Paris Saint Germain humiliated Barcelona 4-1 in the first leg of the Round of 16 ties in the Champions league. Kylian Mbappe was the wrecker-in-chief scoring a hat-trick for the Parisians and has left Barcelona on the brink of elimination.
Lionel Messi scored a dubious first half penalty, but Paris rallied through Mbappe to equalize in the first half itself. Mbappe was also the star of the 2nd half, completing his hat-trick and extending Paris’ lead to 4 goals.
Barcelona need a La Remontada repeat to qualify for the Quarter finals
Ronald Koeman was honest in his analysis post-match and conceded that he sees very less chances of Barcelona qualifying.
“I could lie but at 4-1 there’s hardly any chance of going through,” he acknowledged. “They’re a side that has already been put together and we are in transition. We must improve in the areas where we’re lacking. That’s my responsibility.”
“We lack things, sure, but I have never thought before this game that we didn’t. It’s not the end of the path. It seems I am more realistic than everyone else.”
Koeman’s comments after the loss are in contrast to what he said in his pre-match press conference. He had said, “I don’t see other teams much better than Barcelona at the moment,” on Monday.
Barcelona were completely outplayed by Paris in the second half as Koeman’s tactics once again proved ineffective in big games this season. Barcelona recently lost 2-0 against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey first leg and this mauling will just build the pressure on Koeman and Barcelona.
The Barcelona coach might look for some inspiration from Luis Enrique who led Barcelona to La Remontada (The comeback) against these opponents in 2017. Barcelona won 6-1 in the 2nd leg after losing at Paris 4-0 that year.