Manchester City have denied reports of a £433million package being proposed to lure Lionel Messi to the Premier League.

Messi is out of contract at Barcelona at the end of this season, having tried to engineer a departure from Camp Nou last August.

During that time, he was heavily linked to City and a reunion with Pep Guardiola, while Barca's appeal to the superstar forward arguably suffered another heavy blow as they were thrashed 4-1 by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League this week.

On Friday, The Sun reported Messi had a five-year proposal worth £606m put to him by City before the current campaign, although this figure has been revised due to the wider financial climate of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the fact the six-time Ballon d'Or winner will be 34 in June.

However, a club spokesperson told Stats Perform no such offer has been made, nor are there any talks currently ongoing.

Were Messi to sign for City, it looks increasingly likely he would be joining a title-winning side.

Guardiola's men extended their record-breaking winning run for an English top-flight team to 17 matches across all competitions by beating Everton 3-1 in midweek, a result that stretched their lead at the top of the table to 10 points.

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti said he felt City were "impossible" to play against after a dazzling second-half showing at Goodison Park, where fine strikes from Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva - both players adept in the right-sided attacking roles Messi has filled for large chunks of his career - saw the visitors pull clear.

"I appreciate it, but I don't agree with Carlo, absolutely I do not agree," Guardiola said ahead of Sunday's trip to Arsenal.

"We can lose, the opponents are good and we try to do better than them every single game. This is the only target.

"I love Carlo, he is an incredible inspiration for me as a manager, for many things, but I don't agree with him."

Ilkay Gundogan sat out the Everton game with a groin complaint and Guardiola will make a late call on the Germany playmaker, who has been in sparkling form of late with nine goals in as many Premier League games since the turn of the year.

Gundogan's performances meant Kevin De Bruyne's absence with a hamstring injury was not felt as keenly as might have been expected.

The Belgium star returned from the bench versus Everton and came through will no ill-effects, leaving defender Nathan Ake (hamstring) as City's only remaining senior absentee.

"Nathan is back training on the pitch alone but is closer to coming back with us," Guardiola added.

"Gundo trained just part of the training session today, we'll see how he feels. The rest are fit."

Manchester City are counting the cost of the current financial climate and have slashed the budget assigned to lure Lionel Messi away from Barcelona.

The 33-year-old Barca captain could depart his boyhood team in the 2021 off-season after publicly trying, and failing, to force an exit from the Catalan club last August.

A reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City has been the subject of much speculation, but Messi may have to compromise to make the move happen as the Premier League leaders' bargaining power has taken a hit.

 

TOP STORY – CITY FORCED TO LOWER MESSI CONTRACT OFFER

City had already tabled a five-year contract designed to tempt Messi to switch LaLiga for the Premier League – but the numbers have now changed, reports The Sun.

A package worth £600million (€693m) had reportedly been prepared in order to tie the six-time Ballon d'Or winner down for the rest of his career, should he opt to leave Barca at the end of the season.

But The Sun says City will now not match the terms set in August, and the offer has dropped to £430million (€496m), potentially opening the door for Paris Saint-Germain to swoop.

ROUND-UP

Chelsea have already made contact with winger Jonas Hofmann, according to Bild, as the Borussia Monchengladbach exodus threatens to begin following the news that coach Marco Rose is leaving for Borussia Dortmund next season. Hofmann played for Thomas Tuchel at Dortmund.

Milan midfielder Franck Kessie is also in Tuchel's sights, and the Blues could offer Fikayo Tomori to the Serie A giants on a permanent deal as part of a player-plus-cash exchange, reports Il Milanista.

- Everton loanee Moise Kean has netted 14 goals in 25 games for PSG and his parent club will not part with the Italy international for any less than £60m, says Fabrizio Romano, while Juventus want to bring the striker back to Turin, according to Le 10 Sport.

 

Everton 'will demand £70m for Moise Kean transfer' after impressing at PSG https://t.co/3PvjhBQ1rf

— Sun Sport (@SunSport) February 18, 2021

- 'If there are opportunities, I will have a look at them,' is what Wilfried Zaha told the Financial Times Business of Football Summit, reports The Sun. The Crystal Palace winger has been previously linked with Arsenal and Tottenham.

- Gunners midfielder Lucas Torreira, currently on the fringes while on loan at Atletico Madrid, is close to securing a move to Fiorentina for next season, claims Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Barcelona may be in a financial position to move for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland at the end of the season, according to presidential candidate Joan Laporta.

