Paris Saint-Germain will have to do a feat in England. Yet ahead at the break, the capital club bowed on its lawn against Manchester City (1-2), this Wednesday, in the semi-final first leg of the Champions League.
From the first minutes, Manchester City set the tone by stepping on the ball to multiply the passes to make the Parisians run. But it was Paris SG, very calm and rigorous defensively, who got the best opportunities. And after two stops by Ederson on shots from Neymar, Marquinhos opened the scoring with a header on a corner shot by Di Maria (1-0, 15th)! A return that paid off for the Parisian captain who had not played since the quarter-final first leg against Bayern Munich.
Behind, Josep Guardiola’s men struggled to regain their game and chased the ball. The balance of power was clearly reversed after the opening of the scoring. Technically, PSG offered an almost perfect match and were not really worried. Only a bad recovery from Navas, saved by Paredes, gave the Paris area a boost. A few minutes before, the Argentine had almost doubled the bet on a new corner. Before the break, City still gave themselves a great opportunity on a strike rejected by Navas. But Paris returned to the locker room at the break with the feeling of work accomplished.
The second half was much more difficult for Mauricio Pochettino’s players. Paris stalled physically and Manchester City regained their usual possession of the ball. Over the minutes, the pressure increased in front of the Mancunian area and De Bruyne sent a big thrill on an attempt to return to the area, without finding the frame. And by dint of suffering, the Parisians cracked on a goal full of success from the Belgian, whose center was not touched by anyone and deceived Navas (1-1, 64th).
Manchester City then turned the ball around to exhaust the PSG players a little more. The latter lacked lucidity and conceded a new goal on a free kick from Mahrez at the entrance to the area. Like the wall dislocated on this goal, nothing succeeded in Paris in this second act … which ended the meeting at ten after the direct expulsion of Gueye in the 77th minute for a very dangerous tackle on Gündogan’s leg. At ten, Paris let slip its hopes of returning to the score.