The story of PSG's collapse against Barcelona can be told by one statistic

Passing numbers reveal how Unai Emery's side succumbed to a blind panic after Neymar scored Barcelona's fourth goal of the night

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The Independent Football

The story of Paris Saint-Germain’s Nou Camp collapse can be told by one statistic.

Unai Emery’s side looked all but certain of reaching this year’s Champions League quarter-finals before kick-off, going into the away leg against Barcelona 4-0 up on aggregate.

Despite the Catalans clawing three goals back, Edinson Cavani’s thumping away goal just after the hour mark seemed to kill off a lingering hope of an unlikely comeback.

Yet the Ligue 1 champions succumbed to a blind panic when Neymar improbably rifled in a free-kick in the 88th minute.

Between the time of that fourth goal by Barcelona and the final whistle, the visitors completed just four passes.

Such a meltdown becomes only more remarkable when you consider that three of those were made from restart kick-offs after each of Barça’s late goals.

In those nine mad minutes, Paris Saint-Germain’s players were so discombobulated by their hosts’ resurgence, they could no longer pass to a fellow white shirt.

In fact, that was the story for much of the night. Kevin Trapp, their goalkeeper, more passes than any of his outfield teammates, with 30 in total.

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