Barca beat PSG and top Group F

Barcelona pipped Paris Saint-Germain to top spot in Champions League Group F thanks to a 3-1 victory at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

La Blaugrana named an unfamiliar line-up for the encounter at Camp Nou, with a 3-5-1-1 formation being adopted by Luis Enrique. Pedro Rodriguez, although initially expected to feature at right-back, started on the right wing, while Marc Bartra replaced Dani Alves in defence.

Elsewhere, Andres Iniesta complemented Javier Mascherano and Sergio Busquets in midfield, having made a full recovery from a leg injury. On the left, Jordi Alba was swapped for the more defence-minded Jeremy Mathieu.

In the other corner, Ibrahimovic returned to his former stomping ground, along with fellow ex-Cules Maxwell and Thiago Motta.

Barca knew that only a win against PSG would do if they were to progress as pool champions, but they fell behind to an early Ibrahimovic goal. The Swede swivelled in the box from Lucas Moura's drilled cross and smashed a low shot past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

However, Les Parisiens' lead was short-lived, as Lionel Messi hit back almost immediately for the hosts. A square pass was brought down by Luis Suarez, who stretched to meet the ball and volley a cross into the area for the Argentine attacker to slide home.

Suarez was again involved, although this time for the wrong reasons, after he was seen to have kicked out at Thiago Silva in a duel between the duo near the visitors' box, leaving the Brazilian defender visibly unhappy.

Salvatore Sirigu then came to PSG's rescue with a wonderful stop to deny the former Liverpool ace from close range following good work from Pedro to flash the ball across goal.

Nonetheless, it was Neymar who ultimately stole the show, curling a magnificent strike from around 20 yards out with his right foot to put Barca in the driving seat ahead of the restart.

The second half proved an absorbing affair, with both sides showing fighting spirit in the vein that any great European clubs would, although the French giants soon resorted to counterattacking by the Catalan possession juggernaut.

Despite this, chances still came at a premium, as either defence refused to be infiltrated. Lucas, who got the better of Mathieu for most part, evaded the Frenchman to send a cross into the box, causing mass hysteria amongst the Barca backline, before Bartra eventually blocked Matuidi's rebound.

But it was game over with a quarter of the match remaining. Suarez's layoff to Xavi on the edge of the box resulted in the midfielder finding Neymar, whose strike was saved by Sirigu, leaving the Uruguayan to sweep up the loose ball.

Messi then came close to making it 4-1 when he bent a cannon-like attempt inches wide of the Italian's goal, but the home side held on to take control of the group and consign PSG to the runners-up berth.

Barcelona 3-1 Paris Saint-Germain

Ibrahimovic 15 (P) Messi 19, Neymar 41, Suarez 77 (B)

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Pique, Bartra, Mathieu; Pedro, Busquets, Mascherano, Iniesta (Xavi 74), Pedro (Rakitic 68); Messi; Suarez

PSG: Sirigu; Van der Wiel, Luiz, Silva, Maxwell; Motta, Verratti (Pastore 62), Matuidi (Lavezzi 75); Lucas, Ibrahimovic, Cavani

Referee: Martin Atkinson [ENG]

Tags Lionel Messi Paris Saint-Germain Zlatan Ibrahimovic
La Liga - Club News