PSG thrashed Barcelona 4-1 in the first leg of the Round of 16 clash in UEFA Champions League 2020-21. After a highly competitive first half, Mauricio Pochettino’s side ran riots in the second-half. Eventually, Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick guided them to a famous Champions League win in Barcelona.
Lionel Messi breaks the deadlock
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The match started on even terms with both the sides getting a few half-chances to open the scoring. It was eventually a long ball directed towards Frenkie De Jong which drew a challenge by Layvin Kurzawa that gave Barca the penalty. Although there was just a slight contact, it was enough to convince the referee Bjorn Kuipers. Lionel Messi stepped up and smashed a brilliant penalty towards the left of Keylor Navas to give Barca an early advantage in the 27th minute.
PSG fights back
After going down 1-0 in the most unfortunate fashion, Mauricio Pochettino’s side bounced back in style. Layvin Kurzawa made up for his error with a brilliant pass from the left-flank to find Marco Veratti. The PSG midfielder flicked the ball towards Kylian Mbappe, who showed quick feet to get away from Barca defenders. The forward hit a dazzling left-footed strike past Ter Stegen in the 32nd minute to make it 1-1.
Barcelona outplayed in the second half
PSG came out all guns blazing in the second half and looked in no mood to settle for a draw. Paredes found Florenzi on the right-wing, who fired in a low cross. Gerard Pique’s attempted clearance went nowhere as the ball rolled towards Mbappe who scored his second goal of the evening. Few minutes later, Paredes floated in a perfect free-kick in the Barca box as Moise Kean headed the ball towards the goal to give his side a 3-1 advantage in the 70th minute.
Kylian Mbappe completes his hat-trick
PSG Forward Kylian Mbappe had a lot of responsibility in the absence of injured Neymar and he did not disappoint. When Draxler found himself in ample of space in Barca’s half, he ran towards the goal and slided an inch-perfect ball towards Mbappe. The 22-year-old came up with a mesmerizing finish in the 85th minute to score the goal of the evening, as he completed a well-deserved hat-trick.
PSG, with a 4-1 advantage, will now welcome Barcelona to Parc Des Princes next month. The second leg of the Round-of-16 tie is scheduled to be played on March 11th.