congratulated the Parisian number 11, who they said was "invaluable in his aggression and his nuanced passing game".

Meanwhile, Presnel Kimpembe "showed stupendous authority and assurance as he muzzled the prestigious members of MSN (Messi-Suarez-Neymar). The young left-footed showed that he has everything it takes TO be one of the greats".


Le Parisien talked about "a dream come true" for the Parisians. "In stunning form, they played the perfect match against Barça. They are all but qualified."

The paper spoke of "a clinic, a brilliant ode to football, the love of the beautiful game and respect for the big matches, which forge great players and great teams", confirming that "we knew about MSN, but on Tuesday we discovered CDD (Cavani, Draxler, Di Maria), French football's enchanting new trio".

"This team proved themselves to be extraordinary just when it counted the most, on the very day they needed to, and they did it with the whole world watching." The paper underlined the quality of Unai Emery's tactical plan, in which "every choice paid off, every choice was the exact right one, both in tactical and human terms".


Le Figaro: "Paris pulled off one of the very greatest matches in its history last night. They chewed up and devoured the Blaugranas with ferocity, lucidity in an exceptional collective performance. Paris Saint-Germain are now in the same class as AC Milan and Bayern Munich, the only sides to have inflicted that kind of defeat on Barcelona in European competition."


Le Monde: "A win that is highly symbolic for Paris Saint-Germain against their Catalonian bête noire. Solid in defence and clinical up front, the reigning four-time champions of France took a strong option on qualification. An electric atmosphere took hold of the Parc des Princes. The match will probably serve as a benchmark in the history of Paris Saint-Germain."


So Foot: "Paris' win was deserved. They were better organised, showed more drive and got the job done. St. Valentine had all the capital club's fans starry-eyed. Both sides looked to press hard at the beginning, but Barça's plan went to water in the face of Paris' intensity. The Parc was noisier than ever before. Presnel Kimpembe was nothing short of huge playing alongside Marquinhos. He put Lionel Messi and the rest of the Barcelona attack through hell. Adrien Rabiot was the best Parisian on the pitch, playing cleanly and effectively, helping the team to shine by taking justified risks."

Timothée Lemoine

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