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'Magnificent': Mbappe says of own star performance against Barcelona

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LLUIS GENE/AFP or licensors

Football

Kylian Mbappe outplayed Lionel Messi as Paris Saint-Germain put Barcelona up against the ropes in the Champions League again.

And with Mbappe in that kind of form, it's hard to see Barcelona staging another epic comeback during the return leg on March 10.

After Messi put Barcelona ahead from the penalty spot, Mbappe netted a hat trick at the Camp Nou Stadium on Tuesday to give PSG a 4-1 win in the first leg of their round-of-16 matchup.

It was the team's first meeting since Barcelona erased a 4-0 deficit by winning the second leg 6-1 at the same stage of the competition four years ago. But Ronald Koeman's team was thoroughly outplayed at home, even with PSG missing Brazilian star Neymar, and now has to attempt a comeback in Paris instead.

“It was a very important match for us,'' Mbappe said. “We wanted to come here and win. We did that in style. Tonight was magnificent, but we haven't won anything yet.''

Mbappe scored five minutes after Messi's opener and added two second-half goals to become the first player to score an away hat trick at the Camp Nou in the Champions League since Andriy Shevchenko for Dynamo Kyiv in a 4-0 win in 1997.

His dominance was epitomized by the image of Barcelona captain Gerald Pique pulling at the 22 year-old's shirt in an unsuccessful attempt at slowing down the France star as he rushed forward in attack.