UCL Roundup, Round Of 16 (First Leg): Barca’s PSG-Humiliation, Bayern Rip Apart Arsenal
It was a historic Valentine’s Day evening for all Paris Saint-Germain fans at the Parc des Princes as their team quite literally blew away La Liga champions Barcelona 4-0. Birthday boys Angel di Maria and Edinson Cavani were on the money right from kick-off with the former Real Madrid man bagging a brace and the latter also scoring a fine one-touch goal. Prominent among others was Julian Draxler, who also made his way onto the scoresheet in his European debut for PSG and was one of the best players on the field for Unai Emery’s principality outfit. Notably, this defeat was the joint-heaviest for Barca in European Competitions in the club’s 118-year-old history.
Elsewhere, Bayern Munich also inflicted a similar embarrassment on European foes Arsenal 5-1. Things hung in the balance before the half-time whistle at the Allianz Arena after Alexis Sanchez’s rebound goal, off his saved penalty, cancelled Arjen Robben’s solo 11th minute opener. But an injury to the Laurent Koscielny early in the second half led to the Bavarians netting thrice in the space of 10 minutes with Robert Lewandowski scoring once and Thiago Alcantara putting the ball in the back of the net twice. Thomas Muller put the final nail in Arsenal’s coffin by sealing a five-star performance minutes before full-time.
Defending champions Real Madrid came back from behind to notch up an important 3-1 home win over Italian outfit Napoli. Karim Benzema scored the equaliser after the Campanian club got their noses in front through Lorenzo Insigne. Things escalated quickly in the second period as both Toni Kroos and Casemiro scored within the space of six minutes to hand the Los Blancos a handsome advantage going into the second leg.
In the final match of the midweek fixtures, Kostas Mitroglou’s strike meant that Benfica travel to Borussia Dortmund with a home goal in their kitty. The key talking point for the Germans though was their star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s missed penalty after a handball inside the area.