Barcelona are getting absolutely eviscerated by Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie and while the entire team deserves credit, it was The Angel Di Maria Show.
It’s not just that Di Maria scored two goals, it’s how good the two goals were.
First, there was the free kick.
Article continues below ...
Then there was him freezing an entire defense before hitting a shot just as good as his free kick.
Both of those balls are hit absolutely perfectly. The pace, the curl and the accuracy are all magnificent. And it takes magnificence to make Barcelona look this bad.
Those goals were on top of Di Maria’s always outstanding defensive work. The entire PSG midfield simply out-ran Barcelona all match long, pressing high up and stretching the field, then covering that space at seemingly twice the pace of the Catalans. Di Maria was a huge part of that, making runs from deep that ravaged Barcelona and he could have even had a couple assists if his teammates finished better. It was a marvelous performance from Di Maria, and a pair of marvelous goals.
The timing couldn’t have been better for Di Maria either. The January arrival of Julian Draxler has cut into Di Maria’s role, and while Draxler also scored on Tuesday, it was Di Maria who really shone. Unsurprisingly, with Di Maria looking as good as he did, and Draxler also playing well, they put together unquestionably their best match of the season.
Now, the impossible is possible: Barcelona may go down. And Di Maria is making it happen.