Haaland's stock continues to rise following Wednesday's double for Dortmund in their 3-2 Champions League last-16 first-leg win over Sevilla.

That made the Norway international the quickest player to reach double figures for goals in the competition for a single club, doing so in just seven matches - three games fewer than Roy Makaay for Bayern Munich between 2003 and 2004.

He has now scored a double in three successive Champions League games, having also netted twice against Club Brugge in the group stage.

Former Salzburg star Haaland has 18 goals in 13 games in the competition overall, which is a tally only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski can match since the start of 2019-20.

That type of scoring form has seen Haaland strongly linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United, Juventus and Barcelona.

Despite Barca's well-known financial struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic, Laporta - who has close links to Haaland's agent Mino Raiola - is not ruling out a possible move.

"If we have to improve the football team, I have the cards and I'm ready to play them," he said in direct response to the links with the 20-year-old attacker.

"It's because of the experience and the knowledge I have of the people who could intervene in all these situations.

"I want to send a message of calm to the Barcelona fans - we will be economically sustainable again."

Laporta is one of three remaining candidates in the running to take over as Barca's next president, along with Victor Font and Toni Freixa.

The elections were originally due to take place in January but had to be pushed back to March 7 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lionel Messi is not motivated by money as he eyes titles amid uncertainty over his Barcelona future, according to presidential candidate Joan Laporta.

Messi has been heavily linked with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Premier League giants Manchester City, with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

The record six-time Ballon d'Or winner tried to leave Camp Nou at the start of the 2020-21 campaign before opting to stay.

As doubts remain over Messi following Barcelona's 4-1 rout at the hands of PSG in the first leg of the blockbuster last-16 tie on Tuesday, Laporta – one of the remaining candidates in the running for the presidency – remains hopeful of keeping the 33-year-old.

"Giving him affection is very important," Laporta told Sky Sport Italia. "The love story between Messi and Barcelona is one of the most beautiful stories in football.

"He has to be loved. He deserves it. And he has to be valued with an economic offer that makes him feel valued, but he's not led by money.

"I know him, I have a good relationship with him and a lot of respect.

"He's a winner. What he wants is to win again, with Barcelona. I'm going to do everything I can to keep him. Our competitors are state clubs, they are making offers.

"We have to be clear that money doesn't guarantee titles, and Leo is more about winning titles than making money."

Laporta added: "He makes more money than he costs, much more. Messi's cost represents eight percent of the club's total income, while he generates around 30 percent of the income.

"Messi is very profitable for Barcelona, but the most important thing is the emotional return he gives us.

"It's priceless when you ask a young boy or girl who their favourite player is and they immediately say Messi."

Messi's opening goal against PSG was his 20th goal of the season for Barcelona in all competitions – it is the 13th consecutive campaign he has scored 20-plus goals for the club.

The Barca captain has scored in the Champions League in each calendar year since 2005. This run of at least one goal in 17 consecutive years is the joint-longest run in the competition's history alongside Raul (1995-2011).

Kylian Mbappe is "further away from Real Madrid than ever before" despite slaying Barcelona, according to former Santiago Bernabeu sporting director Jorge Valdano.

Mbappe netted a stunning hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain thrashed an overmatched Barca 4-1 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

Such a performance will undoubtedly further endear the France forward to the Madrid faithful and he has been frequently linked with a move to the Spanish capital.

The 22-year-old's contract at PSG expires at the end of next season, however Valdano believes his Camp Nou heroics have given him leverage to demand the sort of wage only the Ligue 1 giants are in a position to afford.

"After this, Mbappe is further from Real Madrid than ever before," the ex-Argentina international told Onda Cero.

"He can ask for a €30million salary, the same as Neymar, and only PSG can offer that amount."

Another factor in Mbappe's favour, Valdano suggested, was that a forlorn Lionel Messi - who opened the scoring from the penalty spot - might now hold less appeal when his Barca deal expires in June and PSG consider how they might fill their ample budget.

"I don’t see PSG very interested right now in swapping Mbappe for Messi," he said. "Mbappe changed the scale of values ​."

Valdano feels Madrid should turn their attention to Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, whose prolific exploits remind him of Argentina's 1978 World Cup hero.

"Mbappe is more complete than Haaland, but I think Madrid needs a scorer like the Norwegian," he added.

"Haaland is the Mario Kempes of the 21st century."

Kylian Mbappe became just the 10th player ever to score a competitive hat-trick away to Barcelona on Tuesday.

The World Cup winner netted a sensational treble as Paris Saint-Germain took command of their Champions League last-16 tie with a 4-1 away win in the first leg.

