It may have been Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s big night back at his former club but he played only a bit-part in this feat, laying the ball off to Blaise Matuidi who squared for Di Maria to apply a deft finish.
The Argentina midfielder’s strike came 23 years to the day since the first round of Champions League games and the rebranded top tier of European football was christened with its first goal.
A cast of journeymen, superstars and cult heroes have etched their names into the record books in that time and BBC Sport looks at those who claimed the landmark goals along the way.
Who: Daniel Amokachi (Club Brugge)
When: Club Brugge 1-0 CSKA Moscow, Jan Breydel Stadium, 25/11/92
The first edition of the Champions League, eventually won by Marseille, featured only eight teams and Nigerian striker Amokachi won the race to score the competition’s first goal with his 17th-minute strike against CSKA Moscow.
Perhaps knowing his place in history was secure, Amokachi did not score again in 10 further Champions League appearances for Club Brugge and Besiktas.
Yet he had an eventful spell at Everton in between, scoring two goals in the 1995 FA Cup semi-final against Spurs after coming on as a substitute before manager Joe Royle gave the go-ahead. The Toffees went on to beat Manchester United in the final.
Who: Dmitri Khokhlov (PSV Eindhoven)
When: PSV Eindhoven 2-2 Benfica, Philips Stadion, 09/12/98
On 9 December 1998, Manchester United took a key step towards eventual European glory, reaching the knockout stages as one of the best runners-up with a 1-1 draw against eventual final opponents Bayern Munich.
While that proved significant in retrospect, on the same day Russian midfielder Khokhlov put PSV 1-0 up at home to Benfica to score the 1,000th goal.
The Dutch side then fell behind to two Nuno Gomes goals only for future Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy to claim a late equaliser.
Who: Erwin Sanchez (Boavista)
When: Boavista 3-1 Dynamo Kiev, Estadio do Bessa, 19/09/01
It took Boavista just three minutes to score in their first Champions League game against Liverpool and it took Sanchez only a minute longer to score his landmark goal in his side’s second group-stage game against Dynamo Kiev.
Midfielder Sanchez was productive in his only Champions League season, scoring three times in 12 games under the old format that included two group stages.
After winning 57 caps for Bolivia, Sanchez went on to manage the national team for three years between 2006 and 2009.
Who: David Trezeguet (Juventus)
When: Juventus 7-0 Olympiakos, Stadio delle Alpi, 10/12/03
French World Cup winner David Trezeguet scored 29 goals in 58 Champions League appearances for Monaco and Juventus, scoring the 3,000th goal with his second strike in the Italian side’s 7-0 thrashing of Olympiakos in the 2003-04 group stages.
Yet Trezeguet never won Europe’s top trophy – missing from the spot as Juventus lost the 2002-03 final to AC Milan on penalties before they were knocked out by Deportivo La Coruna the year of his landmark goal.
Who: Peter Crouch (Liverpool)
When: Liverpool 1-0 PSV Eindhoven, Anfield, 11/04/07
AC Milan ultimately had their revenge on Liverpool for Istanbul 2005 in the 2006-07 final but the Merseyside club enjoyed plenty of thrills along the way.
Between beating Barcelona and a dramatic win over Premier League rivals Chelsea, the Reds dismissed PSV 4-0 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, thanks in part to Peter Crouch’s tap-in at Anfield.
Crouch scored six of his 13 Champions League goals that season, finishing joint-second in the 2006-07 scoring charts behind Milan’s Kaka.
Who: Luisao (Benfica)
When: Benfica 2-0 Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Estadio da Luz, 14/09/10
By scoring against Werder Bremen minutes earlier, then Tottenham striker Crouch came remarkably close to also scoring the 5,000th goal only for the honour to fall to Benfica defender Luisao with his 21st-minute volley against Hapoel Tel-Aviv.
Yet the Portuguese side could not qualify for the 2010-11 knockout phase and went on to suffer semi-final heartbreak against rivals Braga in that year’s Europa League.
Brazilian international Luisao remains a Benfica stalwart and recently passed 50 Champions League appearances for the club.
Who: Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund)
When: Dortmund 3-0 Shakhtar Donetsk, Westfalenstadion, 05/03/13
Hardly Gotze’s most famous goal given his 2014 World Cup-winning strike but the German’s second Champions League goal was the competition’s 6,000th.
His strike helped Dortmund secure a 5-2 aggregate victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 16 as the German club reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 1998.
That run continued all the way to the final only for Jurgen Klopp’s side to lose 2-1 to rivals and Gotze’s current club Bayern Munich.
Who: Angel Di Maria (Paris St-Germain)
When: Malmo 0-5 Paris St-Germain, Swedbank Stadion, 25/11/15
Di Maria capped his 50th Champions League game with two goals as Paris St-Germain easily defeated Malmo – the first of which secured his place in the competition’s history.
The Argentine, named man of the match in Real Madrid’s 2014 Champions League final triumph, endured a tough year at Manchester United but now has three goals in five games in Europe’s top competition this season.
He is also the only player on the list to date to score his milestone goal away from home.
Who: Peter Ofori-Quaye (Olympiakos)
When: Rosenborg 5-1 Olympiakos, Lerkendal Stadion, 01/10/97
In what turned out to be an omen for his entire career, Peter Ofori-Quaye had a mixed day when he broke the record for the youngest goalscorer in the Champions League.
At 17 years and 195 days, the Ghanian international came on to score an otherwise meaningless goal in a 5-1 thrashing against Rosenborg in the 1997-98 group stages.
Ofori-Quaye won six Greek titles at Olympiakos only to drift into obscurity with spells at eclectic clubs such as Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona and AEL Limassol.
Who: Francesco Totti (Roma)
When: CSKA Moscow 1-1 Roma, Arena Khimki, 25/11/14
A club legend, Totti has only scored 17 Champions League goals for Roma but his latest strike is one of his most notable.
Aged 38 years and 59 days, the Italian international struck a powerful free-kick beyond keeper Igor Akinfeev to break Ryan Giggs’ record of 37 years and 290 days.
Who: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United and Real Madrid)
Lionel Messi was the first to break Raul’s Champions League scoring record of 71 goals, but Ronaldo has since surpassed his great rival – his tally now standing at 84 in 120 appearances.
The last two came against Shakhtar Donetsk this week but with Messi also scoring a double to move onto 77 goals overall this battle shows no signs of abating.