Mbappe’s hat-trick crushes Barcelona’s Champions League hope


Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick tattered FC Barcelona’s Champions league run after 4-1 defeat on Tuesday at Camp Nou. Lionel Messi scored for Ronald Koeman’s side in the early minutes before Ligue 1 giants tore apart Catalans in the first leg of Champions League last 16.

Despite the absence of Neymar and Angel Di Maria, the 22-year-old scored once in the first half and twice in the second half. Moise Kean was also on target in a convincing win for the visitors

In first five minutes, Barcelona took the lead through Messi, scoring his fourth goal in the Champions League this season, all of them from the penalty spot. Ousmane Dembele should have doubled Barcelona’s lead but sent a tame shot at Keylor Navas.

2020 runners-up PSG was fast and attacking missing no chance to put the ball behind the net. Paris responded emphatically as Mbappe thumped in the equaliser, and Mauricio Pochettino’s men would have led at half-time had Marc-André ter Stegen not denied Kurzawa.

Barcelona had not conceded more than one goal in their last 15 home matches in the UEFA Champions League knockout phase before this game.

Barcelona is having a poor season with 2-0 down in their Copa del Rey semi-final against Sevilla, and eight points behind Atletico Madrid in La Liga, having played a game more.

“I could tell you lies but the fact is that at 4-1 down from the home leg, there are very few chances of going through,” Ronald Koeman said after the match.

The Catalan giants must also wait a little while to play the second leg with the return fixture not until March 10.