Kylian Mbappe auditions for Real Madrid as PSG dump Barcelona out of Champions League: 3 talking points | Football News - Hindustan Times
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Kylian Mbappe auditions for Real Madrid as PSG dump Barcelona out of Champions League: 3 talking points

By, New Delhi
Apr 17, 2024 03:30 PM IST

Kylian Mbappe scored a brace in PSG's 4-1 win over Barcelona in the Champions League. The Madrid-bound star is the first player to score 40 goals this season.

How to stop Kylian Mbappe? FC Barcelona think-tank must prepare themselves to address this recurring question as the wantaway Paris Saint Germain superstar, in all likelihood, is heading to Real Madrid at season end. Quiet for too long in the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League, Mbappe made his presence felt when it mattered the most for Luis Enrique's men on Wednesday.

Mbappe netted a stunning brace in the second half to seal PSG's 4-1 comeback win over Barcelona(AFP-Reuters)
Mbappe netted a stunning brace in the second half to seal PSG's 4-1 comeback win over Barcelona(AFP-Reuters)

The Real Madrid-bound striker netted a stunning brace in the second half to seal PSG's 4-1 comeback win over Barcelona in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the Olympic Stadium. Barca's first-leg hero, Raphinha, put the hosts ahead with his opener in the 12th minute. However, Ronald Araujo's 29th-minute red card turned the tie on its head as PSG punished 10-man Barca by firing four goals to punch their semi-final tickets.

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ALSO READ: Kylian Mbappe's Real Madrid transfer: PSG superstar 'enters into agreement' with LaLiga giants - 5 points

1. Romantada reloaded

Lionel Messi and Neymar's masterclass against PSG added the Spanish word ‘remontada’ to the football dictionary back in 2017. Barcelona were written off after PSG thrashed the Blaugrana 4-0 on Valentine’s Day at Parc des Princes. PSG manager Enirque, who was managing Barcelona at the time, saw the unthinkable unfold before his eyes at the Camp Nou. Staging an unforgettable comeback in the return leg, Neymar-starrer Barcelona registered a 6-1 win over PSG. Sergi Roberto scored the decisive goal in the 90+5th minute of the round of 16 tie!

Avenging Barca's famous come-from-behind win after seven years, PSG advanced to the next stage of the Champions League with a 6-4 aggregate victory over the La Liga giants. Leaving Barcelona for PSG in 2023, Ousmane Dembele restored parity for the visitors with his 40th-minute goal. Interestingly, two of Dembele's three goals have arrived against his former side - Barcelona. After Dembele scored the equaliser, Vitinha sparked a turnaround for the Ligue 1 heavyweights with his thunderbolt in the 54th minute.

2. Make way for Mbappe

It had to be him, right? With 41 goals and eight in Europe's biggest competition at the club level, Mbappe is busy cementing his PSG legacy in his final season. Silencing a packed stadium by converting his penalty against Barcelona in the 61st minute, Mbappe gave the Real Madrid faithful a peek into the future. Tipped to land at the Santiago Bernabeu after the end of the season, Mbappe will headline the blockbuster El Clasico clashes between arch-rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona next year.

The former AS Monaco striker produced a sucker punch in the 89th minute to seal his brace against the Catalan giants. Mbappe's second-half brace dumped Barcelona out of the Champions League. The FIFA World Cup 2018 winner smashed a stunning hat-trick against Barcelona to produce a similar scoreline in 2021. Mbappe turned out to be the first visiting player to score a Champions hat-trick at the Camp Nou since 1997.

Did you know?

What Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto’o, Robert Lewandowski and Ronaldinho have in common? All Barcelona icons have scored fewer goals than Mbappe (4) in the Champions League knockout round. The 25-year-old is the first player in the European top flight to score 40 goals this season. Only Bayern Munich veteran Thomas Muller (8) has scored more goals than Mbappe (6) against Barca in the Champions League.

3. Atletico enter Club World Cup after Barca's Champions League exit

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez was sent off in Enrique's homecoming game. It was under Enrique's watch when Barcelona last won the Champions League title in 2015. Barcelona's Champions League exit has confirmed Atletico Madrid's berth for the inaugural 32-team FIFA Club World Cup. Barcelona were behind Diego Simeone’s men in the rankings, and the 4-1 defeat to PSG secured Atletico's qualification for the FIFA event. The 22nd team to qualify for the Club World Cup, Atletico, was upstaged 4-2 by Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals. Entering the final four of the Champions League for the first time since 2021, PSG are destined to meet Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals.

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