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Paris St-Germain 1-2 Man City: Kevin de Bruyne & Riyad Mahrez give City advantage in Champions League

Paris St-Germain 1-2 Man City: Kevin de Bruyne & Riyad Mahrez give City advantage in Champions League thumbnail
Mahrez’s winner was his second direct free-kick goal in the Champions League – his first coming for Leicester

Manchester City produced a superb display to come from behind and take control of their Champions League semi-final with victory against Paris St-Germain in France.

Pep Guardiola’s side fought their way through a scintillating early PSG surge when they fell behind to Marquinhos’ header, glanced in from Angel di Maria’s corner after 15 minutes, to dominate after the break and turn this first leg tie in Paris on its head.

City, who had threatened before the break when Phil Foden missed a great chance, were much more positive and got the reward they deserved after 64 minutes when Kevin de Bruyne’s menacing cross evaded everyone in the penalty area and drifted beyond motionless PSG keeper Kaylor Navas.

PSG, with Neymar fading and Kylian Mbappe subdued, were ragged and Riyad Mahrez put City in a great position to reach their first Champions League final when his left-foot free-kick went through the wall to beat Navas seven minutes later.

And to complete PSG’s misery, former Everton midfield man Idrissa Gueye was rightly shown a red card late on for a dreadful challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

Man City’s dream comes closer

Manchester City have craved triumph in the Champions League as confirmation they are a European superpower – and this magnificent display brings that ambition closer than it has ever been before.

The Premier League leaders had to show all their qualities before finally overpowering their hosts, who ran out of steam after showing real class in the first half, with Neymar and Di Maria pulling the strings.

Ruben Dias and John Stones were prominent as City held firm in the first half, while after the break, as they showed greater ambition, Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker carried real attacking threat, and the visitors played with enormous maturity as they pinned PSG back in their own half.

Their menace grew throughout and it was no surprise when De Bruyne levelled then Mahrez put them ahead – indeed PSG ended so beaten and disorganised they may almost feel grateful they only lost 2-1.

City’s Champions League history is littered with disappointments in the latter stages of the tournament, often mired in tactical confusion or ill-luck – not so here.

Those experiences mean they will take nothing for granted when this dangerous PSG side come to Etihad Stadium in six days but City have never been in better shape to reach a Champions League final.

PSG still pose a threat – but City in charge

PSG showed in the first 45 minutes exactly why nothing can be taken for granted by City. But former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino will know his side are underdogs in the fight to face either Chelsea or Real Madrid in the final in Istanbul on 29 May.

It took all of City’s resolve and character to ride out PSG’s first-half storm, with Neymar outstanding and while Mbappe was a surprisingly marginal figure, they still have the capability and danger to turn the tables on City at Etihad Stadium.

What will disturb PSG, another club chasing the Holy Grail of a first Champions League crown, is the manner in which City dictated terms to them in the second half, depriving Neymar and Mbappe of any service.

And to add to their troubles they lost their discipline, exemplified by Gueye’s reckless late challenge on Gundogan which made a red card a formality.

Player of the match

De BruyneKevin De Bruyne

with an average of 8.15

Paris Saint Germain

  1. Squad number11Player nameDi María

  2. Squad number5Player nameMarquinhos

  3. Squad number10Player nameNeymar

  4. Squad number6Player nameVerratti

  5. Squad number7Player nameMbappé

  6. Squad number25Player nameBakker

  7. Squad number3Player nameKimpembe

  8. Squad number24Player nameFlorenzi

  9. Squad number8Player nameParedes

  10. Squad number1Player nameNavas

  11. Squad number15Player nameDanilo Pereira

  12. Squad number21Player nameHerrera

  13. Squad number27Player nameGueye

Manchester City

  1. Squad number17Player nameDe Bruyne

  2. Squad number26Player nameMahrez

  3. Squad number47Player nameFoden

  4. Squad number8Player nameGündogan

  5. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias

  6. Squad number2Player nameWalker

  7. Squad number5Player nameStones

  8. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva

  9. Squad number11Player nameZinchenko

  10. Squad number31Player nameEderson

  11. Squad number16Player nameRodri

  12. Squad number27Player nameJoão Cancelo

Line-ups

PSG

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Navas
  • 24Florenzi
  • 5Marquinhos
  • 3Kimpembe
  • 25Bakker
  • 27GueyeBooked at 77mins
  • 8ParedesBooked at 70minsSubstituted forHerreraat 83′minutes
  • 6Verratti
  • 11Di MaríaSubstituted forDaniloat 80′minutes
  • 7Mbappé
  • 10NeymarBooked at 74mins

Substitutes

  • 4Kehrer
  • 9Icardi
  • 12Rafinha
  • 15Danilo
  • 16Rico
  • 18Kean
  • 19Sarabia
  • 20Kurzawa
  • 21Herrera
  • 22Diallo
  • 23Draxler
  • 31Dagba

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 5Stones
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 27CanceloBooked at 31minsSubstituted forZinchenkoat 61′minutes
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 16Rodri
  • 8Gündogan
  • 26Mahrez
  • 17De BruyneBooked at 86mins
  • 47Foden

Substitutes

  • 6Aké
  • 7Sterling
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 10Agüero
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 14Laporte
  • 21Torres
  • 22Mendy
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 50García
  • 85Trafford

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Paris Saint Germain 1, Manchester City 2.

  2. Second Half ends, Paris Saint Germain 1, Manchester City 2.

  3. Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Ander Herrera.

  4. Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  5. Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).

  6. Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Foul by Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City).

  8. Ander Herrera (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Foul by Bernardo Silva (Manchester City).

  10. Ander Herrera (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Foul by Rodrigo (Manchester City).

  12. Ander Herrera (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Foul by Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City).

  14. Neymar (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Attempt saved. Phil Foden (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  16. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).

  18. Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Attempt missed. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  20. Substitution, Paris Saint Germain. Ander Herrera replaces Leandro Paredes.

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