Barcelona vs PSG – Champions League Historic performance from the Frenchman
Kylian Mbappe dominated at the Camp Nou and he tore through Barcelona like a hurricane with a memorable performance that will be remembered for however long he plays.
Paris Saint-Germain didn’t miss Neymar, nor did they miss Angel di Maria, as Mbappe was unstoppable and Marco Verratti was excellent in midfield as well.
The French forward did whatever he wanted and the Catalans had no answer for him.
Now, Barcelona look set to fall at the first knockout hurdle for the first time since 2007/08, which is a tough pill for them to swallow.
Mbappe‘s night contrasted with Lionel Messi‘s. Despite scoring a penalty, he was largely anonymous and didn’t see much of the ball around the PSG area.
The night, instead, was Mbappe‘s. The 22-year-old claimed Messi‘s crown at the Camp Nou.
Who else? Mbappe owned the night.
His first goal showed nice control, his second saw him positioned well and his third was a clinical first-time finish past one of the world’s best goalkeepers.
He ended the night with a hat-trick and it would be impossible to say he didn’t deserve it.
Messi still has LaLiga Santander to fight for – well, maybe – but this Barcelona team are lightyears away from competing in Europe.
They were embarrassed again in Europe, following humiliations in Rome, Liverpool, Turin, and Lisbon in recent seasons.
Messi will surely be pushed even further away from Catalonia and this could prove to be his last Champions League tie for the club.
PSG are a potential landing spot, but would they really want to sign Messi if that cost them the chance to keep Mbappe?
What would have happened if Ousmane Dembele had converted what was a very clear chance just after Messi gave Barcelona the lead?
He had just Keylor Navas to beat, but his shot was tame and easy for the Costa Rican. It’s hard not to be reminded of that miss in the first leg against Liverpool in 2019.
Another who was it his very best was Marco Verratti. He returned in time to put in an impressive performance and PSG wouldn’t have won without him.
He made a huge tackle on Antoine Griezmann in the first half, and then set the tempo in possession as well.
Gerard Pique returned for Barcelona, but he wasn’t at his best.
It was clear that he was a better option than any of the alternatives beforehand, but the result might suggest otherwise.
It ended up being a nightmare return, and he ended the game watching on from the bench.
Idrissa Gueye walked a tightrope in the first half, having already been booked.
He made a couple of fouls that might have seen him given another yellow card, but he avoided further punishment and was taken off at half time.