Mbappe's smart close-range finish cancelled out Lionel Messi's penalty opener, before he tapped in after half-time to give PSG the lead for the first time.

Moise Kean added to that advantage before a sublime breakaway fourth saw Mbappe sweep a stunning finish into the top-right corner.

The France forward is the first visiting player to score three times at Camp Nou since Diego Forlan's hat-trick for Villarreal in 2005.

That Forlan effort was the first of the 21st century, the previous being the only other Champions League treble besides Mbappe's, when Andriy Shevchenko led a remarkable 4-0 away win for Dynamo Kiev in 1997.

Not all hat-tricks for away sides at Barca have resulted in such dominant displays, however.

Forlan could only secure a 3-3 draw, with three of the 10 trebles coming in matches that ended all square.

And two three-goal stars actually finished on the losing side, including poor Milinko Pantic in a Copa del Rey epic months before Shevchenko stole the show.

Pantic scored four times for Atletico Madrid, yet they improbably went down 5-4 to Bobby Robson's Blaugrana.

The only other instance of a visiting player netting four came at Barca's previous Les Corts home when Julian Arcas did so in a draw with rivals Espanyol in 1956.

Two of the 10 hat-tricks came at Les Corts - the other eight were all at Camp Nou - as Barca also beat Valencia 4-3 in 1948 despite Vicente Segui's treble.


Full list of away hat-tricks against Barcelona:

Vicente Segui (Valencia) - 4-3 defeat at Les Corts in 1948
Julian Arcas (Espanyol) - 4-4 draw at Les Corts in 1956
Tony Kurbos (Metz) - 4-1 win at Camp Nou in 1984
Manuel Pena (Valladolid) - 4-2 win at Camp Nou in 1987
Baltazar de Morais (Atletico Madrid) - 3-3 draw at Camp Nou in 1989
Francisco Higuera (Zaragoza) - 5-4 win at Camp Nou in 1994
Milinko Pantic (Atletico Madrid) - 5-4 defeat at Camp Nou in 1997
Andriy Shevchenko (Dynamo Kiev) - 4-0 win at Camp Nou in 1997
Diego Forlan (Villarreal) - 3-3 draw at Camp Nou in 2005
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) - 4-1 win at Camp Nou in 2021

Manchester United are making plans for Paul Pogba's departure and may have already identified the Frenchman's replacement in Real Madrid's Federico Valverde.

The 22-year-old has struggled with injuries this season, while veteran midfielders Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have been in vintage form for LaLiga's champions.

Valverde has only started 12 games in all competitions this season, but the Uruguayan has impressed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enough for United to step up their efforts to bring him to Old Trafford this off-season.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED EYE VALVERDE TO PLUG MIDFIELD

Valverde has shown his class while featuring in 89 games during his three seasons in the Spanish capital and has turned heads at United.

The Red Devils are said to admire his energy and box-to-box qualities as they seek a long-term solution to lock down a place in the centre of Solskjaer's midfield, according to The Sun.

One snag in the recruitment drive could be the Uruguay international's buy-out clause of a staggering £148million, though United can offer him a major improvement on his current £120,000 per week wage.

The Paris Saint-Germain jersey worn by Kylian Mbappe when his hat-trick helped humiliate Barcelona could have sold for millions at auction but the French ace simply handed it over as a gift to UFC great Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Mbappe's devastating display of pace, power and clinical finishing crushed Barca in PSG's thumping 4-1 triumph in the opening leg of the Champions League last-16 tie, and left the hat-trick hero as the talk of the football world following one of the most scintillating performances of his glittering young career.

Uncertainty has been circling Mbappe, whose PSG contract expires in June 2022 amid strong links to Real Madrid as well as Liverpool, and the World Cup winner clearly had no intention of making the shirt a centrepiece of his own personal collection following Tuesday's exploits.

Instead, Mbappe presented the jersey to mixed-martial arts star Khabib after the UFC's longest-reigning lightweight champion watched the action unfold from the stands in Barcelona, alongside Leeds United's majority owner Andrea Radrizzani at Camp Nou.

Khabib recently vacated his title and retired from UFC competition, revealing he wants to switch the gloves for boots and give professional football a try after discussing the career change with the likes of UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

The unbeaten Russian fighter previously told Match TV: "To play football on a professional level is a childhood dream. Of course, I have such a wish. Football is the king of sports after all."

Mbappe had written a message to Khabib on the jersey, and the man also known as 'the Eagle' was quick to show off his new prized possession to his 27.3million Instagram followers.

