UEFA Champions League: Manchester City beat Paris Saint-Germain, take one step closer to final

Manchester City was boosted by Riyad Mahrez and Kevin de Bruyne as they beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final.

Kevin de Bruyne has scored 10 goals, including seven goals in the knockouts of the UEFA Champions League. (Image credit: UEFA Champions League Twitter)

Manchester City’s last European success was winning the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970. However, they are now one step closer to glory after beating Paris Saint Germain 2-1 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final. After Marquinhos helped Paris Saint Germain take the lead, Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez scored in the space of seven minutes. To compound matters for Paris Saint Germain, Idrissa Gueye was handed a red card after a tackle on Ilkay Gundogan.

For Paris Saint Germain, this loss continued their struggles in their home ground. In the earlier games, they had lost to Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. However, their performances against Barcelona and Bayern Munich away from home give Paris Saint Germain some hope. Manchester City, on the other hand, is in the semi-finals for the first time since 2016. In that edition, they had beaten Paris Saint-Germain but lost to Real Madrid.

PSG aggressive but Manchester City in control

In the first half, it was Paris Saint-Germain who were aggressive. Neymar, Angel di Maria and Gueye were all creating chances. The pressure that they created gave Paris Saint Germain the lead when Marquinhos headed in the goal, beating both di Maria and Gundogan. Marquinhos has now scored in both the quarterfinals and the semifinals of the tournament.

Despite the presence of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, it was Marquinhos who was doing the damage. Paris Saint Germain missed the chance to double their lead when Mbappe fed a low ball across to Marco Verrati but he missed it. However, Manchester City were slowly turning the tables. 

De Bruyne leads by example

In the 64th minute, Manchester City turned the tables on Paris Saint Germain when Kevin de Bruyne converted a corner to score a goal at the left edge of the goal. Things went pear shaped for Paris Saint Germain afterwards. Gueye received a yellow card with a foul on Phil Foden and that gave Manchester City a free-kick. Riyad Mahrez, born in Paris, hurt Paris Saint Germain with a curling kick that helped them take the lead.

Paris Saint Germain were reduced to 10-men when Gueye’s rough tackle on Gundogan earned him a second yellow card. Manchester City held on and they will be one step closer to breaking their UEFA Champions League hoodoo. Pep Guardiola’s side could very well seal the Premier League title and if they win the UEFA Champions League as well, this could very well be their season of glory.

Sportslumo Desk

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