Manchester City beat Paris Saint Germain 2-0 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate to qualify for the Champions League final for the first time in the club’s history.
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A fabulous brace from Riyad Mahrez saw the Premier League leaders advance past Paris Saint-Germain by a 4-1 aggregate score, following a 2-0 win on Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester and give Pep Guardiola’s men their first ever shot at a UEFA Champions League title.
Both Man City and PSG made two changes coming into the game. For PSG it was a blow as they missed their star player Kylian Mbappe who was left on the bench due to a slight calf niggle and that meant Ander Herrera started alongside Paredes to replace the suspended Gueye. Pep brought in the experienced Fernandinho to replace Rodri in midfield and started Zinchenko at left-back who’s second-half contribution in the first leg was critical.
PSG knew what they had to do, so they kept pushing right from the first minute and were awarded a penalty in the seventh minute of the game only to be correctly ruled out by VAR…and things changed after that. The state of the pitch made it a little more difficult to string together quick passes but Ederson found the way to solve that with a long ball ahead to Oleksandr Zinchenko. A brilliant pass from Ederson from his penalty box found its way to Zinchenko’s feet, who crossed it to Kevin De Bruyne whose shot was blocked by Marquinhos. He did enough however to have it fall into Riyad Mahrez’s path and the Algerian drilled the ball across Navas to give City a 3-1 lead on aggregate. PSG tried to respond quickly but Marquinhos could only hit the woodwork after a delicious cross by Angel Di Maria.
The second half saw City dominate PSG and as a result, found their second goal which sealed the game. It was a classic Manchester City goal as they caught PSG on the counter-attack. After a brilliant run from Foden, the young Brit crossed the ball into the six-yard box which found Mahrez who was waiting at the far post to tuck the ball home and seal the tie. Just when we thought it couldn’t get worse for PSG, Angel Di Maria was sent off after a deliberate stamp on Fernandinho, a tackle that summed up PSG’s frustrating night as they could not find the target even once in the ninety minutes played at the Etihad Stadium.
City are on their way to Istanbul and to face domestic rivals Chelsea, in what would be the club’s most important match in its history.
[Image Credit: UEFA Champions League]