Ronald Koeman paid tribute to Kylian Mbappe while admitting Barcelona must accept Paris Saint-Germain have a "more complete team" following their Champions League rout at Camp Nou.

PSG - last season's runners-up - took a commanding lead in the last-16 tie thanks to hat-trick hero Mbappe, who fuelled a stunning 4-1 demolition on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi, whose has been heavily linked with PSG, opened the scoring via a penalty before the French visitors seized control courtesy of Mbappe and Moise Kean.

Ligue 1 champions PSG outclassed and overpowered Barca to put one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals ahead of the return leg on March 10.

Barca head coach Koeman acknowledged PSG's superiority was clear to see and conceded the embattled LaLiga giants have some way to go in order to compete with Mauricio Pochettino's men.

"They were superior, they were very efficient, in particular thanks to to Mbappe," Koeman said.

"The first half was balanced. At 1-0, Ousmane [Dembele] had a good opportunity. In the second part of the match, we had some defence problems.

"They showed that they were superior, with the ball and especially physically.

"They had a more complete team than ours. We have to accept it and keep improving. We know that can happen. This team is ahead of us."

Kylian Mbappe refused to confirm his future lies at Paris Saint-Germain after his stunning hat-trick decimated Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 first leg.

Mbappe took his career Champions League tally to 24 goals with a devastating treble in PSG's 4-1 rout after Ronald Koeman's side had taken the lead at Camp Nou.

The 22-year-old lashed in an equaliser five minutes after Lionel Messi's penalty put Barca in front and added a pair of clinical second-half strikes either side of Moise Kean's goal.

Less than 24 hours earlier, reports in Spain suggested an unsettled Mbappe would not force an exit from PSG but would not sign and extension to his contract that expires in June 2022.

"It would be stupid to decide my future on a single match," Mbappe told RMC.

"The truth is that it is about reflecting for the long term.

"I have always said that I am happy here. This sort of match makes me even happier."

The French World Cup winner has netted 21 goals in 29 games during his fourth season playing for his hometown club, as PSG sit second in Ligue 1, one point behind leaders Lille.

Mbappe and his side were on the losing end in last year's Champions League final and the 39-cap international insists he is happy to focus on the club's battles to lift trophies.

"We are very happy. It was a very important game for us. We wanted to come here and win. We did it with style," Mbappe said.

"Now we have an important game on Sunday in the league. Tonight is beautiful but we won nothing.

"I am happy. I always wanted to give the best of myself. There has not always been success. But never in my life will I hide. Today I am paid for the hard work."

Mauricio Pochettino's team now turn their attentions back to the league and a match against Mbappe's former club, fourth-placed Monaco, at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Kylian Mbappe can go on to be the equal of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo after his hat-trick saw Paris Saint-Germain destroy Barcelona 4-1 in the Champions League.

That was the gracious take of Mbappe's France team-mate Antoine Griezmann, who was on the receiving end of his countryman's heroics at Camp Nou in Tuesday's last-16 first leg.

Messi gave Barca the lead from the penalty spot to score in Europe's top competition for a 17th consecutive season, matching a record set by Real Madrid great Raul.

From then on, however, it was the Mbappe show as Barcelona suffered another humiliating outing on the biggest stage.

A superb equaliser created by Marco Verratti meant it was all square at the interval and Mbappe fired Mauricio Pochettino's men ahead after the hour and completed the rout with a sumptuous finish into the top corner after Moise Kean headed home Leandro Paredes' free-kick.

"PSG have a very big star of the future who will be at the level of Leo and Cristiano," Griezmann told RMC sport.

"I can only congratulate him."

Mbappe became the third player in Champions League history to score a hat-trick against Barcelona and the first for almost a quarter of century after Newcastle United's Faustino Asprilla and Dynamo Kiev's Andriy Shevchenko both achieved the feat in 1997.

It was a sensational all-round performance from the 22-year-old, who also made four key passes to create chances for his team-mates.

"We needed to have a perfect match. We didn't and they did. It's a big defeat," Griezmann said.

"We were ready, we wanted to play a big game, but they were better than us. There is nothing to say. Kylian was having a great night."

Barca need an improbable repeat of the heroics that saw them overturn a 4-0 first-leg deficit against PSG at the same stage in 2017 when they head to Paris for the return next month.

Despite the odds being stacked heavily against Ronald Koeman's side, Griezmann is not giving up.

"You have to go there to win and turn the situation around. We're not going to go there as tourists," he added.

