Ángel Di María’s place in the Paris Saint-Germain team has come under increased scrutiny this season after a noticeable dip in form and the signing of Julian Draxler but the Argentina international produced one of his best displays to help Unai Emery’s side to a 4-0 first leg win over Barcelona.
PSG have been knocked out by Barcelona at the quarter-final stage in 2013 and 2015 but were far superior to the visitors from kick off on Tuesday evening.
After a string of wasted opportunities it was Di María who provided the breakthrough with a superb free kick.
صورها يا اصفر pic.twitter.com/maHwx6fuvx
— ابو جورج – ראופיx ❄️ (@i_NJR_YT) February 14, 2017
Draxler doubled the advantage before the break but it was El Fideo that extinguished Barcelona’s hopes with a sensational third before the hour mark.
A drop of the shoulder left Andrés Iniesta for dead and Di María steadied himself before bending the ball into the top corner from outside the penalty area.
Di Maria… what a goal pic.twitter.com/3vq8pKE9wv
— agit (@agitdz) February 14, 2017
The Argentina international was withdrawn shortly after to a standing ovation with his work complete and a timely reminder of his quality.
Edgardo Bauza will also have been pleased to see such a return to form ahead of March’s crucial World Cup qualifiers.