Breaking News :

Man City rallies, scores first-leg UCL win at PSG

Manchester City took a big step towards their first Champions League final as goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez earned them a 2-1 comeback victory at Paris Saint-Germain in the semifinal first leg on Wednesday.

PSG went ahead courtesy of a Marquinhos header in the first half, but Mauricio Pochettino’s side lost control after the break with De Bruyne and Mahrez finding the back of the net in the space of eight minutes to secure City’s 18th consecutive away victory in all competitions.

Last year’s runners-up PSG then found themselves down to 10 men as midfielder Idrissa Gueye picked up a straight red card in the 77th minute for a reckless challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

“The second half was much better; the way the first goal went in was a little bit lucky, but we played great football in the second half, we did well,” De Bruyne said.

Next Tuesday, Man City will need to show the same away form that enabled them to defeat Barcelona at Camp Nou and Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in previous rounds if they are to progress.

“At half-time, I told the players we needed to be ourselves. We needed to be more aggressive, and we didn’t let them breathe after the break,” City manager Pep Guardiola said.

Guardiola added: “I told them ‘I understand you guys, I was a player myself. If you lose you lose but you have to try to play our game. What is our identity as a team without the ball and with the ball’?”

Pochettino agreed the visitors were the better team after the interval.

“The key was that we didn’t show the same energy with the ball than in the first half,” Pochettino said after the match.

“But we are confident that we can turn this around and approach the second leg the same way. The first half showed that we were right in our approach of the game.

“We just have to keep the same intensity with the ball. That’s what we have to improve.”

Marquinhos stated that PSG needed more composure.

“Sometimes you have to be strategic and intelligent. We conceded two really stupid goals. These are details that will count,” he said.

“Above all, we need to have personality. We have to have the mentality to win, to do whatever it takes to get through. We are very close, it’s not the time to have doubts.”

City dominated the early possession, but PSG were the more dangerous side with Neymar testing City goalkeeper Ederson twice.

Marquinhos, returning to the team from an injury suffered in the quarterfinal first leg versus Bayern Munich, put the hosts in front when he headed home Angel Di Maria’s whipped corner in the 15th minute.

City, overly cautious for fear of being punished on the break, were again exposed on a set piece when Leandro Paredes headed Neymar’s corner just wide.

Guardiola’s City side lacked their usual composure, with Joao Cancelo picking up a yellow card for a challenge on Kylian Mbappe.

City’s first real opportunity came in the 42nd minute when Phil Foden, played infield by Silva, shot too close to PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

The visitors were more attack-minded in the second half, and they equalized after 64 minutes when De Bruyne — from a corner by Oleksandr Zinchenko, who had just replaced Cancelo — sent in a cross and Navas failed to react as it curled into the far corner of the net.

Navas was defeated again seven minutes later when Mahrez’s free kick flew through an inadequate PSG wall.

Gueye’s dismissal for a wild tackle on Gundogan made City’s task easier, and they will take a big advantage into the second leg in Manchester.

Read Previous

Canadian Olympic swimming trials pushed back to June, may move from Toronto

Read Next

Suns beat Clippers, clinch first playoff spot in 11 years

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *