Barcelona avenge Paris Saint-Germain defeat


Barcelona avenged their September defeat in the French capital by beating Paris St Germain 3-1 at Camp Nou to claim top spot in Champions League Group F. PSG's home victory over the Catalan giants saw them take control of the pool for the rest of the autumn but Barca made sure to seize the opportunity to leapfrog them in Wednesday night's return meeting. An early opener from their former employee Zlatan Ibrahimovic meant they had to rally from behind and they would, with goals from Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez steadily tightening the hosts' grip on the game. With 15 points from six games Barca claimed first place and therefore a last-16 encounter with a second-placed team from another group while PSG, who accrued 13 points, can expect to face the likes of Real Madrid or Chelsea. Ibrahamovic was treated to a frosty reception from his former supporters, with each one of the controversial Swede's first touches greeted by boos. So it was fitting that he silenced Camp Nou with PSG's opening goal. In the 15th minute Lucas Moura fed the ball into the box and to Blaise Matuidi who, with his back to goal, set up Ibrahimovic for a smooth finish. He had little time to gloat, however, as Barca responded with an equaliser only four minutes later. Suarez did remarkably well to connect with a high ball forward from Javier Mascherano, the Uruguayan side-footing across the six-yard box for a sprinting Messi to convert. It was a 75th Champions League goal for the man who surpassed Raul's all-time scoring record last time out. Paris might have restored their lead shortly after the half hour as Edinson Cavani tried his luck against Marc-Andre ter Stegen having collected Ibrahimovic's cross. Barca bit back through Neymar, whose drilled effort was blocked by Thiago Silva, and Suarez. The latter's attempt from 12 yards sent Salvatore Sirigu sprawling but it was the former striker who would notch before the break. In the 42nd minute Neymar took Andres Iniesta's pass before creating space for himself on the edge of the box and rifling the ball past a surprised Sirigu. When play resumed PSG went all out in pursuit of a leveller and Ibrahimovic was unlucky to miss the target with a header from Thiago Motta's corner. Lucas forced a desperate block from his fellow Brazilian Silva in the 53rd minute, which also saw Motta drive a fierce effort into the body of covering Barca defender Marc Bartra. The Catalans emerged from under the cosh eventually and, with just under 15 minutes remaining, Neymar got Sirigu working once again with snapshot from the centre of the box. It was enough of a spark to convince Barca to push harder for goal number three and that would arrive in the 77th minute. A silky move through the PSG half culminated in Neymar testing Sirigu and former Liverpool striker Suarez was on hand to sweep the loose ball into the net, thus wrapping up a comfortable win for Luis Enrique's side.