Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe
AFP

Camp Nou: Kylian Mbappe dismantled the Spanish giants Barcelona with a hat-trick as Paris outfit slammed 4-1 in the first leg, making the Champions League road tough for Lionel Messis and his boys, at the Camp Nou on late Tuesday night.

The World Cup-winning French footballer fopund the back of the net in the 32nd, 65th and 85th minute and Moise Kean contribution in between put Barcelona in a spot of bother despite Lionel Messi scoring the opening goal of the match from the dreaded spot.

It was the team's first meeting since Barcelona erased a 4-0 deficit by winning the second leg 6-1 at the same stage of the competition four years ago. But Ronald Koeman's team was thoroughly outplayed at home, despite the fact PSG missed ot the Brazil star Neymar.

“It was a very important match for us,” Mbappé said. “We wanted to come here and win. We did that in style. Tonight was magnificent, but we haven’t won anything yet.”

Mbappé become the first player to score an away hat trick at the Camp Nou in the Champions League since Andriy Shevchenko for Dynamo Kyiv in a 4-0 win in 1997.

His dominance was epitomised by the image of Barcelona captain Gerard Pique, making his return from a long-term injury layoff, pulling at Mbappé's shirt in an unsuccessful attempt at slowing down the France star as he rushed forward in attack.

“There's no doubt that Kylian is one of the best players in the world, despite his young age,” said PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino, who was in charge of his first Champions League game with the French club, having led Tottenham to the final two years ago. “He's already done extraordinary things. But we have to stay humble.”

Barcelona had the better of the early stages with Keylor Navas thwarting Antoine Griezmann before Lionel Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Frenkie de Jong was tripped by Layvin Kurzawa.

The Barcelona No1 could not halt the tide, though, as Paris struck twice midway through the second half. Mbappé swept home his second after Alessandro Florenzi burst in behind the home defence, then Moise Kean headed in a Leandro Paredes free-kick to leave the visitors in a commanding position.

It's huge. We're going home with a win. We know the advantage it represents. We've learned from our mistakes. We'll stay humble. There are still 90 minutes to play. We still have goals to achieve in Ligue 1. We have to keep working. If we continue with this spirit and attitude, we can do great things," said Marquinhos, Paris skipper.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in