Alves Is The Best Right-Back In The World & Other Things Learnt From PSG v Barca
Dani Alves Remains The Best Right-Back In The World
There are those saying the Barcelona right-back isn't quite the player he was at numerous points this season. However, at the Parc des Princes, the Gunther-from-Friends look-a-like was at his very best, offering the attacking threat from deep as he continuously tormented the PSG defence.
While he could've run at Maxwell that much more to stride that bit higher up the pitch, his ball for Lionel Messi's opener was as exquisite as any you'd have seen from any point in the Champions League this season. David Beckham may be the set piece specialist, but he was put to shame by Alves during the encounter in the French capital, who came close to adding a goal of his own in the second half.
United Will Regret Not Signing Lucas
For a team boasting the creative talents of Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nani in their ranks, you would understand why Manchester Fans deemed the pursuit of Lucas Moura unnecessary. However, one goal and nine assists between them in the league this season suggests Sir Alex Ferguson should've pressed harder to sign the Brazilian.
Lucas again continued his impressive run of form in a PSG shirt, despite not ending up on the winning side in France. Forming one third of the attacking triumvirate behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic alongside Javier Pastore and Ezequiel Lavezzi, it's looking as though United's loss is certainly Les Parisians' gain.
Thiago Silva Is Still One Of The World's Best Centre-Backs
Does anyone really take the opinion of Joey Barton seriously? The on-loan Marseille midfielder claimed the Brazilian was a “fat, overrated p***k”, before Thiago Silva churned out the most impressive of performances in the heart of the PSG defence.
Silva could well have drifted off the radar somewhat following his big money arrival from AC Milan, but his display to counter the Barcelona attack at the Parc des Princes would've once again won him the plaudits, with his header in the dying embers of the encounter rebounding off the post and into the path of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to nestle from close range. And it saw Barton with egg on his face, which is always nice.
No Matuidi Will Cost PSG
Starting alongside David Beckham meant Blaise Matuidi was always going to endure an exhaustive evening for PSG. The 25-year-old has become a key cog in the engine room for the Ligue 1 side, becoming a regular in Carlo Ancelotti's starting XI.
He may not have put in the most impressive of shifts against Barcelona, but his energy in the midfield hindered Barcelona's cohesion and stifled the threat of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets before he received a booking that will keep him out of the second leg at the Camp Nou, not before netting in the last minute of stoppage time to ensure a 2-2 draw in Paris.
PSG Have A Chance, But Barca Will Win The Second Leg
The two away goals, coupled with Matuidi's suspension, means PSG face an upward struggle to secure a place in the semi final of the Champions League. While it remains to be seen whether Messi will be available for the return leg in Spain, Barcelona still have the quality to secure their place in the last four.
Yes, the likes of Ibrahimovic and co. will be enough to give them a decent run at the Camp Nou, but after smashing AC Milan to one side at the last 16 stage; it's fair to say Barca, with or without Messi, possess the quality and strength to do enough in Spain, even with the lack of defence for Tito Vilanova's side.