Paris Saint-Germain have taken a big step toward the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals with a 4-1 victory away at Barcelona on Tuesday.
Kylian Mbappe scored a hat trick and Moise Kean added one as Mauricio Pochettino’s men came from a goal down to punish Ronald Koeman’s creaking defense.
It was an enthralling first half of football as both sides found the back of the net and created opportunities that they were unable to take.
Barca went ahead through a perfect Lionel Messi penalty after Layvin Kurzawa was judged to have tripped Antoine Griezmann in the penalty area but PSG hit back through Mbappe who fired high past Marc-Andre ter Stegen from a sublime Marco Verratti assist.
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Both sides rode their luck at times with PSG fortunate that Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele were not sharper in front of goal and Barca grateful for Ter Stegen’s quick-thinking and reflexes as well as Mauro Icardi’s flashed header at the near post that went just wide.
Idrissa Gueye was specifically lucky to not pick up a second yellow card after a full-blooded opening 45 minutes but Verratti’s Velcro touch and impeccable timing made him the absolute star of the show at Camp Nou.
PSG turned the screw in the second half and flew out of the blocks in search of a second goal and needed 20 minutes to get it when Alessandro Florenzi’s ball in fell to him to slam home. However, Kean’s goal took less time to arrive with the Italian heading home a Leandro Paredes free-kick delivery five minutes after.
Ter Stegen did what he could in the second half but his defense deserted him as Mbappe majestically curled the ball beyond him to complete his hat trick five minutes from time after substitute Julian Draxler teed him up on a famous night for Les Parisiens.
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