Paris Saint-Germain inflicted the first defeat of Luis Enrique’s Barcelona reign with a 3-2 win at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday in a UEFA Champions League match.
The Ligue 1 champions were without talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic as well as Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi, but held off late Barca pressure to end the visitors’ unbeaten start to the campaign and dampen an historic occasion for midfielder Xavi.
Coming off the bench to make a record 143rd appearance in the UEFA Champions League proper, the former Spain international was on the losing side after defender David Luiz, a target for the Spanish giants in the close-season – showed his quality in the final third with a smart turn and finish to give PSG what proved to be a short-lived lead after 10 minutes.
Lionel Messi was the man to restore parity less than two minutes later in the Group F clash as he swept home Barca’s 500th Champions League goal, although PSG were ahead again shortly before the half-hour mark.
After Marc-Andreter Stegen failed to collect a deep corner, Marco Verratti headed home his first PSG goal, with Blaise Matuidi making it 3-1 early in the second half.
While Neymar’s smart finish from inside the area gave Barca hope, PSG had not lost at home in Europe since November 2006 – a record they maintained with some stoic late defending.
Tuesday Night Results
CSKA Moskva 0 – 1 Bayern Munich
Manchester City 1 – 1 Roma
PSG 3 – 2 Barcelona
APOEL 1 – 1 Ajax
Sporting CP 0 – 1 Chelsea
Schalke 04 1 – 1 Maribor
Shakhtar Donetsk 2 – 2 Porto
BATE 2 – 1 Athletic Bilbao