A Kylian Mbappé hat-trick helped Paris Saint-Germain to a 4-1 thrashing of Barcelona at Camp Nou in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 clash on Tuesday night.
It was the French side who saw most of the ball in the opening stages but, after 27 minutes, Barcelona found the lead. A lofted ball over the top by Lionel Messi seemed destined to land in the path of Frenkie De Jong in the box, before the Dutchman’s heels were clipped by Layvin Kurzawa. Lionel Messi stepped up to take the spot kick and emphatically found the top corner.
However, the lead lasted just five minutes as the Parisians equalised just after the half-hour mark. Marco Verratti found Mbappé in the Barça area, before the Frenchman coolly rounded Clement Lenglet and unleashed a rasping effort into the roof of the net to take the sides into the break on level terms.
The visitors went up a gear in the second half and got their noses in front when Mbappé latched onto a free ball in the box to smash home after 65 minutes. The Parisians then found a third five minutes later when a Leandro Paredes’ free kick floated onto the head of Moise Kean, who nodded home to make it 3-1.
The scoring was rounded off by Mbappé with a sublime first-time finish to secure his hat-trick after brilliant work on the counterattack by Julian Draxler. Barcelona pushed to decrease the deficit but couldn’t find a way past PSG’s defence.
Now, to the player ratings…
Marc-André ter Stegen (GK) – 7/10 – Made quite a few crucial stops in spectacular fashion and kept Barça in the game on several occasions, but couldn’t save them from a thrashing.
Sergiño Dest (RB) – 4/10 – Really tough game and just couldn’t match Mbappé. Lost the Frenchman and got beaten far too many times – although, it’s hardly a surprise.
Gerard Piqué (CB) – 6/10 – Was strong, organised and commanding on his return from injury making four ball recoveries, but still couldn’t keep his side from being comfortably beaten.
Clement Lenglet (CB) – 5/10 – Struggled to contain PSG’s attack. Mbappé rounded him easily for the first, while his poor marking allowed Kean a free header for the third.
Jordi Alba (LB) – 4/10 – Sub-par performance from the full-back. Struggled to contain Kean and Florenzi on the defensive, while also failing to put in accurate cross throughout.
Sergio Busquets (DM) – 5/10 – Fairly anonymous outing for the veteran. Failed to minimise the influence of PSG’s midfield and allowed too much space in front of his back four.
Frenkie De Jong (CM) – 6/10 – Looked so much more comfortable in midfield with the freedom to move up the field, winning the penalty in the first half. But couldn’t find his mojo after the break and was kept quiet.
Pedri (CM) – 6/10 – Struggled to have much of an impact but was bright, winning several fouls and moving the ball forward with good effect at times, creating one key chance in the first half.
Ousmane Dembélé (RW) – 4/10 – Failed to make much happen in the final third and was lazy in his defensive work, allowing Layvin Kurzawa to get up the pitch unchallenged too often.
Lionel Messi (ST) – 7/10 – Found himself dropping deep to get more of the ball and, sporadically, produced real quality, providing the pass that led to the penalty which he brilliantly converted. The Argentine couldn’t inspire a comeback in the second half, though.
Antoine Griezmann (LW) – 6/10 – Looked capable of creating something every time he got on the ball, and will be disappointed not to have found the back of the net on the night, having put a couple of efforts wide.
Oscar Mingueza (RB) – 6/10
Riqui Puig (CM) – 5/10
Miralem Pjanic (DM) – 6/10
Trincao (LW) – N/A
Martin Braithwaite (ST) – N/A
Keylor Navas (GK) – 6/10 – Didn’t actually have that much to do, apart from the penalty which no goalkeeper could possibly save.
Alessandro Florenzi (RB) – 7/10 – Looked dangerous when getting forward and supplied the pull back that lead to Mbappé’s second of the night.
Marquinhos (CB) – 8/10 – Very solid defensively, making five ball recoveries, while also providing some brilliant long balls, most notably the cross-field pass that started the move for his side’s equaliser.
Presnel Kimpembe (CB) – 6/10 – Solid enough defensively, and didn’t really give a sniff of an opportunity to La Blaugrana’s forwards throughout.
Layvin Kurzawa (LB) – 6/10 – A little clumsy in conceding the Barcelona penalty, but got forward fantastically well, making himself crucial in his side’s first and forcing Ter Stegen into a brilliant save on 37 minutes.
Idrissa Gueye (CM) – 6/10 – Pressed and nipped in well on several occasions in midfield, but was reckless after being booked and wisely taken off at half-time.
Leandro Paredes (CM) – 8/10 – Sprayed the ball around nicely at times and grabbed an assist for PSG’s third, as well as creating the second with a sublime ball over the top.
Marco Verratti (AM) – 8/10 – Played an important role in PSG’s midfield, dropping deep to defend while also picking out space and progressive passes to get his side up the pitch with great effect. Popped up with a lovely assist for Mbappé in the first half.
Moise Kean (RW) – 8/10 – Really bright performance from the Italian, giving Alba a torrid time down PSG’s right. Got a deserved goal to make it 3-1 with 20 minutes to go.
Mauro Icardi (ST) – 6/10 – Wasted a gilt-edged chance on 19 minutes and put a header just wide from a corner in the 45th, bringing an end to an underwhelming first period. Didn’t really get into the game after the break, either.
Kylian Mbappe (LW) – 10/10 – What. A. Player. Was simply too much for the whole Barcelona defensive unit and, as well as being a creative force, scored a beautiful hat-trick on his first appearance against the Catalans.
Ander Herrera (CM) – 7/10 – Brought on to inject some calm into PSG’s midfield and did just that.
Julian Draxler (AM) – 7/10 – Came up with a great assist to supply Mbappé for his hat trick.
Danilo (DM) – 6/10
Thilo Kehrer (RB) – N/A