Lionel Messi and Barcelona are on the brink of another disappointing Champions League exit after the French international’s stunning hat-trick gave PSG a crucial away win
Lionel Messi scored a first-half penalty, but Kylian Mbappe stole the show as PSG forced a 4-1 defeat down the throat of Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Tuesday evening.
The Parisians arrived in Spain shorn of the services of former Barcelona superstar Neymar Junior and Argentine playmaker Angel Di Maria.
But a Mbappe hat-trick and a Moise Kean effort sealed a massive first-leg Champions League knockout win over the Spanish champions.
It was the Spaniards who drew first blood on the night, though, when Lionel Messi converted from the penalty spot in the 27th minute.
But Mbappe struck his first of the night and PSG’s equaliser five minutes later, to leave both sides deadlocked at the break.
The tie could have gone either way at the start of the second period with chances missed on both sides, but Mbappe ensured it swung in favour of the Ligue 1 champions with another glorious strike in the 65th minute.
Kean made it 3-1 five minutes later before Mbappe completed his incredible haul five minutes from time, to put a seal on a rampant second-half display from Mauricio Pochettinho’s men.
That incredible hat-trick at the Camp Nou has therefore made Mbappe only the third player to score a Champions League hat-trick against Barcelona, and the first since Andriy Shevchenko did it for Dynamo Kyiv in 1997.
These two will meet again at the Parc des Princes in three weeks, with Ronald Koeman’s men having a job on their hands while PSG sit firmly in the driving seat in this tie.
It might be foolhardy to believe Barca are out of this tie already – recent history tells us that – but the Spanish giants have to be much better in Paris to have a hope of progressing.