UCL Recap: PSG hit four past Barcelona, Thiago double helps Bayern Munich thrash Arsenal

PSG took a massive step towards the quarter-finals of the Champions League, as the French champions thrashed Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of their last 16 tie.

Unai Emery’s side took a deserving lead against the Spanish giants on 18 minutes through Angel Di Maria’s curling free-kick and January signing Julian Draxler doubled their advantage on 40 minutes, with a powerful strike into the far bottom corner from inside the box.

Barcelona suffered a joint-record Champions League defeat to PSG image: qsportslive.com

Barcelona suffered a joint-record Champions League defeat to PSG
image: qsportslive.com

Di Maria grabbed his second goal of the game to make it 3-0 ten minutes into the second-half, when the former Man United midfielder fired a left-footed strike past Barcelona goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen from 20 yards.

Edinson Cavani added a fourth for the Ligue 1 side on 71 minutes with a powerful first-time finish in at the near post, leaving PSG in a strong position to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the fifth season running.

The result leaves Luis Enrique’s side needing to score five without reply at the Nou Camp in three weeks to turn this tie around, as Barcelona look to avoid their earliest elimination from the competition in a decade.

Holders Real Madrid came from a goal down to remain on course for a seventh consecutive Champions League quarter-final with a 3-1 victory over Italian side Napoli.

Lorenzo Insigne gave Napoli a surprise lead after just eight minutes, as his stunning strike from 35 yards caught out Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas, but Karim Benzema levelled the match up ten minutes later by heading home Dani Carvajal’s cross.

Toni Kroos put the holders 2-1 up four minutes into the second half with the German collecting Cristiano Ronaldo’s pull-back and fired home in at the near post from the edge of the area.

The goal of the night came from Casemiro on 54 minutes when the Brazilian rifled a stunning long-volley into the far bottom corner, condemning Napoli to their first defeat in 18 games.

Bayern Munich have all put sealed their place in the last eight of the Champions League after Carlo Ancelotti’s thrashed Arsenal 5-1, leaving the Gunners on the verge of a seventh consecutive last 16 exit.

Arjen Robben’s stunning right-footed strike from 25 yards put Bayern in front after 11 minutes, but Alexis Sanchez pulled Arsenal level on the half-hour mark as he bundled home from close range, after seeing his penalty kick saved by Manuel Neuer.

Robert Lewandowski headed home from Phillip Lahm’s cross on 53 minutes to put the Germans back in front, before Thiago Alcantara gave the home side a two-goal cushion three minutes later, when he rolled the ball past David Ospina from Lewandowski’s flick.

Thiago grabbed his second goal of the game and Bayern’s fourth on 63 minutes as his strike deflected off Granit Xhaka and past Ospina in the Arsenal goal, as three second-half goals in ten minutes did the damage.

Substitute Thomas Muller added a fifth on 88 minutes as he capitalised on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s mistake to fire home a calmly taken left-footed effort from close range to seal a comfortable win for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Bayern Munich also knocked out Arsenal in the last 16 in 2013 and 2014 image: guardian.ng

Bayern Munich also knocked out Arsenal at the round of 16 in 2013 and 2014
image: guardian.ng

Benfica will take a slender lead to Borussia Dortmund for the second leg of their last 16 tie, as the Portuguese champions snatched a 1-0 win against the Bundesliga outfit.

The only goal of the game came three minutes into the second half when striker Kostas Mitroglou bundled home, after he interrupted Luisao’s header from Pizzi’s corner kick.

Dortmund had the chance to snatch an away goal from the penalty spot just before the hour mark, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired his poor spot kick straight at Benfica goalkeeper Ederson.

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