Mistreated in the first period, Manchester City nevertheless won on the ground of PSG this Wednesday evening, in the semi-final first leg of the Champions League (2-1, on RMC Sport), thanks to a good second half. And a remobilizing speech by Pep Guardiola at the break.
A lot can and should happen when he returns to England next week, but Manchester City took an option for the next round on Wednesday by winning on PSG in the semi-final first leg of Champions League (2-1).
Dominated in the first period, and also led after a goal from Marquinhos, the Skyblues showed a whole different face in the second act, and scored twice through Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez.
“We started well the first few minutes, but after we conceded the goal, reacted Pep Guardiola at the microphone of RMC Sport. We did not play in the necessary way in this competition in the first period, with relaxation. But it’s not easy against PSG, as soon as you lose the ball Neymar, Di Maria, or Mbappé can start. We were more aggressive then, better with the ball, we were able to move the game and we come back to Manchester with a good result. “
“If we lose, we lose, but we have to try, we have to be ourselves”
At half-time, Guardiola made no change, neither player nor system. But he knew how to find the words to re-mobilize the troops. “We didn’t change much at the break, admits the Catalan. We just said to the guys, ‘Play soccer. Show your personality, and play. If we lose, we lose, but we have to try, we have to be ourselves. ‘ “
It worked, because Paris didn’t see the light of day afterwards. “They wanted to do it, but they weren’t able to do it because we were more aggressive, the citizen coach is satisfied. When you let Verratti, Marquinhos or Paredes find Neymar it’s harder, but in the second half we didn’t let them breathe. “
This is probably what will have to be done at the Etihad Stadium to validate this good result. “Maybe they will innovate,” Guardiola says. But you know, we want to play with our personality to reach the final. “