I bet on PSG to win this match, as I thought they looked good in their quarter-final against Bayern, if a little fortunate at times, and City had just played in a cup final three days ago. At half-time, I was feeling pretty smug, as PSG were leading 1-0 on the back of a dominant 45 minutes. City looked off the pace, fatigued even – was Pep going to f-up another Champions League knockout match?
Not this time. Pep had a chance to show his quality in his half-time team talk, and that he did. City bossed the second half and might have won by more – I’d love to know what he said to his players in the dressing room, as they were all excellent after the break.
Special mentions go to Riyad Mahrez and Kyle Walker, who were both immense on the right flank. Mahrez scored the goal that put City ahead in the tie to cap a man-of-the-match display. (He was also excellent in the League Cup final against Spurs on Sunday – he’s proved himself to be not only worthy of the City shirt but also a big match player.)
3 – Kevin De Bruyne is the fourth different player to score in three consecutive UEFA Champions League matches against Paris SG, after Lionel Messi, Marcus Rashford (3 each) and Neymar (4). Intentional? #UCL pic.twitter.com/ZgkybY3Luj
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 28, 2021
Even by PSG’s standards, it was remarkable how they crumbled as the match wore on. Smiles were replaced with sulks. Niggling tackles crept in. Neymar turned into Bad Neymar. Idrissa Gueye saw red for a terrible tackle on Ilkay Gundogan – it was such a blatant red, the ref didn’t even wait for VAR, nor did Gueye protest it.
City should reach the final now. Two away goals and a lead is a hell of a cushion, although you can’t truly write off a team with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in it.
Man of the match: Riyad Mahrez (Man City)