The Champions League round of 16 gifted fans with quite the show between PSG and Barcelona, but it turns out it was about as competitive as Super Bowl LV. Kylian Mbbape bagged a hat trick as the Parisians went into the Camp Nou and rearranged all the furniture en route to a 4-1 win over Barca on Tuesday in the first leg, likely putting this one to rest ahead of the second leg. It's the first hat trick scored for a visitor at Camp Nou since Andriy Shevchenko in 1997 and the first time a French side has won at Barcelona in Champions League history.
In the other match, Liverpool regained a bit of form with a 2-0 win against RB Leipzig in Budapest, putting them in a great spot to advance to the quarterfinals. Our recap of that match can be found here.
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Now with Tuesday's matches over, here are some key takeaways from the games:
1. Verratti, Mbappe unstoppable
There was no stopping Marco Verratti and Mbappe. When either had the ball at their feet, it felt like something special was about to happen, and that's because it was. What they did on the opener, with Verratti's nifty touch to Mbappe, was a moment of brilliance. Take a look:
That moment got Mbappe going and Verratti continued to shine in a more advanced role with two defensive midfielders sitting behind him. Mbappe went on to score three, and Verratti finished with a pass completion percentage of 90.5.
2. Koeman not the man for the job
As the team continues to struggle in cups, one would think Ronald Koeman's time at Barca has to be numbered, especially with the presidential election and the European elimination looming. The quality is of a side that feels closer to, say, Espanyol than the Barcelona were been accustomed to seeing. This is a team filled with names that don't jell at all, and Koeman continues to prove he isn't fit for the job. Don't let his 62.86 percent winning percentage fool you. They struggled against Juventus in UCL and Atletico Madrid in league play before getting by PSG. They don't look like a contender to win anything. This is a guy who has not won a major trophy in a top-five league in Europe since 2008, and that was when Valencia's players turned on him and still managed to win the Copa del Rey.
He has done nothing at Barcelona so far to show he can get this team motivated and in sync when it matters most, and it feels like it is headed nowhere sooner rather than later.
This photo might say it all when it comes to Messi's recent Barcelona failures and his big summer decision looming:
3. Liverpool get their swagger back
Boy did Liverpool need that win. They are back to their winning ways with a fine showing in Budapest, capitalizing on the mistakes from RB Leipzig to set themselves up nicely. The Reds weren't overly dominant with the ball, but they didn't make the big defensive errors we've seen in recent defeats.
This win could do wonders for their confidence as they begin to shift focus over to UCL with the Premier League title race potentially over for them, with Manchester City continuing to dominate.
Liverpool have always been known as a cup team, and the quality is still there to make a run if they can gel.
Jamie Carragher is counting on it.
4. Still hope for RB Leipzig
This might feel like it's over, and it probably is, but there is still hope here for RB Leipzig. Liverpool were considered unbeatable at home not too long ago, but losing to Brighton at Anfield earlier this month and getting handled by Atletico Madrid last season, anything is possible. An early goal in the second leg, set for March 10, will give the German side a chance. Don't forget, RB Leipzig actually created the better chances in this first leg.
But, if Liverpool score one in the second leg, it is probably over. Chances are Liverpool will score, but considering they've been held without a goal in two of their last three home games (Brighton and Burnley), there is a window there for RB Leipzig to turn this around. Limiting the mistakes in the second leg and capitalizing on what feels like an inevitable error by this patched up Liverpool defense means there is still a lifeline for Julian Nagelsmann's side.
5. Look ahead
The Champions League fun rolls on with Porto hosting Juventus and Borussia Dortmund traveling to Sevilla for first leg clashes on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. You can stream every Champions League match on CBS All Access (soon-to-be Paramount+).