Barcelona stars Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong could not hide their disappointment after Tuesday’s 4-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their last-16 tie with the French champions.
Griezmann spoke to RMC Sport after the match and admitted it was hard to find the right words after another humbling in Europe’s top competition, as reported by Get French Football News.
We needed to have the perfect match, we did not. They had it… It is hard to come up with something (to say), after having conceded four. We were ready, we wanted to have a great match, they were better than us. There is nothing to say.
There is still the 2nd leg. It will be difficult, we are not going to go into it just to see the sights. We need to work as we were. The season is still long. We are professionals. We will need to go there to win and try to turn the situation around.
Barca actually went ahead on the night when Lionel Messi netted a penalty after Frenkie de Jong had been fouled. However, PSG hit back with a hat-trick from Kylian Mbappe and a strike from Moise Kean to take control of the tie.
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Griezmann Praises Mbappe
Griezmann also took time out to praise France team-mate Mbappe after the match for his performance. The World Cup winner was simply too hot for the Barca defense to handle, and Griezmann thinks he will go on to become football’s next big superstar.
I am happy for him. He has been criticized a lot, but that is a bit what happens when you are someone for a little while. As soon as he plays less well, we criticize him. It is quite easy. But I believe that PSG have a future very great star, who will be on the level of Leo and Cristiano. He had a truly great match.
Mbappe’s goals means he’s the first opposition player to score a hat-trick at the Camp Nou in the Champions League since Andriy Shevchenko for Dynamo Kyiv in 1997. The striker has also become PSG’s third-highest goalscorer of all time on 111 goals, as reported by UEFA.
Disappointed De Jong
De Jong also spoke to the press after the game and admitted his side will not give up hope just yet but face a very tough test trying to mount a comeback at the Parc des Princes.
I thought that from the outset we played pretty well but after half time they were superior. We’ve already got a fightback to stage in the Copa del Rey and now we’ll try to do that in Paris, too. It’ll be difficult but we’ll try.
PSG will now be red-hot favorites to qualify for the next round and dump Barca out of the competition. Barca did manage to recover from a 4-0 first-leg deficit the last time they played the French side in the competition, but it’s difficult to see Koeman’s side pulling off another great escape.