CL semi-final success against Paris: Man City celebrates despite di Maria’s ugly kick

CL semi-final success against Paris
Man City celebrates despite di Maria’s ugly kick

Since leaving FC Barcelona, ​​Pep Guardiola has not led a team to the Champions League final. He succeeds with Manchester City, last year’s finalist Paris St. Germain finds no means for long stretches. Instead, a frustrated PSG pro chooses the brutal route.

Manchester City and İlkay Gündoğan reach for the handle pot. The designated English football champions disenchanted the star ensemble of Paris St. Germain in the semi-final second leg of the Champions League with 2-0 (1-0) and will be in the final for Europe’s crown on May 29 in Istanbul for the first time. Manchester had already won the first leg at last year’s finalists and Bayern conquerors 2-1. A long wait ends for city star coach Pep Guardiola.

Manchester City – Paris St. Germain 2: 0 (1: 0)

Manchester: Ederson – Walker, Stones, Dias, Sintschenko – Fernandinho – Bernardo Silva (82nd Sterling), Gündogan – De Bruyne (82nd Jesus) – Mahrez, Foden (85th Aguero). – Trainer: Guardiola
Paris: Navas – Florenzi (75th Dagba), Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Diallo (82nd Bakker) – Herrera (62nd Draxler), Verratti, Paredes (75th Danilo) – Di Maria, Icardi (62nd Kean), Neymar. – Trainer: Pochettino
Referee: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)
Gates: 1-0 Mahrez (11th), 2-0 Mahrez (63rd)
Spectator: no
Yellow card: De Bruyne (2), Sintschenko – Herrera (3), Verratti (3), Kimpembe, Danilo (2)
Red card: Di Maria (Paris) for unsportsmanlike conduct (69th)

Riyad Mahrez (11th, 63rd) eliminated all doubts with his double pack – and thus also calmed the nerves of the meticulous Guardiola, who had failed in his eight attempts with FC Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich and since 2017 with City at the latest in the semifinals. PSG attacker Angel Di Maria saw the red card (69th) because of a lack of self-control when everything was already over. Manchester’s opponent in the most important game in the club’s history will be determined on Wednesday between Chelsea FC and Real Madrid (first leg 1-1).

Before kick-off it had rained heavily, and the lawn at the Etihad Stadium was marked by the onset of winter in May, especially in the early stages. Paris, who had laid the foundations for advancement in the quarter-finals against defending champions FC Munich with a 3-2 away win, tackled the difficult task with determination.

In the seventh minute, referee Björn Kuipers awarded a penalty to the guests, where world champion Kylian Mbappe was sitting on the bench due to calf problems. The video images refuted the Dutchman, however, City’s left-back Alexander Zintschenko had touched the ball with his shoulder. Manchester struck brutally on the other side just four minutes later. Goalkeeper Ederson opened a counterattack with a perfect blow to the advanced Zinchenko. The Ukrainian found former Bundesliga star Kevin De Bruyne in the middle. The Belgian shot was deflected and landed at Mahrez, who completed from an acute angle.

Neymar cannot find a place for his runs

PSG did not give up, however, and now had their best phase. The advancing defense chief Marquinhos failed with a header on the crossbar (17th), shortly afterwards Di Maria narrowly missed the hosts’ goal after a build-up error.

City had sorted itself out again in the middle of the first half and made life difficult for the French champions, as PSG internationals Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer had to watch from the reserve bench. Paris superstar Neymar, for example, who had chosen martial words in advance, hardly found space for his dreaded steps, the event sometimes resembled a handball game.

Guardiola, who has already celebrated 30 titles as a coach but “only” won the premier class with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011, saw Mahrez’s next good chance for his team in the third minute of stoppage time.

After changing sides, the rain had removed the last visible traces of winter. City with the prudent ball distributor Gündoğan, who lost the final against FC Bayern 1: 2 with Borussia Dortmund in 2013, managed the game and kept putting pinpricks. After a perfect counterattack, Mahrez was spot on again and had an easy game.

Then the game was decided, Paris attracted increasing attention with rough to over-hard boarding. The low point was caused by di Maria, who freaked out against Fernandinho in what was actually a harmless situation – the ball was out of touch – and kicked the Brazilian in the city service as suddenly and unnecessarily with full intent in the shin. And so he had really earned his dismissal.