Champions League progress near impossible: Neymar


Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona’s Brazil star Neymar says it will be a virtual ‘mission impossible’ for the Spanish giants to progress in the Champions League after their 4-0 first leg demolition by Paris Saint-Germain.

No team has ever come back from a 4-0 first leg deficit to remain in the Champions League and Barcelona are under no illusions about the mountain they will have to climb for the second leg of the last 16 clash at Camp Nou on March 8.

“Now we have to think about the return match and see what we can try to do to reverse this situation,” the Brazilian star told journalists.

“But it will be very difficult, practically impossible. However, we can’t give up.”

Barca were totally dominated during the game in which Angel di Maria scored twice alongside further goals from Julian Draxler and Edison Cavani in a match Barca coach Luis Enrique dubbed a disaster for the Spaniards.

Neymar poured praise on PSG and said that being hammered was unfamiliar to Barcelona’s galaxy of international stars.

“All credit to PSG,” he said. “This match was atypical, we are not in the habit of finding ourselves in this sort of situation.

“It will be very difficult to prepare for the return match, with a four-goal deficit. I don’t think this has ever happened to me.”

He said that Barcelona had not prepared well for the game but were still surprised by the punishment they had received.

“We were not good, we did not do our work as we should have done and we were surprised by this result,” he said. 

The joint heaviest defeat in coach Enrique’s three seasons in charge means Barcelona face missing out on the quarter-finals for the first time since losing on away goals to Liverpool in the last 16 in 2006/07.

“It was a disastrous night for us in which we were clearly inferior,” Enrique acknowledged.

Neymar, Lionel Messi and teammates took part in a closed-door training session at Camp Nou earlier on Wednesday to wind down after the PSG defeat. A glum looking trio of Messi, Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique were pictured on the club website taking part in the session.

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