'We've sent a message to rival teams'

Paris St Germain's “Dream bigger” tagline may never sound so relevant.

The French champions displayed their European ambitions with an impressive 4-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday that all but secured their place in the Champions League quarterfinals.

It also suggested they could be serious contenders for the title this season.

“We had to send a clear message, and I think we have done that,” defender Maxwell told reporters in Leverkusen.

“All the credit goes to us because we controlled the game. Tonight, we showed in the Champions League how strong our team is in the Champions League.”

PSG, who easily reached the knockout stages and are well placed in Ligue 1 -- five points ahead of second-placed Monaco -- were eager to be tested by tough opposition in Germany.

But they proved too strong for Bayer in all areas, even without their injured Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice -- including another special strike from distance -- to bring his European tally to 10 this term, and Yohan Cabaye celebrated his first PSG goal since arriving from Newcastle United in January.

They were, though, aided by a Leverkusen team that had Emir Spahic sent off, and had previously shown a soft centre in a 5-0 loss to Manchester United in the group stage.

“We had played very well in our league until now, but the Champions League is something else, it's very difficult,” said Brazilian Maxwell, who won Europe's elite club competition with Barcelona in 2011.

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