Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City went to war last night in an absolutely fascinating battle of the billionaires. The two sides went back and forth and shared some incredible moments in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final, but in the end, it was Manchester City who were able to come away with a huge 2-1 win.
PSG were all over City in that first half and, in many ways, they were lucky not to be further behind by the time the half time whistle blew. Whatever Pep Guardiola said in the dressing room seemed to work because in the second half, there was an increased intensity behind what they were trying to do. They pushed the French champions back, they looked confident, and most importantly they weren’t scared about anything the hosts could offer them.
The PSG collapse
Mauricio Pochettino is still an elite-level manager but he seriously needs to take a look at what happened here. From Neymar to Mbappe and beyond, PSG just seemed to crumble and it was a pretty disheartening moment for those fans who would’ve felt as if they had one foot in the final after the first half. They were scrambling in a bad way and even though everything is still on the table in the second leg, we know they need to score at least twice if they’re going to have any chance of overcoming this deficit and proving themselves in the final.
Pep’s big moment?
As per 888sport, Manchester City are priced as the 4/6 favourites to win the Champions League this season – which makes a lot of sense given how this game went. Plus, with Chelsea securing a vital away goal in their own first leg game against Real Madrid, another all-English final could so easily be on the cards. That, in itself, is a pretty exciting prospect for a man like Pep Guardiola who knows this would likely be the greatest accomplishment of his career thus far. He’s so close to the trophy that he can taste it, and we’re fascinated to see if he can get this team over the finish line.
PSG: Navas (6), Bakker (6), Kimpembe (6), Marquinhos (7), Florenzi (6), Paredes (6), Gueye (4.5), Verratti (6.5), Neymar (6.5), Di Maria (8), Mbappe (6.5), Herrera (6.5), Pereira (6)
Manchester City: Ederson (7), Walker (6.5), Stones (6.5), Dias (6.5), Cancelo (6.5), Silva (7), Rodrigo (6.5), Gundogan (7), Mahrez (8.5), De Bruyne (7), Foden (7.5), Zinchenko (7)
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych
Goals: Marquinhos :: De Bruyne, Mahrez
Yellow Cards: Paredes, Neymar, De Bruyne, Cancelo
Red Cards: Gueye
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