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Mauricio Pochettino says Kylian Mbappe predicted Paris Saint-Germain's win against Barcelona

FC Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One
FC Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One
Modified 17 Feb 2021

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that Kylian Mbappe predicted the French champions would beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou before the game.

Kylian Mbappe then proceeded to ensure his prediction came true by scoring a hat-trick in a 4-1 win that left PSG with one foot in the quarterfinals.

However, it's not over yet, with the second leg set to take place next month. PSG know better than most not to rest on their laurels after a big first-leg win against Barcelona.

PSG won 4-0 in the first leg of their 2016-17 Champions League Round of 16 clash against Barcelona. But they then capitulated in the second leg, losing 6-1 to crash out of the competition on aggregate.

However, it is fair to say Pochettino's side are favorites to qualify when the two sides meet at the Parc des Princes in three weeks' time.

After the match, Pochettino revealed that he had discussed things with Kylian Mbappe before the game, and that the youngster was confident of delivering a win.

"Before the match, he asked me how many times I had won at Camp Nou," Pochettino said after the match.
"'Once,' I told him. He replied: 'Tomorrow, we are going to win a second time.'"

Mauricio Pochettino calls Kylian Mbappe world-class

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe
Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe

Pochettino was effusive in his praise of Kylian Mbappe, following a sensational performance from the 22-year-old.

"He's a top player. Great footballers write their history. They evolve match after match. With this hat-trick, Kylian will be in the spotlight, but we had no doubts," Pochettino said.
"He's world-class. No one can discover Mbappe tonight. He's a fantastic player and he's very happy in our club. He said it, I said it too."

Mauricio Pochettino took over as head coach of PSG just after the turn of the year.

For PSG to have strolled to such a victory away at Barcelona without Neymar would have given Pochettino plenty of confidence, ahead of a French title race in which PSG have been challenged.

They are currently second in Ligue 1, just a point behind leaders Lille. PSG have a huge match in the league this weekend when they face Monaco.

However, for the second leg against Barcelona, Pochettino could have Neymar back as well. With four away goals and a three-goal lead, it would take a meltdown of epic proportions for PSG to have a repeat of what happened in 2017.

Published 17 Feb 2021, 15:41 IST
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