Manchester Metropolis attain Champions League remaining after dwelling win over PSG
Manchester City reached the Champions League final for the first time in their history, beating Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 overall.
PSG thought they got off to a perfect start when referee Björn Kuipers pointed to the penalty spot after an alleged handball from Oleksandr Zinchenko. However, VAR stepped in and overturned the decision after replays showed the ball hit the Ukrainian’s shoulder.
Not long after that, the hosts took the lead that night and took the lead with two draws. Zinchenko found a brilliant pass from Ederson in the lower left, cutting it back for Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian’s shot was blocked but the ball fell perfectly for Riyad Mahrez, who shot through the legs of Keylor Navas.
The visitors were not put off by this and were only a few centimeters away from an immediate compensation. Marquinhos, who scored the first goal in the first leg, jumped on a flank but saw his header fall back off the crossbar.
Angel Di Maria also had the chance to pull one back after Ilkay Gundogan carelessly lost the ball in midfield. The former Manchester United man tried to catch Ederson from a distance but narrowly hit.
Both sides continued to threaten, with De Bruyne and Ander Herrera firing from outside the box. But neither side could improve the rating.
In the first half of the injury period, Man City came closer again. Navas played Mahrez at his near post for a second and the rebound fell on Bernardo Silva, whose deflected attempt just missed the far post.
PSG continued to press for an equalizer after half-time but couldn’t find a way past a strict Man City backline.
And in the 63rd minute, the Cityzens confirmed their place in the final with a nice counterattack. De Bruyne fed Phil Foden, whose low cross found an unmarked mahrez on the rear post. The Algerian typed in for his second of the night.
If the draw wasn’t over by then, it was certainly in the 69th minute when the away team was reduced to ten men. Di Maria resigned irritably in Fernandinho and received a red card.
Several PSG players have lost their heads in the past 20 minutes. Marco Verratti, Presnel Kimpembe and Danilo Pereira all got bookings and things could have been worse.
Foden almost put the icing on the cake for Man City twice, but was rejected both times. The Englishman saw his low shot on the outside of the long post and sent Navas off another attempt.
The game ended 2-0, which ensured that Pep Guardiola’s men won the draw 4-1 overall. You will face Chelsea or Real Madrid in the final.
Man of the Game – Ruben Dias
Dias has proven to be an incredible commitment for Man City
About half of the Man City team could have been selected for this award. Kyle Walker did an excellent job keeping Neymar calm, Fernandinho dominated things in midfield, De Bruyne was influential, Foden showed his incredible talent and Mahrez achieved the two crucial goals.
But Ruben Dias was once again enormous at the heart of the defense. The goal for the home team was to keep things solid behind the scenes, and that’s exactly what he did.
The Portuguese had an answer to whatever was thrown at him. He produced blocks, headers, clears, tackles – everything you would expect from your center-back on a big night.
The 23-year-old has already turned out to be a bargain and is quickly becoming one of the best central defenders in the world.
What’s next for PSG?
Pochettino’s future could be in doubt after this result
It may not seem obvious yet, but this could be a very damaging defeat for Les Parisiens.
First, the Champions League could have been Mauricio Pochettino’s best chance to save his job. He took over a team that has dominated domestically for the past decade and is unlikely to win the league title. He could still lift the Coupe de France, but that probably won’t satisfy the board.
Despite their national success, PSG still has something to win on the European stage. If Pochettino were the man who would finally bring the Champions League to Paris, that would likely be enough to keep him in check.
But, perhaps more importantly, it is possible that Neymar and Kylian Mbappe’s future depended on this competition.
The strikers are two of the best and most valuable players in the world. Both have been linked to the move from Les Parc des Princes in recent months. If they don’t get big awards it’s hard to see them stay here.
What will be more worrying for PSG is the fact that both Neymar and Mbappe will be out of contracts in 2022. You could choose to sell both this summer to avoid the risk of losing around $ 400 million worth of talent for free.
Also read: Premier League 2020/21: Final Four Games & Champions League Qualification