Kylian Mbappe scored a stunning hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain thrashed FC Barcelona 4-1 in a Champions League round of 16 first-leg clash at the Camp Nou.
The 22-year-old France international underlined his status as the rising superstar of world football as he upstaged Lionel Messi and further showed his capabilities of being the heir to Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo's throne.
In the absence of PSG talisman Neymar and Angel Di Maria, the Les Rouge et Bleu showcased their talent as they have taken a commanding 4-1 lead into the last-16 second leg at Parc des Princes on 21 March (as per IST).
Ronald Koeman’s men actually took the lead from the penalty spot in the 27th minutes, with Messi slotting home after Frenkie de Jong had his heel clipped in the PSG area. The home team had a chance to make it 2-0 but Ousmane Dembele failed to convert a decent chance in the 29th minute.
However, from there on it was all PSG as Mbappe equalized three minutes later after an incredible pass from Marco Verratti. The Frenchman put his side ahead in the 65th minute as he got behind the Barca defence to net their second of the game.
Moise Kean bagged PSG's third of the night five minutes later to put Barcelona up against the ropes in the Champions League again. Mbappe rounded off a perfect counter-attack to add a fourth goal and complete his hat-trick in the 86th minute.
Meanwhile, Twitterati hailed Mbappe as they witnessed one of the competition's most devastating individual performances.
A hattrick from @KMbappe. We may be witnessing the changing of the guard.— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) February 16, 2021
Big player! @KMbappe 🥶— Jadon Sancho (@Sanchooo10) February 16, 2021
At 22, Kylian Mbappé is a transcendent talent who gives us these truly special days to suggest he is the Chosen One. To become that, he can’t stay in Europe’s 5th-best domestic league beyond this season.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) February 17, 2021
3 - Kylian Mbappe is only the third player to score a UEFA Champions League hat-trick against Barcelona, after Faustino Asprilla for Newcastle and Andriy Shevchenko for Dynamo Kyiv (both in 1997). Magic. pic.twitter.com/eojfMDK7Cl— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 16, 2021
It's been nearly 25 years since a visiting player scored a hat-trick at Barcelona, but Kylian Mbappe did just that on Tuesday.— Goal (@goal) February 17, 2021
The last player to do it? A 21-year-old Andriy Shevchenko.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane's goals helped clinical Liverpool defeat an errant RB Leipzig 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 fixture.
Feature image courtesy: LLUIS GENE / AFP