Riyad Mahrez is the second player after Sadio Mane in 2017 to 18 to have scored a goal in both legs of a Champions League semi-final for an English club
Manchester City reached their first Champions League final when they defeated Paris St-Germain at the Etihad Stadium and secured a two-leg win.
In a game played in unusual snow, the brilliant Riyad Mahrez took a 2-1 lead from the first leg in Paris with a 60-yard pass from goalkeeper Ederson.
PSG suffered a severe blow before kick-off when world-class striker Kylian Mbappe was confined to the bench with an injury. They didn’t lack effort or intent, but with Neymar subdued and City tossing corpses on the line for defense, Mauricio Pochettino’s side couldn’t find a way.
Mahrez punished her again just past the hour when he gave Phil Foden’s cross to the far post to effectively end the competition.
PSG, as they did when Idrissa Gueye was sent off late in the first leg, lost discipline and Angel di Maria was shown a red card for a pointless stamp on Fernandinho after a touchline tangle.
The city was in full control and avoided further mishaps preparing for the Champions League final that they and manager Pep Guardiola longed for against Chelsea or Real Madrid on May 29 in Istanbul.
Man City very close to the great price
The celebrations as Manchester City scored and at the final whistle highlighted the importance of what these players and Guardiola have achieved.
Guardiola and City have consistently won national titles and his third Premier League title is a formality that could be confirmed with the win over Chelsea here on Saturday.
However, this tournament was the only code that an outstanding team couldn’t crack, with bad luck stories and crucial slip-ups if the pressure continued, e.g. B. if they lost 3-1 to Lyon. from last season’s quarter-finals.
The city has shown great maturity and development this season. She has kept her nerve as she has been under pressure against Borussia Dortmund for the past eight years and weathered a PSG surge six days ago in Paris to recover for a stellar win.
Here, early nerves were calmed by Mahrez’s goal and all subsequent PSG threats were fought off with resilience and desperately defended if necessary to ensure the leadership they had worked so hard to build was well protected.
The Champions League has always been seen as confirmation that Manchester City were a European superpower – now this high-class team will have the opportunity to confirm that status in Istanbul.
Guardiola has heroes everywhere
City’s success is based on a squad performance, as evidenced by the way those who missed the starting grid like Rodri, Aymeric Laporte, Joao Cancelo and Raheem Sterling provided vocal support and encouragement from the sidelines.
Inevitably, however, there were outstanding performers, and the list included the winner Mahrez, the precocious Foden and the often unsung defender Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Mahrez took the time to settle down in the city in the early days of his career, but he’s now a key component in Guardiola’s lineup, a creator and scorer of major goals like the two here. He has scored four goals in eight Champions League starts this season, including in both legs of this semi-final.
The first goal was the classic Manchester City, started with a remarkable vision by Ederson and emphatically finished by Mahrez.
The Algerian was a major threat all night tormenting PSG and Foden wasn’t far behind as he is gaining stature with every game. He has strength, vision on the ball and an end product that offers perfect delivery for the second goal.
Zinchenko got the nod to Cancelo and put in a superb performance, future threat and prime defense, with a crucial block from Neymar in the second half.
This was mostly a team effort and Manchester City deserved their place in the Champions League final.
Another English team in the final – the statistics
- Manchester City are the ninth English team to reach the European Cup / Champions League final. three more than any other nation (Germany and Italy – six sides).
- City manager Pep Guardiola finished four consecutive eliminations in the semi-finals of the Champions League and reached the final with Barcelona for the first time since 2010/11.
- City have won the last seven Champions League games, the longest win by an English team in European Cup / Champions League history. In fact, City are also the first English team to win 11 games in a single European Cup / Champions League campaign.
- Mauricio Pochettino has lost more games against Pep Guardiola than against any other manager in his managerial career (12). Guardiola’s total of 12 wins against Pochettino is his most joint wins against a single manager in his career as a top manager (on par with Manuel Pellegrini and Sean Dyche).
- After Deportivo against Porto in 2003/04 and Lyon against Bayern Munich in 2009/10, PSG are the third team to receive a red card in both games of a Champions League semi-final.
- Phil Foden is the sixth Premier League player to have double-digit goals (14) and assists (10) in all competitions this season and the only player in Manchester City to have done so this season.
More will follow.
Player of the game
Rúben DiasRúben Dias
Paris St. Germain
2Walking aid5Stones3Rúben Dias11Zinchenko
17thDe Bruyne20thBernardo Silva
- 2Walking aid
- 3Rúben Dias
- 11ZinchenkoBooked at 71 minutes
- 47FodenReplaced byomenat the 85 ‘protocol
- 17thDe BruyneBooked at 74 minutesReplaced byGabriel Jesusat the 82 ‘protocol
- 20thBernardo SilvaReplaced bysterlingat the 82 ‘protocol
- 9Gabriel Jesus
- 24FlorenceiReplaced byTo growat the 75 ‘protocol
- 3KimpembeBooked at 87 minutes
- 22ndDialloReplaced byBakkerat the 82 ‘protocol
- 21HerreraBooked at 22 minutesReplaced byDraxlerat the 62 ‘protocol
- 8thwallsReplaced byDaniloat the 75 ‘protocolBooked at 89 minutes
- 6thVerrattiBooked at 71 minutes
- 11Tell maryBooked at 69 minutes
- 9IcardiReplaced byKeanat the 62 ‘protocol
- 31To grow
End of the game, Manchester City 2, Paris Saint Germain 0.
The second half ends, Manchester City 2, Paris Saint Germain 0.
Missed attempt. The right-footed shot by Neymar (Paris Saint Germain) from outside the box is too high after a direct free kick.
Neymar (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).
Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint Germain) receives the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint Germain).
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Marquinhos (Paris Saint Germain) right footed shot from the center of the box is blocked. Prepared by Neymar.
Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint Germain) receives the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint Germain).
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Manchester City. Sergio Agüero replaces Phil Foden.
Foul by Neymar (Paris Saint Germain).
Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner of Manchester City. The corner was caused by Keylor Navas.
Substitution, Paris Saint Germain. Mitchel Bakker is replacing Abdou Diallo.
Substitution, Manchester City. Raheem Sterling replaces Bernardo Silva.
Substitution, Manchester City. Gabriel Jesus replaces Kevin De Bruyne.
Corner of Manchester City. The corner was caused by Presnel Kimpembe.