Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) hammered Barcelona 4-1 in a UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match Tuesday, with the away victory giving a big advantage to the French side.
In the first leg in Barcelona, home team Barca took the lead in the 27th minute as Argentine superstar Lionel Messi successfully converted a penalty kick for his team.
But PSG gave a quick response to level the match.
In the 32nd minute, PSG’s French star Kylian Mbappe fired a powerful shot with his left foot into the top corner to beat Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
PSG took the lead as Mbappe made a perfect finish in the area in the 65th minute. The goal was checked by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and deemed valid.
The French club made it 3-1 in the 70th minute as Italian forward Moise Kean, who was free in the area, scored with a header.
Paris seemed to be more confident on the pitch as they extended their lead to 4-1 in the 85th minute.
The visitors had the ball to rush towards Barcelona’s net on a quick counterattack as Mbappe scored a classy goal.
Mbappe sent the ball into the far corner of the net. Barcelona goalkeeper Ter Stegen dived but was unable to reach it.
Mbappe completed his hat-trick at Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium and PSG secured the huge win.
The match was held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The second leg will be held on March 10 at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris.
– Mbappe enjoys victory but warns teammates
PSG hero Mbappe said it was a crucial win for them but spoke cautiously before the second leg, warning his teammates over the return match in Paris, as there is still 90 minutes to play.
“We’re very happy. It was a very important match for us. We wanted to come here and win. We did that in style. Tonight was magnificent, but we haven’t won anything yet,” he said after the match.
Meanwhile, Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman praised the French team for their performance on the pitch.
“The result does reflect how superior PSG were. They were much more effective than us,” Koeman said, adding Barcelona have a very difficult task in Paris.
“I could tell you lies, but the fact is that at 4-1 down from the home leg, there are very few chances of going through,” he added.
– Liverpool beat Leipzig 2-0 in Budapest
English club Liverpool earned a 2-0 victory against German opponents RB Leipzig in the first leg held in the Hungarian capital Budapest.
The Reds scored consecutive second-half goals to get the win.
Egyptian star Mohamed Salah put the ball into the net for Liverpool in the 53rd minute and Senegalese winger Sadio Mane doubled the gap in the 58th minute at Puskas Arena.
The first leg was held in Hungary instead of Germany amid travel restrictions caused by a new coronavirus variant.
The 2-0 win for Liverpool means the Reds will feel more comfortable in the second leg on March 10.
Separately, Liverpool’s Turkish central defender Ozan Kabak was in the starting 11 to play against Leipzig for 90 minutes.
Source: Azeri-Press News Agency