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Kylian Mbappé may even match Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo after his hat-trick saw Paris Saint-Germain destroy Barcelona 4-1 in the Champions League.
That was the gentle interpretation of Mbappé’s teammate in France, Antoine Griezmann, who was on the receiving end of his compatriot’s heroics at the Camp Nou in the first leg of the round of 16 on Tuesday.
Messi gave Barça the advantage from the penalty spot to score in Europe’s top competition for the 17th consecutive season, equaling a record set by the great Raúl of Real Madrid.
From then on, however, it was Mbappé’s show, as Barcelona suffered another humiliating exit on the bigger stage.
A superb draw created by Marco Verratti meant all was tied at the break and Mbappé put Mauricio Pochettino’s men ahead after the hour and completed the route with a sumptuous finish in the top corner after Moise Kean headed home a shot. free from Leandro Paredes.
“PSG has a great star of the future who will be at the level of Leo and Cristiano,” Griezmann told RMC sport.
“I can only congratulate him.”
Mbappé became the third player in Champions League history to score a hat-trick against Barcelona and the first in nearly a quarter of a century after Newcastle United’s Faustino Asprilla and Dynamo Kiev’s Andriy Shevchenko achieved the feat in 1997.
It was a sensational performance in every way from the 22-year-old, who also made four key passes to create opportunities for his teammates.
1 – Paris have become the first French team to beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou in the Champions League, after 10 games without a victory for the French clubs against them (2 draws, 8 draws). Relief. #FCBPSG pic.twitter.com/tIbZ2VsrpQ
– OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 16, 2021
“We needed to have a perfect match. We didn’t do it and they did it. It’s a great defeat, “said Griezmann.
“We were ready, we wanted to play a great game, but they were better than us. There is nothing to say. Kylian was having a great night. “
Barça need an unlikely repeat of the heroic deeds that saw them overcome a 4-0 deficit in the first leg against PSG at the same stage in 2017 when they head to Paris for the return next month.
Despite the odds being against Ronald Koeman’s side, Griezmann is not giving up.
“You have to go there to win and change the situation. We are not going there as tourists, ”he added.