Manchester City came from a goal down to beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 at the Parc De Princes tonight. The win gives them a big advantage going into the second leg next Tuesday. A goal from Marquinhos was cancelled out by Kevin De Bruyne and a Riyad Mahrez freekick.
Manchester City came into the game having lost an Fa Cup semi-final against Chelsea. This was followed up with a and Carabao Cup win against Spurs. City and Pep have been massive under achievers in the Champions League. Pep’s last win came in 2011, where his Barcelona side beat Manchester United in Wembley.
PSG having got to the final last year were looking to make amends by winning the competition. Manchester City arguably people’s favorites stood in their way.
First Half Manchester City get dominated
The home side dominated proceedings in the first half. The french side had the majority of possession and the higher tempo of the game. But it was from a set piece from which they scored their opener. On the 15th minute, a delightful corner from Di Maria found the PSG captain Marquinhos. He was able to head the ball into the far corner of the net.
PSG had calls for a penalty waved away when Neymar went down in the box after he and Ederson collided. Mahrez eased Neymar physical challenge. The ref was having none of it.
Phil Foden was found in acres of space 20 yards out. The English youngster could only smashes it at Navas, who palmed high and collected at the second attempt.
Second half Manchester City come alive
In the second half, Man City was much the better side. The English side had more control on the ball and pressing high on the PSG defenders. They got their just rewards after a short corner, substitute Oleksandr Zinchenko found Kevin De Bruyne. His cross managed to beat everyone in the PSG penalty area and into the back of the net.
City continued to pile on the pressure, and they would ultimately get their second away goal. Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick went straight through the PSG wall and into the net.
PSG lost a man following a horrific challenge from Gueye on Ilkay Gundogan with 10 minutes left to play.
Pep’s high pressing pays off
In the first half, City couldn’t lay a glove on PSG. City got caught out when they pressed high to win the ball back. Mbappe and Neymar were finding space in behind the City defence, it looked like the home side would dominate the game.
The second interval, it was a totally different ball game. The away side came out looking like the team we’ve known over the last few years. Although the goals were rather lucky, City would argue it was well deserved given their second half performance. They contained PSG to just the one goal, which is commendable.
Pep will be delighted with how his players were able to bounce back following a first half display in which his team were second fiddle. Their high pressing allowed them to get the ball and go on the attack, which led to their equaliser..
The Spaniard will hope his side can carry their momentum into the second leg and lead them to their first Champions League final in the clubs history
PSG lose their heads
Mauricio Pochettino’s thought will go toward into how his team managed to throw their one-goal lead away and lose control of the game.
His players went out well organised and did a great job of limiting City to only a couple of chances in the first half. However after City got their equalising goal, they were unable to gain back their momentum they had before, and started to committing more fouls in order to disrupt City of their attacks.
Poch will no doubt be asking questions of his players about the two goals. The first one not being dealt with by his defenders or goalkeeper, and with the second one managing to squeeze through the wall and past Navas in the PSG goal.
The home sides’ frustrations were summed up by Idrissa Gana Gueye’s terrible challenge on Gundugan’s right Achilles which reduced them down to 10 men and will subsequently be unavailable for the second leg in Manchester next Tuesday.
The Argentinian will try to ensure his players keep their nerve as they take on Man City in the return leg in what looks to be a tasty semi-final clash between two of the biggest heavyweights in football. With the winner playing either 13 time champions Real Madrid or 2012 champions Chelsea.