Paris Saint-Germain qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday after winning 4-1 at Red Star Belgrade to top Group C.
First-half goals from Edinson Cavani and Neymar set the French champions on their way, before a bullet header from Marquinhos, Kylian Mbappe’s injury-time strike and Liverpool beating Napoli 1-0 ensured first place in the group after Marko Gobeljic pulled one back for the hosts early in the second half.
Thomas Tuchel’s side finished the group stage on 11 points, two ahead of second-placed Liverpool and Napoli, who were eliminated due to their defeat at Anfield.
PSG had Red Star on the back foot from the start, and their blistering attacking trio of Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani didn’t waste time in putting the away side ahead.
Just eight minutes were on the clock when Cavani tapped Mbappe’s pass into an open goal, after the French teenage sensation met the excellent Marco Verratti’s through ball, brushed Filip Stojkovic aside, before slipping a perfect pass for the Uruguayan.
Red Star captain Stojkovic had a torrid evening, and Neymar made light work of the 25-year-old on his way to a wonderful solo goal in the 31st minute, dribbling into the box and sitting down the hosts’ keeper Milan Borjan before lifting the second into the net.
The Ligue 1 leaders should have been out of sight three minutes before the break, but Mbappe wasted an excellent chance to make it three, again bursting through past Stojkovic on the left only to fluff his shot into the side netting.
Red Star came out firing in the second half and could have scored twice before Gobeljic smashed past Gianluigi Buffon in the 56th minute to set the Rajko Mitic stadium ablaze with noise.
However, Marquinhos snuffed their enthusiasm out when he met Di Maria’s beautiful deep free-kick to make sure of the three points with 17 minutes remaining.
Mbappe’s neat finish as the final seconds ticked away and Liverpool’s win were the icing on the cake for PSG.
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