Valentine's Day in Paris sounds like a dream come true, that is until Barcelona came to spend the night at Parc de Princes for V-Day 2017. The Catalan giants spent the night chasing Ángel Di María and Paris Saint-Germain around the pitch before walking off down 4-0 in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 match.
Barcelona came into the match heavily favored to move onto the quarterfinals, however they allowed Di María to net two goals of his own as well as one from new PSG pickup Julian Draxler and Uruguay star Edinson Cavani. PSG were better from the start, playing sharper and more physical than Barcelona from the start.
Di María opened up the scoring in the 18th minute before nabbing a second in the 55th. Draxler managed to net the second one in between Di María's two, scoring in the 40th minute. Cavani put the icing on the cake for the Parisians with their fourth goal in minute 71.
No excuses were made in the Barcelona locker room, with everyone recognizing that they were straight up outclassed in every facet of the game Tuesday night. Now if they want to advance, they must become the first team in the history of the Champions League to overcome a four goal deficit to advance. It might not make it easier, but at least they will get to try to accomplish the feat at home at the Camp Nou.
However in the likely event that they are not able to get to the quarterfinal round, expect manager Luis Enrique's seat to warm up markedly. Barcelona's performance in the European tournament will have worsened each of Enrique's three years at the helm of Barça should PSG hold their lead after the second leg. His first year on the job he was able to take home the championship trophy, last year they bowed out in the semifinals before barely holding onto the La Liga title.
Real Madrid is still a point ahead even though they have played two less matches than Barça. We have seen Real lose their lead this late in the season in recent seasons, therefore it shouldn't be a foregone conclusion that Barcelona can't take home the domestic league championship. If Enrique can steer the ship towards a second consecutive double trophy season, that should at least buy him some time to get Barcelona back to their treble contender form.
Photo: Flickr/Nazionale Calcio