Mahrez double strike power Man City to historic final
UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg
Manchester City 2 Paris St Germain 0 (Manchester City win by an aggregate of 4-1)
Goals: Riyad Mahrez 11m, 63m
Double strikes from Riyad Mahrez in a second-leg tie at the Etihad stadium sent Manchester City storming into the Champions League finals for the first time in their history. Playing on an Etihad ground, Manchester, covered with light unseasonal snow, Pep Guardiola’s men put up a clinical display to beat last year’s runners-up Paris St Germain 2-0 and go through 4-2 on aggregate.
Playing without their star player Kylian Mbappe, the Parisiennes lacked the finishing required to get goals. Despite the odds Mauricio Pochettino’s men started well and thought they had earned an early goal but their appeals for a penalty were turned down as the ball was seen to be clipping City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko’s shoulder after a pitchside monitor check by the referee.
The 11th minute saw City go ahead when Zinchenko raced down the left flank and crossed back from the line to a waiting Kevin de Bruyne whose goalbound shot was blocked but the rebound was met by Mahrez who finished brilliantly past goalkeeper Keyor Navas from an acute angle. The two best chances after that fell to PSG when Angel Di Maria fired wide off an open goal after a Bernardo Silva bungle and Marquinhos’ header hit the crossbar from close-range.
City came on strong post the interval with Phil Foden coming close to scoring twice before he delivered a superlative cross for Mahrez to swoop in finish to the top corner of the net to double his side’s advantage for the night. Down 1-4 and in a hopeless situation, PSG’s frustration boiled over as Di Maria was sent off for a needless kick out on Fernandinho in the 69th minute.
PSG threw everything at their hosts in the latter stages but gradually gave up hopes as the City defense led by Ruben Dias & co. held on dourly to record a memorable win.
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