PSG visited the Nou Camp to play the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16. To the dismay of many football fans, PSG defeated FC Barcelona 4-1 to make the task of qualifying for the next round of the competition almost impossible for the Spanish giants.
Even though Lionel Messi who is Barcelona’s talisman and a record 6-time Ballon d’Or winner was on the pitch, 22-year-old French center-forward, Kylian Mbappe became the starman of the game.
The Frenchman scored three goals for PSG to go home with the match ball and also claimed the man of the match award. Messi’s first-half goal from the penalty spot could not make much difference at the end of the game.
“Surely the result reflects how superior they were”, Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said after the 4-1 defeat in the hands of PSG on Tuesday.
“They were effective. In the first half, it was more even. In the second half, we had problems defensively. They proved physically to be very superior to us.
“When you go ahead and they equalize quickly it’s always a problem. We didn’t defend that attack well. We weren’t paying attention to the ball on the wing or the center.
“Particularly in the second half, we have to admit that they were superior. They have shown that they have a more complete team than us. We have to accept it, improve things.
“We knew that this could happen because we are playing against a great team, a physical team with experience, for many reasons that are ahead of us.”
Ronald Koeman admits that it will be difficult to survive PSG
As it stands, FC Barcelona would have to win at least 5-1 or 4-0 when they visit PSG’s Parc des Princes on March 10, 2021, for the return leg of the fixture. If they fail to achieve such a feat, that will mark the end of Barcelona in the Champions League this season.
Barcelona are not new to such a comeback in the Champions League, especially against PSG. The Spanish giants were in a similar situation four years ago and they were able to turn things around against PSG.
But Ronald Koeman who believes that the current setup of FC Barcelona don’t have all it takes to perform at the highest level especially in the Champions League admitted that it might be difficult to overturn the 4-1 deficit in the second leg.
“A 4-1 loss is normally very difficult. I could tell you lies but the fact is that at 4-1 down from the home leg, there are very few chances of going through. This match shows us how much we have to improve, particularly at Champions League level”, Koeman noted.
“The game has shown us that we lack things to be at the best level, especially at the Champions League level.”