Kylian Mbappe proved he is already one of the world's greatest players after netting a hat-trick in Paris Saint-Germain's 4-1 win over Barcelona, according to Mauricio Pochettino.

PSG battered Barca in Camp Nou on Tuesday, the Parisian's taking an emphatic away win into the second leg at the Parc des Princes next month.

While all eyes were on PSG-linked Messi before the game, Mbappe showed why he is regarded by many as the Argentinian's heir to the 'best player in the world' label.

After Messi opened the scoring from the spot, Mbappe went on to net a stunning treble that was completed late on with a gorgeous first-time effort that found the top-right corner, in doing so becoming the first away player to net a Champions League hat-trick in Camp Nou since Andriy Shevchenko in 1997.

Pochettino championed the Frenchman at full-time, but also urged his team to remain humble.

"We have no doubt that Kylian is one of the greatest players in the world despite his youth," Pochettino told RMC Sport.

"He has already done extraordinary things, but we must remain humble. There are 90 minutes left and they have great players. There is still a second leg."

The result gives PSG a massive advantage ahead of the second leg, though they of all clubs will be aware of what can happen when complacency sets in.

This was PSG's first trip to Barcelona since the 2017 humiliation, when they surrendered a 4-0 first-leg lead by losing 6-1 in the return leg.

As such, Pochettino was keen to stress PSG cannot get absorbed in any talk about their performance in Camp Nou being "perfect".

"There is no such thing as perfection," he added. "I am happy with the result and how we played, but we have to remain humble.

"On Sunday we have a big match against Monaco, we are already looking towards this match."

This was the first time Barcelona have conceded four goals in a home Champions League knockout match in over 23 years.

They have never progressed in a European knockout tie when losing their first game at home.

Returning from knee ligament damage two months ahead of schedule having not played since November, Gerard Pique probably wanted to ease his way into proceedings.

Inside the first minute, Paris Saint-Germain's masterful playmaker Marco Verratti floated a ball over the top of the Barcelona backline and Kylian Mbappe already had Pique in his rear-view mirror.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen tore out of his penalty area and ultimately averted the danger by careering in to make a wild, sliced clearance.

Welcome back to the Champions League, Gerard.  All the best.

As a high-octane first half unfolded in the plum Champions League last-16 tie, Ronald Koeman's gamble in wheeling out his most experienced centre-back began to make sense. Maybe delaying the inevitable in a 4-1 shellacking was the best he could hope for.

PSG racked up six corners before the interval. As the players in the box awaited each delivery, Pique's voice was typically heard above all other, booming around a cavernous Camp Nou.

Generally, he was in the right place to deal with them. Four clearances were more than any of his Barca team-mates at the halfway stage.

Doubts over his overall mobility did not prevent an ever-smooth footballer completing all 71 of his passes on the night, while fellow old timer Sergio Busquets found the target with 45 of 48. The final analysis showed this sorry Barcelona need much more than lingering competence.

Barca fall flat with the band back together

Koeman's tenure has come to feel like one of transition, with Pedri making a wonderful first-team breakthrough and Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann becoming more prominent figures.

But here were Pique, Busquets and Lionel Messi - three of the most decorated players in football history - pressed into action together in a match where Barca had to be content with hanging on to PSG's coattails, even if they threatened sporadically to disrobe their well-heeled opponents.

Pique and Clement Lenglet shifted the hosts' backline a touch deeper after their early scare and Barcelona initially had a counter-attacking threat to match that pragmatism.

Before the half hour, they led. Layvin Kurzawa got caught under Pedri's raking pass and accidentally tripped De Jong. Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot and Messi rifled unerringly into the top-right corner.

Kurzawa was keen to make amends and found assistance in Ousmane Dembele's laissez-faire approach to tracking back. The full-back arrowed a ball into the Barca box, where a majestic, silken touch from Verratti picked the lock.

Pique would sooner have seen Mbappe at close quarters than in the wide-open spaces, but Verratti's pass combined with the forward's supreme awareness and fast-twitch capabilities meant there was enough room to lash beyond Ter Stegen.

Griezmann collected a Messi pass and almost converted at the end of a wonderful solo run to restore the lead but those moments of defiance became increasingly fleeting.

PSG, with Verratti and Leandro Paredes pulling the strings, were the bosses at the ground where they suffered an unparalleled humiliation in 2017.

Messi's devastating new normal

Recent history shows that incredible 6-1 win was the exception for Barca towards the end of an imperial period that has unquestionably passed. The 4-0 defeat they needed to overturn four years ago is the norm.

