Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Paris Saint-Germain will aim to get back to winning ways on Saturday when the capital club welcomes Lille to the Parc des Princes.
PSG returns to league play hoping to keep its push for a third straight league title on track after the club was knocked out of the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage for the third consecutive season on Tuesday via a 5-1 aggregate loss to Barcelona.
PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to the field for Tuesday's encounter after serving a four-match ban for verbally lashing out at an official, but not even the hulking Swedish forward could help PSG on this night.
It took Barcelona just 14 minutes to find the first goal of the night when Andres Iniesta made an outstanding run from his side of the field, weaving his way past several PSG defenders before threading a perfect through ball into the path of Neymar. The Brazilian attacker rounded PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu and slotted home.
It was 2-0 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate in the 34th minute. This time, Dani Alves swung a tantalizing cross into the box from the right side of the field. Neymar did well to slide in between two PSG defenders and nod home into the bottom right corner, leaving Sirigu with little chance for a save.
PSG struggled to create many quality scoring chances throughout the night, but the best opportunity came on the break in the 70th minute when Ibrahimovic came charging down the field with Javier Pastore to his left.
Ibrahimovic elected to have a go himself from the top of the box, but Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was in perfect position to parry it to safety.
"Barcelona were the better team over the two legs. I regret that we didn't score more goals because we had chances in attack," said PSG manager Laurent Blanc. "To compete with Barca, you have to be 100 percent and take your chances in front of goal. This loss will hurt, but we have to overcome it. We must now turn focus to the weekend's match against Lille. We still have two trophies to win in the league and the Coupe de France."
Despite seeing their dream of winning four trophies this season dashed, PSG can still claim three. With the Coupe de la Ligue already won, the club can still hoist the Coupe de France as well as a third straight Ligue 1 title.
PSG defender Serge Aurier relayed the need to move on from the Champions League loss and focus on the league.
"We want to be champions, they want to qualify for Europe, so it's an exciting match to play in and I hope we win on Saturday because we're playing at home in front of our fans," explained the Ivory Coast international. "Despite our loss in the Champions League, we want to win the league for our supporters so no matter who we are playing, we want to be better than them, we want to win everything."
Elsewhere in France on Saturday, Bordeaux hosts Metz looking for a third win in four opportunities, Caen hosts Guingamp aiming to continue its climb up the table, while Evian hosts Bastia needing three points to put some distance between themselves and the relegation zone.
Also on Saturday, Rennes hosts Nice, while Toulouse battles Nantes.
On Sunday, Saint Etienne hosts Montpellier, Lens tangles with Monaco and Reims hosts Lyon.
Friday���s action saw Jordan Ayew net a pair of goals as Lorient climbed out of the bottom three with an impressive 5-3 win over Marseille at the Stade Velodrome.