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  • May 18, 2021

Exclusive: ‘Outstanding’ Man City reach first ever Champions League final and make history with Paris Saint-Germain win as Di Maria ‘loses his head’

 Exclusive: ‘Outstanding’ Man City reach first ever Champions League final and make history with Paris Saint-Germain win as Di Maria ‘loses his head’


Man City reached the Champions League final for the first time in their history with a brilliant 4-1 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain.

Riyad Mahrez scored twice at the Etihad in the 2-0 win in a performance labelled ‘outstanding’ by ex-City star Trevor Sinclair.

Man City were brilliant as they beat PSG to reach the Champions League final

AFP

Man City were brilliant as they beat PSG to reach the Champions League final

Pep Guardiola’s side also made history with their seventh consecutive win in Europe, breaking the previous British record of six.

But City had an early scare when referee Bjorn Kuipers awarded PSG a penalty for handball against Oleksandr Zinchenko.

City protested and, with replays indicating the ball had brushed the Ukrainian’s shoulder rather than his arm, the official changed his decision after checking the pitchside monitor.

City took a firm grip on the tie as they broke clear to score after 11 minutes.

Ederson released Zinchenko with a wonderful long ball over the top and the full-back picked out De Bruyne.

Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring to put the tie beyond PSG

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Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring to put the tie beyond PSG

The Belgian’s shot was blocked but Riyad Mahrez followed up to tuck home the rebound.

“That is why I feel like Ederson is the best goalkeeper in the world,” ex-Man City winger Trevor Sinclair said on talkSPORT. “If you try and press Man City, he’s got the ability and accuracy to play 60 or 70 yards balls over the top.

“It was a superb ball. Great pull back by Zinchenko, it looked like he was going to put it in the box but he’s pulled it back to outside the 18-yard box.

“He’s picked out Kevin De Bruyne, he’s set himself, it has deflect and Mahrez has finished.”

Mahrez scored both goals for Man City at the Etihad

AFP

Mahrez scored both goals for Man City at the Etihad

PSG pushed to get back into the game and twice went close as Marquinhos headed against the bar and Angel Di Maria shot wide of an open goal after Bernardo Silva was dispossessed.

Both sides wanted to attack but it remained 1-0 at half-time. Mahrez had another good chance but Keylor Navas blocked his close-range effort.

PSG threw everything at City in the second half but the hosts defended superbly. Neymar burst into the area but Zinchenko produced a fine sliding challenge to deny the Brazilian and Ruben Dias blocked a volley from Ander Herrera.

City then snatched another vital goal as they caught PSG on the counter-attack. Phil Foden exchanged passes with De Bruyne and sent a low ball into the area for Mahrez to tuck in at the far post, making it 2-0 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate.

That seemed a killer blow for PSG, who then lost their discipline. Di Maria became the second PSG player to be sent off in the tie for stamping on Fernandinho as he went to retrieve the ball for a throw-in.

Angel Di Maria was sent off for stamping on Fernandinho

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Angel Di Maria was sent off for stamping on Fernandinho

“No discipline. He’s let his teammates down. He’s let his the football club down. He’s let the owners down,” Sinclair said on talkSPORT.

“I’m not sure what Pochettino is doing there, but before he stamped on his Di Maria put his hand up.

“He’s lost his head. He shouldn’t have done that and it’s been witnessed by everyone at the stadium. 

“It’s frustration. This is what Fernandinho does. He winds up opposition players and gets them at it.

“That’s exactly what he’s done and that’s why he’s in the team.”





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