‘Catch me if you can’: Gerard Pique mocked as image of him desperately clutching at Kylian Mbappe’s shirt goes viral… with Marcus Rashford and Gary Lineker hailing football’s ‘changing of the guard’ moment
- Kylian Mbappe produced a masterclass as his hat-trick schooled Barcelona
- One image of Gerard Pique desperately clutching at Mbappe’s shirt went viral
- The 22-year-old striker used his pace to good effect and Pique was mocked
- Mbappe’s hat-trick was praised by Marcus Rashford, Neymar and Jadon Sancho
- Gary Lineker described Mbappe’s performance as ‘the changing of the guard’
Barcelona’s desperation in dealing with Kylian Mbappe was best encapsulated in the one image which went viral on Tuesday night.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker was using his blistering pace to devastating effect and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique could only make a desperate attempt to grab the 22-year-old’s shirt. It seemed the only way he could stop him.
Pique’s desperate attempt to slow Mbappe down was ruthlessly mocked online by fans on a night where Match of the Day host Gary Lineker felt was a ‘changing of the guard’ for football.
Gerard Pique (left) was mocked on social media for his desperate lunge toward Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe’s mesmeric performance was seen as a ‘changing of the guard’ by Gary Lineker
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford was full of praise for Mbappe’s performance
Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho described Mbappe as a ‘big player!’
‘A hat-trick for @KMbappe tonight,’ Lineker wrote. ‘We may be witnessing a changing of the guard.’
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho were also enthused by Mbappe’s masterclass at the Nou Camp.
‘Big player!’ wrote Sancho, while Rashford added, ‘what a performance’ with a fire emoji to emphasis Mbappe’s hot-streak.
Neymar, Mbappe’s team-mate who missed out on the match through injury, wrote: ‘Mbappe PLAYING A LOT….. my boy’s HAT-TRICK’.
Fans were quick to mock Pique with one joking Mbappe said ‘catch me if you can’ to his rival
Another likened the PSG striker to cartoon character ‘roadrunner’ as he was so fast for Pique
‘If you wanted Mbappe’s shirt, just ask,’ was the verdict of one fan on Pique’s desperate lunge
But as much as people were ready to crown Mbappe as the heir to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s throne as the greatest in the game, it was a night which saw Pique’s desperate lunch mercilessly mocked.
Fans quickly disseminated the image of him full stretch to reach the back of Mbappe’s jersey in a bid to slow the Frenchman down.
‘Dear Pique, if you wanted Mbappe’s shirt, just ask,’ one fan joked.
Another added: ‘Mbappe looks like a cartoon character there. It’s like Pique trying to grab the roadrunner.’
The jokes continued long after the match with one amused fan writing: ‘Mbappe: I’m going for your girl; Pique: no; Mbappe: catch me if you can’.
Mbappe was irresistible down the left wing for PSG and caused Barca’s vulnerable defence all sorts of problems as he fired in a splendid hat-trick.
Pique had no answer to Mbappe’s pace and had to resort to underhand tactics to stop him
Mbappe would not be deterred by Pique and he capped off a special night with a hat-trick
Spanish press tore into Ronald Koeman’s ‘characterless’ Barcelona after ‘another embarrassment’ in the Champions League as they were ripped apart by Mbappe.
Barcelona took the lead through a Lionel Messi penalty but the Catalan side quickly collapsed as Mbappe netted a hat-trick in the famous victory, with Moise Kean also on the scoresheet.
It was Mbappe who dominated Wednesday’s front pages with his performance described by Diario AS as like ‘a hurricane’ that devastated the Nou Camp.
Marca described how Mbappe ‘blew Barca away’, while Sport went with a similar line as the French striker ‘swept Barca aside’ on the night.
Mundo Deportivo simply coined the term ‘Mbappe’d’ after his one-man show left Koeman’s side on the brink of elimination at the halfway stage in the last-16 tie.
They described Barcelona as ‘fragile, imprecise and characterless’ on the night in a performance that was an indictment of their decline in recent seasons.
Wednesday’s front pages in Spain were dominated by Mbappe’s stunning hat-trick for PSG