Advantage PSG, Liverpool in Champs League | Ralph Lauren

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A brilliant Kylian Mbappe hat-trick has fired Paris Saint-Germain to a 4-1 away thrashing of Barcelona in their Champions League last-16 first leg while Liverpool are also on course for the quarter-finals having won 2-0 at RB Leipzig.

Lionel Messi had blasted Barca ahead with a penalty in the first half but Mbappe pulled the French champions level with a classy piece of control and finishing to complete a flowing team move involving Marco Verratti and Layvin Kurzawa.

Mbappe, who had not scored in the Champions League knockout stage for two years before Tuesday’s encounter, smashed PSG into the lead in the 65th minute while Moise Kean took advantage of some woeful Barca marking to head in a third goal for the visitors in the 70th.

The insatiable Mbappe looked hungry for more though and, after being denied by Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, he completed his treble in the 85th minute by curling the ball past the German into the top corner to sensationally cap off a lighting counter-attack.

Barca overcame a 4-0 defeat to PSG in a last-16 first leg in 2017 by winning the second leg at home 6-1 but the Catalans now face another daunting task in turning this tie around when they visit the Parc des Princes on March 10.

That is when six-time champions Liverpool will expect to finish the job against Leipzig at Anfield.

Second-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane earned the Reds a deserved win in the duel between German bosses Jurgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

Dani Olmo headed an effort onto the post early on as Leipzig were forced to host the game away from their home base with Germany not allowing non-citizens/residents to enter the country from the UK due to COVID-19.

Liverpool slowly took control and had already threatened several times before Leipzig imploded with two horrific errors early in the second half.

Marcel Sabitzer’s pass inadvertently released Salah to finish well and when Dayot Upamecano – who confirmed a move to Bayern Munich this week – fluffed a 58th minute clearance, Mane showed no mercy.


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