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Big Match Feature: Barca v PSG

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Big Match Feature: Barca v PSG

Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona meet for a third knockout contest in five seasons, with the French club looking to come out on top this time after defeat in the previous two.

Paris produced an exceptional display to win 4-0 at the Parc des Princes on 14 February, Ángel Di María scoring twice and Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani once each to leave Barcelona needing to make Champions League history to prolong their nine-year run of reaching the quarterfinals.

Only three clubs have managed to retrieve a four-goal first-leg deficit in Uefa competition. VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach beat Real Madrid CF 5-1 at home in the 1985/86 UEFA Cup third round, only to lose the return 4-0.

Leixões SC (against FC La Chaux-de-Fonds, 1961/62 European Cup Winners’ Cup first round) and FK Partizan (Queens Park Rangers FC, 1984/85 UEFA Cup second round) overturned 6-2 away losses with 5-0 and 4-0 home victories respectively.

Deportivo La Coruña hold the record for the biggest first-leg arrears overcome in the UEFA Champions League era, recovering from a 4-1 home loss to AC Milan with a 4-0 home win in the 2003/04 quarterfinals.

Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona meet for a third knockout contest in five seasons, with the French club looking to come out on top this time after defeat in the previous two.

Paris produced an exceptional display to win 4-0 at the Parc des Princes on 14 February, Ángel Di María scoring twice and Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani once each to leave Barcelona needing to make Champions League history to prolong their nine-year run of reaching the quarterfinals.

Only three clubs have managed to retrieve a four-goal first-leg deficit in Uefa competition. VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach beat Real Madrid CF 5-1 at home in the 1985/86 UEFA Cup third round, only to lose the return 4-0.

Leixões SC (against FC La Chaux-de-Fonds, 1961/62 European Cup Winners’ Cup first round) and FK Partizan (Queens Park Rangers FC, 1984/85 UEFA Cup second round) overturned 6-2 away losses with 5-0 and 4-0 home victories respectively.

Deportivo La Coruña hold the record for the biggest first-leg arrears overcome in the UEFA Champions League era, recovering from a 4-1 home loss to AC Milan with a 4-0 home win in the 2003/04 quarterfinals.

Match Background

Barcelona

The Blaugrana’s record against French sides at the Camp Nou is W7 D2 L1 and overall it is W12 D5 L5.

Luis Enrique’s men are seeking a 15th straight home victory in the UEFA Champions League, having won all 14 games at the Camp Nou under their current coach. They are unbeaten in 19 matches at home in the competition, a run that started in September 2013 (W18 D1).

Barcelona clinched their 13th successive participation in the UEFA Champions League knockout phase by finishing top of Group C with a six-point advantage over Manchester City FC, the tenth season running they had won their section, extending their own UEFA Champions League record. They have reached the knockouts on their last 15 participations in the competition.

At home they won all three fixtures this season with a goal difference of 15-0.

Barça are aiming to make the quarter-finals for a record tenth consecutive season. Last term they bowed out at that stage when they lost to Club Atlético de Madrid (2-1 h, 0-2 a). In the round of 16 they had dispatched Arsenal FC 5-1 on aggregate (2-0 a, 3-1 h).

Of the 26 UEFA competition ties in which Barcelona have lost the first leg away they have triumphed on aggregate 12 times.

While their only 4-0 away first-leg defeat concluded in a 7-0 aggregate reverse – against FC Bayern München in the 2012/13 semi-finals – they have overturned a 3-0 away defeat on three occasions, beating RSC Anderlecht (1978/79), Ipswich Town FC (1977/78) and IFK Göteborg (1985/86), all on penalties having won the second leg 3-0.

Barcelona’s shoot-out record in UEFA competition is W5 L1:

5-4 v KKS Lech Poznan, 1988/89 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round
0-2 v FC Steaua Bucuresti, 1985/86 European Cup final
5-4 v IFK Göteborg, 1985/86 European Cup semi-final
4-1 v RSC Anderlecht, 1978/79 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round
3-1 v Ipswich Town FC, 1977/78 UEFA Cup third round
5-4 v AZ Alkmaar, 1977/78 UEFA Cup second round
Paris

The French champions have lost in the quarter-finals for the last four seasons. Last year Manchester City got the better of them, a 2-2 draw in Paris teeing up the Premier League side for a 3-2 aggregate success.

