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Neymar takes Barcelona into Champions League semis

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi (C) vies for a ball with Paris Saint-Germain's David Luiz (R) during their UEFA Champions League quarter-finals second leg match in Barcelona, Spain, April 21, 2015. Barcelona won 2:0 and entered the semi-finals with 5:1 on aggregate

 

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (C) vies for a ball with Paris Saint-Germain's David Luiz (R) during their UEFA Champions League quarter-finals second leg match in Barcelona, Spain, April 21, 2015. Barcelona won 2:0 and entered the semi-finals with 5:1 on aggregate
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (C) vies for a ball with Paris Saint-Germain’s David Luiz (R) during their UEFA Champions League quarter-finals second leg match in Barcelona, Spain, April 21, 2015. Barcelona won 2:0 and entered the semi-finals with 5:1 on aggregate

Spanish football club Barcelona booked their place in the semifinals of the Champions League for the seventh time in eight years as they defeated Paris Saint Germain (PSG) 2-0 to secure a 5-1 win on aggregate.

Neymar was the hero of the night with two first half goals as Barcelona enjoyed a relatively tranquil night at Camp Nou here, reports Xinhua.

Despite the 3-1 win in the first leg and a difficult game next weekend, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique made no concessions to try and conserve tired legs and played what is probably his strongest side with Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic.

Zlatan Ibrahimovoch was back for PSG to face his former club while Marco Verratti was also able to provide more control to the French side’s midfield.

One player who didn’t show control was PSG central defender David Luiz, who was booked for challenging with his foot up in the first foul of the game.

Barcelona opened the scoring in the 14th minute, virtually their first attack. Andres Iniesta collected the ball in his own half, ghosted past two players in midfield and threaded the ball for Neymar to round the keeper and slide the ball into the net.

The goal clearly hurt the French side and it was also soon clear that it was going to be a good night for Barcelona. The passes found their target, the pressing was aggressive and movements were fluid as their rivals suffered.

It was no surprise when Neymar doubled the lead with a header five minutes from the break after good work from Dani Alves down the right wing.

With his side up 5-1 on aggregate at the break, Enrique decided to rest Iniesta for Xavi Hernandez and with the PSG needing to score four goals to qualify, 10 minutes later Sergi Roberto replaced Busquets.

The game opened up, although there were few clear chances as Barcelona remained in control, although he forced a good save from Ter Stegen with 18 minutes left.

That was virtually all that Barcelona suffered and Messi almost made it 3-0 with the last kick of the game but his shot slipped wide of the post.