Today's match was the best I have seen for the past couple of months. Neymar wasn't able to play due to his recent injury but the presence of Mbappe, Messi, and other stars was enough to make this a very exciting match.
The favorite one to win was clearly PSG. Barcelona has been suffering the whole season from a weak defense and they have usually lost when playing against very competitive teams. PSG, on the other hand, isn't in the first position of the French league as usual, but they are just 1 point behind the leader and their performance has been great as usual. Let's not forget PSG reached the Champions League final last season, and they only lost it because Bayern Munich was even better than them. But their presence in the final was well deserved.
This season, they are once again, one of the favorites to win this competition. Mbappe is one year older which in such a young player is good because this means he is more mature, and probably a bit faster and stronger. Neymar, who is the other superstar from PSG, should maintain the same performance from last year although I guess this will depend on how he recovers from the injury.
Barcelona has been a disappointing team for the last 2 years, and in the Champions League they have been suffering humiliating defeats year after year, I have lost count of how many humiliating matches Barcelona has suffered in the past 5-6 years in the Champions League. Last year there was the historic slaughter against Bayern Munich that ended with an 8-2. This year Barcelona is just the same, no improvement whatsoever.
The first team to score a goal was Barcelona. PSG's defense committed a silly penalty and Messi didn't miss it. This happened at the 27-minute mark, the joy didn't last long for Barca because 5 minutes later, PSG created an excellent play with Mbappe doing the final touch in a spectacular way. It was really an awesome goal and it reminded me of a goal scored by Mbappe against Argentina in the World Cup 2018, his first goal in that match. His movement inside the penalty box was almost the same.
The reaction from Barcelona's players after Mbappe's goal was much worse than the reaction from PSG's players after Messi's goal. After Mbappe's scored the frustration in the faces of Barcelona's players was palpable. They clearly didn't want PSG to score a goal as a visitor, and it was certainly an emotional hit for them.
The first half of the match ended with PSG feeling a bit more dominant and secure in their situation but in general terms, the match was even. The second half, however, was going to be completely different. Barcelona's defense had simply no way to stop Mbappe. Even the absence of Neymar and Di Maria, 2 of the most important PSG players, didn't stop them from proving they are the superior team.
Mbappe had what is easily one of the best matches of his career so far. He not only scored 3 goals but also gave good passes to his teammates, and Icardi almost scored a goal after receiving a great assist from Mbappe. This young French player, if he continues with performances like this one, could become the best player in the world.
PSG's second goal came after a messy defensive move in Barcelona's penalty box that allowed Mbappe to receive a goal with no defensive player covering him and with no goalkeeper. It was an easy goal for him. The third one was a good header from Kean after a freekick. These goals were like 1-2 punches from PSG because they happened 5 minutes from each other. The second goal came at the 65-minute mark, and the third one in the 70-minute mark. This was devastating for Barcelona, and I bet fears of suffering a new historic humiliation began to appear in the minds of more than one Barcelona player. After the third goal, the pace of the match wasn't the same. PSG was aware of their superiority, and Barcelona knew there was nothing they could do.
This doesn't mean Barcelona stopped trying to score their second goal. They did try it, the majority of their players were in attacking positions without focusing too much on defending. This precipitated PSG's fourth goal. It began with a great counter-attack that finished with a tremendous shot from Mbappe from inside the penalty box. This was also a great goal although not as good as Mbappe's first goal in my opinion.
The fourth goal from PSG turned this defeat into a new humiliation for Barcelona. Receiving 4 goals in your own stadium is simply horrible for any big team, and what's worse for them is that PSG deserved this victory. Just imagine how many goals could have been scored by PSG if Neymar and Di Maria were also present?
The second match between these 2 teams is in 3 weeks, but I think there are 0% chances Barcelona can turn this around. Tomorrow, I plan to watch the match between Porto and Juventus.