Man City beat PSG 2-0 to reach Champions League final; Mahrez scores a brace
City outclassed PSG in a thrilling second leg of the semifinal to go through to their first Champions League final
May 05, 2021 / 02:42 AM IST
BLOCK. COUNTER-ATTACK. GOAL! That sums up the match as City beat PSG 2-0 on the night (4-1 on aggregate) to go through to their first Champions League final. It was night when everything went wrong for PSG. They were outclassed by a very composed City side. PSG missed the services of Mbappe who was side-lined after he picked up a calf injury. Riyad Mahrez scored two goals to take Manchester City to their first European final in fifty years. Both teams put on an exhibition of class, but City defended with vigor and precision and their counterattacks threw the PSG defense off their guard. Neymar tried to lift the spirits of his fellow teammates, but he could only watch on as City managed to block every shot that PSG threw their way. Manchester City will now face either Chelsea or Real Madrid in the final.
It was a subdued start from the Citizens in the first 10 minutes. Their passes were heavy, and it was capitalised on by PSG as they attacked with menace. It was a nervous 10 minutes as the Parisians kept attacking the final third. Diallo’s cross in the 7th minute saw PSG awarded a penalty for a possible ball handling by Zinchenko, but it was overturned as replays showed that the ball had touched his shoulder. Eleven minutes in, a brilliant ball from Ederson sent Zinchenko off along the left flank. He cut back to De Bruyne who took a shot that was blocked on to the path of Mahrez. He fired a shot through the legs of an advancing Navas to put City in the lead on the night.
Both sides kept attacking each other’s defense but were unable to find a breakthrough. PSG showed promise when attacking but were unable to put away a single chance in the first half. Each time a PSG player took a shot, it was met with a blockade of City defenders. PSG sorely missed the services of Mbappe, and their attacked lacked the sting. Neymar’s advances were snuffed out by an alert City backline and Di Maria lacked the zing to make the difference in the first half.
Both sides were out of the block soon as the second half kicked off. It was end to end stuff at the Etihad as both teams attacked with menace. Neymar was once again in the thick of things, running at the City backline with serious pace. But his shots were once again blocked by City defenders. But PSG’s all out attack meant they were exposed at the back and this was ruthlessly exploited by City in the 63rd minute as Foden sent an inch-perfect cross across the face of the goal to Mahrez, who netted in his second goal of the night.
It was all downhill for PSG after that. Frustrations started to boil over for PSG players as Di Maria was sent off for kicking out at Fernandinho. Barely a minute later, Verratti was shown a Yellow for his challenge on Foden. Whatever composure PSG were able to muster, was completely undone by some excellent defending by the Citizens which frustrated the Parisians more and more as the game progressed.
The Pep Guardiola-led side are through to their first Champions League Final and their first European Final in fifty years. It is also Pep Guardiola’s first Champions League final since 2011. City will now face the victor of of the matchup between Chelsea and Real Madrid.