By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
The knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League kicked off last night with clubs across Europe fighting to progress to the quarterfinals of this prestigious football club competition.
The biggest tie of the night was between five-time winners FC Barcelona against French champions Paris Saint Germain (PSG) that was without star players Neymar Santos and Angel Di Mari.
However, their absence did not stop PSG from thrashing Barcelona because man of the moment Kylian Mbappe stepped up with a hat-trick.
Barcelona opened the scoring with Captain Lionel Messi scoring from the spot in the 27th minute.
It took Mbappe only five minutes after that to draw PSG level with a powerful left-booted shot in the 32nd minute.
The first half ended with both teams on level terms but PSG turned up the heat in the second half, the heat that proved to be too hot for the Catalan giants to put out, so they ended up conceding three more goals, one from Moise Kean and two more from Mbappe.
This 4 – 1 score line means Barcelona will have to pull a miracle of a comeback in the second leg in Paris, which would be a repeat of what they did in 2017.
The question on everyone’s mind though is – do Barcelona have the quality of players that would pull that off? We will wait to see.
Elsewhere, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who have been on a downward spiral in Premier League stepped up last night with a 2 – 0 win over German side RB Leipzig. Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane scored Liverpool’s goals.
Tonight, Sevilla will host German side Borussia Dortmund, and Cristiano Ronaldo will go back to his native Portugal when Juventus play FC Porto.
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