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Kylian Mbappé nearly secured Paris Saint Germain’s progression to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals with a brilliant hat-trick at the Camp Nou against Barcelona.
Lionel Messi hit the front line from the penalty spot midway through the first half after Frenkie de Jong was fouled. Mbappé responded with an impressive blow before taking the lead twice in the second half, with Moise Kean also scoring, to seal his hat-trick and a memorable victory in Catalonia.
Here are five things we learned from the Camp Nou:
Mbappé shines at the Camp Nou
One name will summarize this result at the Camp Nou and that is Kylian Mbappé. The Frenchman became an electric show in Spain, continually disturbing the hosts.
Far from his impressive hat-trick, the 22-year-old had more shots on goal in the game than any other player with four, while also producing as many dribbles as the entire Barcelona team with nine. It really was a historic performance by Mbappé, an aspect that has surely led PSG to the next round of the UEFA Champions League.
Past and future of world football?
Speaking of Mbappé, fans will surely believe that they have seen the past and future of football. Messi, of course, has shone for the past 15 years, securing himself a place in the pantheon of all-time greats.
With his excellent performance, there is no doubt that Mbappé’s trajectory is exactly the same. Its three finishes were of the highest quality, but particularly the first. His first touch was brilliant, before catching the ball around compatriot Clement Lenglet and crashing into the net. It certainly would not be a surprise to see the Frenchman win numerous Ballons d’Or at some point in the future.
The Comeback pt. II?
He’s going to need another monumental comeback from Barcelona on the scale of La Comeback for them to get back into the tie. Facing the French capital in just three weeks, the Catalans are three goals behind, due to a poor defensive performance.
They won’t always be able to rely on huge comebacks, so it seems highly likely that Barça will fail in the UEFA Champions League once again. In their current form, Ronald Koeman’s men have a whopping 80/1 chance with William Hill to win the competition late in the season.
Ter Stegen keeps the scores low
While Barca were disappointing on defense, one man on the baseline kept the scores low and that was Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. The German was one of the only Barça players to leave the game with the merit of having made four saves throughout the 90 minutes.
A couple of his saves were brilliant, first with a great reaction for a Kean shot that had a wicked deflection, while also preventing Mbappé from getting a fourth.
After PSG’s fourth and Mbappé’s third, it felt like an extremely long time since Messi opened the scoring. Since then, the hosts really struggled to threaten.
Of the 12 shots that the Spanish giants produced throughout the game, they could only hit four, and the vast majority of them came before the half-time break. If Barcelona have real aspirations to get back to the top of European football, they really need to improve offensively.
FC Barcelona: ter Stegen (7); Alba (6), Lenglet (5), Piqué (5) (Trincao (N / A), 78 ′), Dest (5) (Mingueza (5), 71 ′); De Jong (6), Busquets (6) (Puij (N / A), 78 ′), Pedri (6) (Pjanic (N / A), 78 ′); Messi (7), Dembélé (6), Griezmann (6) (Braithwaite (N / A), 85 ′).
Paris Saint Germain: Navas (7); Kurzawa (7), Marquinhos (7), Kimpembe (7), Florenzi (7) (Kehrer (N / A), 89 ′); Paredes (7), Verratti (7) (Draxler (6), 73 ′), Gueye (6) (Herrera (6), 46 ′); Mbappé (9), Kean (7) (Danilo (N / A), 85 ′), Icardi (7).
Goals: Messi (28 ′ PEN), Mbappé (32 ′, 65 ′, 82 ′ HAT), Kean (70 ′)
Referee: Bjorn kuipers
Yellow cards: Gueye (20 ′)
Red cards: ARRIVE