Messi’s Barca suffers painful defeat to PSG 4-1
Mbappe scores hat-trick
Published: 10:44 AM, 17 February 2021 Updated: 12:51 PM, 17 February 2021
Kylian Mbappé celebrates equalising in the first half for Paris Saint-Germain in Barcelona; Photo: Collected
Paris St Germain’s (PSG) Kylian Mbappe scored a stunning hat-trick as the team overcame the absence of Neymar and thrashed Barcelona 4-1 away in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday paving the way for the quarter-finals.
Lionel Messi tried Barca ahead with a penalty in the half but Mbappe pulled the level with a classy piece of control and finished a complete flowing team moves also involving Marco Verratti and Layvin Kurzawa.
Kylian Mbappe, who cannot score in the Champions League knockouts for two years before Tuesday, took the PSG into the lead in the 65th minute while Moise Kean took advantage of some woeful Barca marking to head in a third goal for the visitors in the 70th.
After being denied his third goal by Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Mbappe completed his hat-trick in the 85th minute by curling the ball into the top corner.
Meanwhile, Barca got a break when Layvin Kurzawa accidentally tripped Frenkie de Jong and Messi smashed his penalty beyond former Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas to score the fourth goal in this season’s competition.
PSG responded outstandingly with their classy goal after 32 minutes and should have gone ahead before the break when Kurzawa was thwarted by a fingertip save from Ter Stegen and Icardi headed just wide from a corner.
Barcelona had their moments too, Antoine Griezmann showing exceptional pace to sprint towards goal from the halfway line but landing his shot just wide of the far post.
Barca overcame a 4-0 defeat against PSG in a last-16 first leg in 2017 by winning the second leg at home 6-1.