The Champions League returned to our TV screens last night as the elite club tournament progressed to the Round 16 stage of the competition. Barcelona played hosts to PSG as Ronald Koeman would have hoped that home advantage would benefit his side in the first leg tie. On the other hand ex Tottenham boss and new PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino, had fingers crossed for an opposite outcome.

With Neymar and Di Maria both missing from the PSG side, it was fair to assume that Barca had the early advantage (well at least on paper). Whenever Barcelona is mentioned there is one player who will forever be synonymous with the club, and that player is Messi. The Argentina captain is almost becoming a forgotten man as time edges by. However, it was Messi who opened the scoring on the night having clinically dispatched a penalty to put Barca a goal ahead in the 27th minute of the game. He hasn’t lost his dead-ball speciality just yet and can still confidently deliver.

The match was highly entertaining and full of end to end action (nothing less is expected from two attacking sides) as both teams attacked with flair and conviction. PSG wasted no time in equalising as Mbappe found the net in the 32nd minute of the game. At this point I am pretty certain the Barca defence would have hoped that Mbappe was also sidelined as the France international continued to cause the Barcelona defence countless problems (I would liken it to Messi in his more illustrious years).

After the break the away side continued where they left off as they sought to claim an away victory. Mbappe kept the Barca defence busy and was rewarded in the 65th minute as he calmly tapped the ball into the Barca net giving Pochettino’s boys two valuable away goals. PSG weren’t done yet as Kean added another in the 70th minute before Mbappe rounded off with a well deserved hat-trick as he exquisitely slotted the ball into the top corner (the Keeper had no chance) as PSG caught Barca on the counter. Messi looked quite dejected but the night belonged to the new and rising future of football Mbappe (it’s only a matter of time before he’s named World footballer of the year).

Pochettino has already been to a Champions League final with Spurs, however, if PSG carry on in this type of form then who could argue against them winning the tournament. Liverpool also registered a 2-0 away win against RB Leipzig and would have been very pleased with the victory. The Reds have had it rough in the Premier League recently and will be glad that at least their Champions League form is a whole lot better.


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