Paris’s record in Spain is W4 D2 L6; overall against Spanish opposition it is W11 D7 L9. Their last away win came in the 2012/13 round of 16 when Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore struck in a 2-1 victory at Valencia CF.

The first-leg success was Paris’s first in four games against Barcelona.

Unai Emery’s charges won two and drew one of their away matches in finishing runners-up in Group A. They have won five of their last eight away fixtures in the competition, losing two.

The Parc des Princes outfit have won 12 of 16 European ties in which they won the first leg at home, including the last such tie – against Chelsea FC last term. Unsurprisingly, they have also won all three ties in which they won the home first leg 4-0; indeed, with two wins and a draw, they are unbeaten in those second legs.

PSG’s European shoot-out record is W0 L1:

3-4 v Rangers FC, 2001/02 UEFA Cup third round
Coach and player links

Lucas Digne was at Paris between 2013 and 2015, making 30 Ligue 1 appearances.

As coach of UD Almería, Valencia and Sevilla FC, Unai Emery faced Barcelona 23 times in all competitions, losing 16, drawing six and winning only once: 2-1 with Sevilla in last season’s Liga.

Luis Enrique was in the Real Madrid side defeated by Paris in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup quarter-finals (3-1 h, 1-4 a), then in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-finals (0-1 h, 1-1 a).

Thiago Motta came through the Barcelona academy and made 96 Liga appearances, scoring six goals. He lifted two Spanish titles and was an unused substitute for their 2006 UEFA Champions League final triumph against Arsenal.

Maxwell made 57 Liga outings for Barcelona (2009–12) and claimed two league titles.

Thiago Silva headed AC Milan’s added-time equaliser in a 2-2 group stage draw at Barcelona in September 2011.

Neymar, playing alongside Thiago Silva, scored in Brazil’s 3-1 win against Matuidi’s France in a 2015 friendly.

Alphonse Areola spent last season on loan at Villarreal and played in a 3-0 defeat by Barça in which Neymar scored twice and Suárez once.

Di María played 16 times for Real Madrid against Barça between 2010 and 2014 (W5 D4 L7). He scored in a 2-1 victory in the 2014 Copa del Rey final, and a 3-2 triumph in the 2012 Spanish Super Cup.

Grzegorz Krychowiak played for Sevilla between 2014 and 2016, facing Barcelona five times (W1 D1 L3).

Have played together:

Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Lucas Moura and Neymar (Brazil)
Marc André ter Stegen & Julian Draxler (Germany)
Matuidi, Layvin Kurzawa, Hatem Ben Arfa, Adrien Rabiot & Lucas Digne, Jérémy Mathieu, Samuel Umtiti (France)
Javier Pastore, Di Maria & Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano (Argentina)
Edinson Cavani & Luis Suárez (Uruguay)
Kevin Trapp & Marc André ter Stegen (Germany Under-21, 2012–13)
Match Facts

Barcelona Sergio Busquets will incur a suspension with his next booking.

Barcelona have won all four of their matches since the first leg in Paris, scoring 15 goals in the process.

Mascherano (out since 7 February, groin) made his comeback in the 6-1 defeat of Real Sporting de Gijón on 1 March, setting up Messi for the opening goal.

Enrique announced after the Sporting match that he will leave the club at the end of the season.

Aleix Vidal was ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an ankle injury in the 6-0 win against CD Alavés on 11 February.

Mathieu injured ankle ligaments against Atlético on 26 February and is expected to be sidelined until mid-March.

Paris

Marquinhos and Adrien Rabiot are a booking away from a ban.

Paris are 16 games unbeaten in all competitions, winning 14 of them.

Paris qualified for the quarter-finals of the French Cup by defeating second-tier Chamois Niortais FC 2-0 on 1 March.

Cavani has scored 37 goals in 36 appearances for Paris this term, one shy of his career-best total for a season, set with SSC Napoli in 2012/13.

Draxler has registered six goals in 13 outings for Paris since joining from VfL Wolfsburg in early January.

Holders Paris will take on AS Monaco FC in the French League Cup final on 1 April.

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