Champions League 2021: Top Scorers After Tuesday's Round of 16 ResultsFebruary 16, 2021
The Champions League resumed Tuesday with a pair of round-of-16 fixtures.
The last time Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain met in the Champions League knockout stage, Barca famously won 6-1 to overturn a 4-0 defeat in the first leg.
Tuesday belonged to PSG as a hat trick by Kylian Mbappe helped them cruise past Barcelona in the second half and win 4-1.
Liverpool, meanwhile, earned a much-needed 2-0 victory over RB Leipzig.
Mbappe's performance helped him catapult up the goalscoring chart, and he's now only one behind the leaders:
- 6: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Erling Braut Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
- 5: Alassane Plea (Borussia Monchengladbach), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
- 4: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Full leaderboard available on UEFA.com
Barcelona and PSG combined for a thrilling opening 45 minutes. Lionel Messi scored the first goal from the penalty spot in the 27th minute, and Mbappe answered back in the 32nd minute to bring the Parisians level. In general, little separated the two clubs.
Michael Cox @Zonal_Marking
Barca v PSG the best first half of any game I’ve seen this season. Started at a high tempo and has been relentless. Verratti playing three midfield roles in one. Messi coming deep to great effect. Ter Stegen seemingly with his boots on the wrong feet. Gueye unable to NOT tackle.
Mbappe made it a 2-1 game in the 65th minute. Barcelona was unable to clear a pass across the box by Alessandro Florenzi, and the 22-year-old was in the right place to slam home an easy goal.
Moise Kean doubled PSG's advantage five minutes later to put Barca in serious danger of bowing out in the round of 16.
Barcelona sit third in La Liga but eight points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who also have a game in hand. The Champions League provided manager Ronald Koeman with a way to salvage something from an otherwise forgettable season.
Instead, Tuesday underscored why Messi is arguably better off leaving the Catalan giants behind.
Elsewhere in Europe, it feels like far longer than a few months have transpired since Liverpool put five goals past Atalanta in the group stage. The Reds' attack has been sporadic in recent weeks, and they may struggle to qualify for next year's Champions League.
A sequence near the end of the first half against Leipzig summed up the club's current form. Roberto Firmino headed the ball in from close range, but the linesman had raised his flag for a goal kick prior to Sadio Mane's flick into the box. Replays showed the call could've gone either way:
Leipzig provided a helping hand for Liverpool early in the second half.
In the 53rd minute, Marcel Sabitzer struck an ill-advised back pass directly into the path of Mohamed Salah. Sabitzer had his head in his hands before the ball even found the back of the net.
Five minutes later, Nordi Mukiele failed to clear a long pass over the top by Curtis Jones. That allowed Mane to run clean through on goal, and he fired a low shot past Peter Gulacsi.
Leipzig looked threatening over the remainder of the match but couldn't break Liverpool's defense down. Although the Reds won't have their usual raucous atmosphere at Anfield on March 10, you'd expect them to protect a two-goal lead at home in the second leg.
Looking ahead to Wednesday, Porto host Juventus, while Borussia Dortmund will hope to get back on track away to Sevilla.