Barcelona reaches Champions League semifinals behind Neymar double and at David Luiz's expense

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Barcelona reaches Champions League semifinals behind Neymar double and at David Luiz's expense
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Tuesday's Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Paris Saint-Germain figured to be a mere formality for Barcelona after the La Liga leaders took control of the tie last week with a 3-1 away victory. The Catalans strolled through the 90 minutes at the Camp Nou to book their passage to the semifinals with a comfortable 2-0 victory (5-1 on aggregate).

[FC Yahoo: Bayern Munich crushes Porto 6-1 to reach Champions League semifinals]

Neymar scored in the 14th and 34th minutes to give Barca a 2-0 halftime cushion and end any hope of a comeback for PSG, which welcomed back striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic from suspension but still wasn't a full strength due to injuries to midfielder Thiago Motta and center back Thiago Silva.

[FC Yahoo: Look back on Barcelona vs. PSG, Bayern vs. Porto as the action happened]

The absence of Silva made the Ligue 1 champions even more vulnerable at the back and put everyone's favorite whipping boy – David Luiz – in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

[Champions League: Scores and Schedule | Group Standings | Teams]

On Barcelona's first goal, Andres Iniesta reminded everyone that he still has plenty of game left when he slalomed through the PSG defense and slipped a sweet through ball to Neymar. The Brazilian star toyed with goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu before calmly sliding the ball into the net with a left-footed finish.

What was relished more on Twitter than Iniesta's playmaking was Luiz's defending, or lack of it. To the delight of his critics, Luiz was left reaching for air as Neymar freely sprinted past him toward the PSG goal.

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Neymar took advantage of his countryman Luiz again on his second goal. Dani Alves swung a cross into the box to a wide-open Neymar, who powered his free header past Sirigu into the top corner. Luiz, well, could only stand and watch.

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The usual punch lines about the big-haired Brazilian were dug up – as well as Luiz's role in Brazil's infamous 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semifinals last summer. The most pertinent parallel was the absence of Silva, who often covers for Luiz's freelancing in attack and defensive mistakes (Silva was suspended for the debacle against Germany). Of course, Luiz's 50 million pound transfer from Chelsea was drudged up for further ridicule.

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A quarterfinal exit wasn't the goal for PSG, which has invested millions in recent years to achieve European glory. But still, Laurent Blanc's side should feel a sense of accomplishment for ousting Premier League leader Chelsea in the round of 16. Whether it's enough to quiet the debate around Blanc's future at the Parc des Princes remains to be seen.