Juventus 3-0, Roma 3-0, Liverpool 4-0, Bayern Munich 8-2. Knockout ties where they are comprehensively outplayed by high-class opponents. Here was another.

Mbappe had never played Barcelona before Tuesday. He will barely be able to contain himself waiting for the return after a hat-trick of the highest order. Neymar might even be fit by the time his bedraggled former employers arrive in Paris.

Pique was scampering around on the goal line just in case when Moise Kean's deflected effort was kept out by Ter Stegen. Barca might well have been in Bayern territory again but for their keeper's four impressive saves.

The experienced defender was unable to jam another finger it the dam when he half-cleared Alessandro Florenzi's cross - Paredes' pass to release the full-back was sumptuous - and crumped into a net rippled by a thumping Mbappe finish.

Kean headed in a Paredes free-kick to make it three and Pique and Busquets had been substituted by the time Mbappe whipped an effervescent strike into the top corner to claim the matchball.

Messi trudged sad and alone, as he so often has through these all-too-frequent humiliations. End-of-era defeats are supposed to be one-off events but his Barcelona have a catalogue of them. It really is over this time.

Defenders in blue and red chased shadows as Mbappe fired himself and his team-mates into the stratosphere. If they look far enough back into the past, Messi, Pique and Busquets will see a time when they were the future. They'll have to squint hard, but that is preferable to lingering too long on their sorry present.

Kylian Mbappe scored a remarkable hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to batter Barcelona 4-1 away from home in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

The Parisians were back at Camp Nou for the first time since their humiliating Champions League collapse in 2017 when they were thumped 6-1 after winning the first leg 4-0, and they got a semblance of revenge with an emphatic victory.

Lionel Messi reached 20 goals for a 13th successive season when putting Barca ahead just before the half-hour mark with a penalty, but PSG were far more of a threat in attack and fully deserved the equaliser that Mbappe netted with aplomb.

Mbappe doubled his personal tally in the second half and the similarly lively Moise Kean got PSG's third soon after, before the France star completed his treble with a sumptuous finish on the break that will likely put the tie beyond Barca, though they have pulled off more unlikely comebacks before.

The early exchanges passed with little drama as the two sides respectably sparred, but the contest burst into life when Barca then opened the scoring in the 27th minute, Messi finding the top-right corner with a penalty awarded after Layvin Kurzawa accidentally tripped Frenkie de Jong.

But PSG soon levelled as Mbappe brought down Marco Verratti's flicked pass and lashed in after evading Clement Lenglet.

Antoine Griezmann could not restore Barca's lead when he shot wide after a long solo run, though it was PSG who finished the half on top.

Moise Kean and Kurzawa both forced fine saves from Marc-Andre ter Stegen, while Mauro Icardi headed agonisingly wide on the stroke of half-time.

PSG carved Barca open again early in the second half, Icardi teeing up Kean with a clever flick only to see Ter Stegen make a fingertip save to deny him.

The visitors finally went in front, and deservedly so, with 25 minutes to go – Mbappe slamming in from about 10 yards after Alessandro Florenzi's cutback was deflected into his path by Gerard Pique.

It quickly got worse for Barca, as Kean nodded in Leandro Paredes' inviting free-kick delivery to give Ronald Koeman's men a mountain to climb.

Mbappe rounded off an incredible night for PSG five minutes from time, curling a gorgeous first-time effort into the top-right corner after Julian Draxler led a devastating counter.

Lionel Messi equalled a record set by Real Madrid great Raul as his penalty against Paris Saint-Germain saw him net in the Champions League for a 17th successive year.

All eyes were understandably on Messi for visit of PSG, given the speculation linking him with a future move to the Parisians, and he took a back seat for a while on Tuesday.

But after Frenkie de Jong was accidentally tripped by Layvin Kurzawa when trying to latch on to a pass from Barca's captain, referee Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot – Messi did the rest.

He casually picked out the top-right corner of the net, giving Keylor Navas no hope, bringing himself level with Raul for the consecutive goal-scoring years in Europe's elite competition.

Messi's first was in 2005 – Raul's goals spanned 1995-2011.

Additionally, it was Messi's 20th goal of the season across all competitions, remarkably making it the 13th season in succession that he has reached that mark.

But Kylian Mbappe soon hit back for the visitors, getting them a vital away goal.

It was his 15th away Champions League goal out of a total 22 – this is the greatest proportion (68 per cent) of goals scored on the road among players with at least 20 in the competition.

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