Barcelona had their hearts broken on Valentine’s Day, according to the Spanish media, after suffering a 4-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain that leaves their Champions League dreams in tatters.
Angel Di Maria scored in both halves, whipping in an opening free-kick before bending in his second, while Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani helped pile on the misery for Luis Enrique’s Catalans.
No team since 1971 has recovered after losing by this scoreline in a European Cup first leg, meaning Barca’s hopes of avoiding their earliest continental knockout since 2007 are very slim.
Marca, the Spanish daily sport newspaper, reviewed the match under a headline of “Broken heart in Paris”, saying Barcelona “suffered from a lack of love” on “a bitter Valentine’s night”.
The editorial continued: “There was not a ray of hope amid such disappointment. Not a single reason to believe. We cannot think of a match in recent memory in which Barca were so clearly outclassed.”
Special criticism was reserved for midfielder Sergi Roberto – ” a caricature” – while Lionel Messi “completed his worst game of the season”.
Spanish outlets were quick to pick up on Luis Enrique’s frosty reaction to a Catalan journalist in the corridors of the Parc des Princes.
According to TV3, Luis Enrique slammed Jordi Grau’s “accusatory tone” and had to be restrained from pursuing the reporter for further remonstrations.
The French media, meanwhile, revelled in getting the chance to watch PSG “teach Barcelona a lesson” on a “magical night” in the capital.
Daily sports newspaper L’Equipe bestowed 2/10 upon Messi and Luis Suarez as player ratings, with their fellow striker Neymar honoured with a 3/10.
Columnist Damien Degorre described the rout as “huge, incredible, staggering, stunning, and hair-raising too”, claiming the home faithful would “never have dared to imagine this game in their wildest dreams”.
L’Equipe reserved particular praise for the “enormous” Adrien Rabiot, normally a midfield deputy to Thiago Motta, who showed “tactical intelligence and discipline, coolness, solidity, ambition and talent.”
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Looking ahead to the return leg, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi sounded an optimistic note of caution, telling beIN Sports: “It was a magnificent match.
“We had a few important players who could not play but I saw that their replacements were ready.
“I looked them in the eyes.
“But that’s just the first half – the second half has not yet taken place, but I think we deserved this.”