PSG Last Half Time as Man City Come from Behind to Snatch UCL Win

Somebody suddenly turned off the light for Kylian Mbappé and co. at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night as Manchester City came from behind in the second half to snatch a precious 2-1 away win against PSG in the first leg of a stellar Champions League Semi Final. 

The Parisiens took the lead with Marquinhos on 15 minutes but succumbed to Pep Guardiola’s comeback after the restart as Kevin De Bruyne and Ryan Mahrez gave the Citizens a clear advantage as the two sides prepare to square off again in six days.

The match-up is potentially still open but with Manchester leading by one on aggregate and having a double away goal advantage, it would seem that PSG’s dream of conquering the Champions League is destined to remain again what it is – a dream.

Guardiola and his band, on the other hand, appear on the verge of booking a ticket to the last act of the Champions League for the first time in history. That was the verdict of the first battle between two of the most powerful – yet less successful internationally – clubs in the Old Continent. 

However, the beginning of the game was telling a different story. City mostly resorted to ball possession but their control didn’t result in any threat posed to Keylor Navas’ goal, while PSG were clinical and organized. From their very first chance, the French put themselves in the driving seat as Marquinhos headed the ball into the back of the net from an Angel Di Maria corner kick.

Manchester City were simply too bad to be true and indeed the trend changed after the restart. Guardiola’s side was more aggressive and started to show themselves around Navas’ area more often. Their two goals, however, came from two basic mistakes on the part of the French defense.

Kevin De Bruyne equalized for the visitors as a seemingly-harmless cross bounced into PSG’s box and caught everyone by surprise, including Navas who watched it trotting past the goal line without taking action.

The Costa Rican goalkeeper did even worse than that on 71 minutes, though he found little help from the wall he set up to block a Ryan Mahrez set piece. As the former Leicester man fired his free kick towards the goal, the wall opened up and let ball slide past it and into the back of the net as Navas vainly scrambled to stop it.

PSG’s chances to at least re-balance the game were shattered when Idrissa Gana Gueye recklessly tackled Ilkay Gundogan, planting his studs into the Turk’s shin. It was an overly dangerous challenge that could result in anything but a direct red card for the midfielder.

With a one-man advantage for the last 15 minutes, Guardiola and City had no problem in defending their one-goal lead, embellished by two away goals that will surely make their life easier in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium next Tuesday. 



April 28, 2021 – Champions League 2020-21 Semi Finals

SCORERS: 15′ Marquinhos (P), 64′ De Bruyne (M), 71′ Mahrez (M)

PARIS-ST. GERMAIN (4-4-3): Keylor Navas; Florenzi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Bakker; Gueye, Paredes (83′ Herrera), Verratti; Di Maria (80′ Pereira), Mbappé, Neymar (Rico, Dagba, Diallo, Kurzawa, Kehrer, Draxler, Rafinha, Sarabia, Icardi, Kean) Coach: Pochettino
MANCHESTER CITY (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Ruben Dias, Cancelo (61′ Zinchenko); Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Foden (Steffen, Trafford, B. Mendy, Laporte, Garcia, Aké, Fernandinho, Sterling, Ferran Torres, Aguero, Gabriel Jesus) Coach: Guardiola

REFEREE: Brych (Germany)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Paredes, Neymar (P), De Bruyne, Cancelo (M); Red Card: Gueye (P); Extra Time: First Half 0′, Second Half 5′