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Neymar’s Spectacular Strike Propels Barcelona To Top Spot Above PSG

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NEYMAR scored a spectacular goal as Barcelona came from behind to beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 in their battle for top spot in Champions League Group F.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the French side ahead against his former club after 15 minutes with their first threat on goal but Lionel Messi equalised as he maintained his remarkable scoring form with his eighth goal in Europe this season. The Argentinian slotted in at the far post from a Luis Suárez cross and, although Barça continued to look exposed at the back, Neymar scored with a drive from distance, which nestled in the corner of the net.

It was a disjointed performance from Barcelona and they were hanging on before Suárez knocked in a rebound from a Neymar shot that had been saved by Salvatore Sirigu. The win put them on 15 points, two more than PSG, who beat Barça 3-2 in France but were held to a draw in Amsterdam against Ajax. Messi extended his Champions League scoring record to 75 goals and now has three more than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Luis Enrique decided on an experimental three-man defence in the absence of the suspended right-back Dani Alves, with Pedro and Neymar playing wide on the wing. There were no surprises in the PSG team, who were hoping to take advantage of Barça’s defensive frailties led by the towering Ibrahimovic, who proved his fitness after injury with a double in the weekend victory over Nantes in Ligue 1.

Barça’s buildup play was more tentative than assured and PSG tore through them on the counter with Ibrahimovic given time plenty of space in the centre of the penalty area to score. The Catalan side hit back through Messi and Neymar but Luis Enrique’s tactical plan was exposed at the other end with clear chances for Lucas and Edinson Cavani.

There was desperate last-ditch defending from Barça in the second half but the introduction of Ivan Rakitic and Xavi helped settle the team before Suárez’s goal finished off the contest. – The Guardian

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