PSG capitulate in unthinkable Champions League defeat at Barcelona
BARCELONA -- How? Paris Saint-Germain conspired to throw away a 4-0 first leg lead and allowed Barcelona to win 6-1 on the night and advance to the quarterfinals 6-5 on aggregate. Ultimate humiliation.
Aside from Edinson Cavani, who showed more heart than the rest of his teammates put together before and after he scored what should have been a decisive away goal, there was nothing positive. Nothing whatsoever.
Too many. Mental fragility. PSG's season may well have gone up in smoke at Camp Nou. Second in Ligue 1, Unai Emery's men crumbled in Barcelona and allowed a mediocre home side to write a glorious page of history. The French champions' expensive array of stars should not have capitulated like that.
Self-inflicted wounds. Having looked so solid since the start of 2017, the back five of Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Thomas Meunier, Layvin Kurzawa and Kevin Trapp lost all their collective sense of organisation and gifted Barcelona goals at will.
Anonymous midfield. Cavani's respectable performance saves the attack from severe criticism but that does not mean they impressed. However, Marco Verratti, Adrien Rabiot and Blaise Matuidi were invisible for much of the match and warrant harsh words. Many will blame the referee but the PSG players should take responsibility for this mother of all chokes.
Manager rating out of 10
1 -- A generous one at that. Tactics? What tactics? PSG had no plan and no composure from start to finish. Emery somehow sent out a starting XI that managed to turn a 4-0 first leg lead into a 6-5 defeat over two and was late to make necessary changes as it unfolded. Unacceptable.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Kevin Trapp, 2 -- Like a fish in a barrel being shot at for most of the 90 minutes. The German goalkeeper didn't have a chance for some of the Barcelona goals but he flapped regularly.
DF Thomas Meunier, 2 -- The Belgium international conceded the penalty at the start of the second half that put Barca 3-0 up. He was unfortunate to slip but it was an error all the same and a costly one at that.
DF Marquinhos, 2 -- The Brazil international's second half recovery was destroyed completely by a rush of blood to the head at the end. Guilty on both of Barcelona's first half goals, he conceded a late penalty to make that a hat-trick of mistakes and was booked to rub salt in his sizeable wounds.
DF Thiago Silva (c), 2 -- The most senior figure in the PSG squad was unable to control his troops at any point on the night. Although there is no obvious alternative as skipper, serious questions have to be asked of every "leader" at the club after such a capitulation.
DF Layvin Kurzawa, 2 -- Along with Lucas Moura, the France international was the worst player for the visitors. His only redeeming factor was a headed assist for Cavani's ultimately useless away goal.
MF Adrien Rabiot, 2 -- The France international was ill in the build-up to the match and on reflection, perhaps would have been better off being left out. He was never up to the pace of the game and left a massive hole in the midfield that could not be plugged.
MF Marco Verratti, 4 -- The Italy international was well below his usual best despite being the architect for Cavani's goal. He was booked for his late foul on Marc-Andre Ter Stegen as Barca swarmed forward for the killer goal, which they consequently got.
MF Blaise Matuidi, 2 -- Like Silva, the France international was one of the senior figures who was actually on the pitch and went missing. Booked after five minutes, his usual intensity disappeared and he inexplicably attempted a number of touches and flicks that were way above his station technically.
FW Lucas Moura, 1 -- Abysmal. Seemingly each time he touched the ball, Barcelona immediately got it back. The Brazilian was lucky not to be withdrawn at half-time after such a pitiful display. Was on the pitch physically but mentally stayed in Paris.
FW Edinson Cavani, 6 -- The Uruguay international is the only PSG player who can hold his head up high after such a debacle. "El Matador" gave absolutely everything at both ends, scoring and hitting the post as well as making more tackles than most of the defence put together. He can be forgiven his first half booking. With a new contract yet to be signed, it would be understandable if he considers his future after this shaming.
FW Julian Draxler, 2 -- Like almost all of his teammates, the Germany international simply did not show up. His main contribution was a 14th minute booking.
FW Angel Di Maria, 4 -- The Argentina helped turn the tide in PSG's favour temporarily after coming on for Lucas 10 minutes into the second half, but he missed a great chance to kill the tie late on.
DF Serge Aurier, NR -- The Ivory Coast international made a brave late block to deny Neymar but is not exactly known for keeping his cool and was quickly run as ragged as his teammates who started.
MF Grzegorz Krychowiak, NR -- Sent on in time added on, the Poland international arguably was needed at half-time and would have given the midfield some much needed bite.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.