Paris Saint-Germain hero Angel Di Maria hailed a “perfect” performance after his brilliant brace helped to humble Barcelona 4-0 in the Champions League.
The Argentina international put PSG ahead with a fine 18th-minute free-kick and PSG did not look back as they took a vice-like grip on the last-16 tie.
Livewire winger Julian Draxler and top scorer Edinson Cavani – a man celebrating turning 30 – were on target either side of Di Maria’s sumptuous second and it spoke volumes that Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was one of the few visiting players to emerge with any credit at Parc des Princes.
“We could not imagine a better night,” said Di Maria, as quoted by UEFA.com, having celebrated his 29th birthday in unforgettable fashion.
“Winning 4-0 against Barcelona on my birthday is incredible. It was the perfect match.
“To win, it was necessary to make a match like today. But we know they too can score four goals.”
While that might be true, Barcelona must now make Champions League history if they are to remain in the competition. No team has ever come back to win from a 4-0 first-leg deficit in the knockout rounds.