Some post-match managerial chit-chat coming up, but in the meantime, David Hytner’s report has landed. Be about your business!
Riyad Mahrez speaks to BT! “It was a very good game. We didn’t start good again. We didn’t have a very good first half but we scored the goal. In the second half we played very good and could have scored more. They lost their nerves and started kicking us. After the red card it was more comfortable for us. We were good in the counter, and that’s how the two goals were. It is something we work on all the time, and today it worked good. Everyone had to contribute defensively, and that’s what we did. We didn’t concede much, and now we’re in the final. We have a game on Saturday we have to win to be champions, and then we can concentrate on the final. Ah, finally!”
On May 29, Manchester City will face either Chelsea or Real Madrid in the 2021 Champions League final! Oleksandr Zinchenko is close to tears, though everyone else remains reasonably calm, the enormity of what they’ve achieved perhaps yet to sink in. Or perhaps they’re just tired. Ah hold on, here’s the birthday boy Fernandinho, 36 years young today, smiling widely. He was immense this evening, one of many City heroes. Phil Foden, Ruben Dias and the two-goal Riyad Mahrez are also worthy of citation. Pep congratulates his men … as does his opposite number Poch, with the good grace that some of his charges lacked towards the end of the game.
FULL TIME: Manchester City 2-0 PSG (agg 4-1)
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Fernandinho, happy birthday to you!
90 min +2: Neymar aims for the top right, but the free kick is nowhere near. Not his night, huh.
90 min +1: Neymar is bundled over, 25 yards out. Chance for a consolation.
89 min: PSG are a pitiful rabble now. Danilo attacks Jesus from behind, his studs catching the striker’s knee. PSG should be down to eight, and Walker standing on Neymar’s foot earlier in the move offers no mitigation.
87 min: Kimpembe is booked for one of Zach Neeley’s 1970s scythes on Jesus. He really should be walking, but Jesus did him a favour by jumping out of the way and not complaining too much. Just a yellow, which is preposterous really. Had Jesus’ leg been planted, that could have been very ugly.
86 min: Sterling nearly zips clear down the middle, but loses his footing. He somehow manages to keep chasing the ball for a good 20 yards before the inevitable happens and he falls over. Some good slapstick styling there.
85 min: The astonishing Foden is replaced by the equally amazing Aguero.
84 min: A couple of City corners. Nothing happens, but no matter. This has long been over. “In the old days, a leg breaker might be coming from PSG,” notes Zach Neeley, not inaccurately. “There are some upsides to the modern mercenary game.”
82 min: The only worry for City now is whether anyone foolishly gets themselves suspended for the final. With this in mind, Guardiola hooks De Bruyne, on a yellow, and Silva. On come Sterling and Jesus. PSG meanwhile switch Diallo for Bakker.
81 min: With nine minutes remaining, City have one foot and four toes in the Istanbul final. On the touchline, Pep is still gesticulating like a man attempting to bring six planes in to land at once. Of course his is.
80 min: Foden has yet another go from distance. Navas denies him. The young man has done everything but score. Maybe he’s saving the fairytale for the final.
79 min: PSG have actually had more attempts in this match, 12 to 11. Only problem is, none of them have been on target. City have had four.
77 min: Foden spins into space down the left before gazzaing his way down the flank and pearling a low diagonal shot off the base of the right-hand post. Exclusive breaking news: this kid is quite the talent.
76 min: PSG replace Florenzi and Paredes with Danilo and Dagba, then nearly put the tin lid on everything as Navas just escapes De Bruyne’s press while playing out from the back. Once again, this has been a quite spectacular unravelling by the Parisians.
74 min: Mahrez sails in from the right and nearly completes a hat-trick with a curl into the bottom left. Blocked. The loose ball is shuttled away by Paredes, who is blocked by De Bruyne. The City man goes in the book, though remember, despite having been yellow-carded in the first leg, he won’t miss the final, as you need to accumulate three yellows to earn a suspension.
72 min: Zinchenko eventually calms down. Verratti not so much, as he flies into another stupid challenge. PSG have totally misplaced the collective noggin. They’ll do well to end the match with ten men.
71 min: Verratti clatters into the back of Foden, the head gone. Just a yellow. Zinchenko loses the plot completely as Paredes flicks the ball off the prone Foden’s head. Verratti is booked, and so is Zinchenko, who also cops a bollocking off his captain Fernandinho. The old boy doesn’t want to see his team-mate talk himself out of the final.
RED CARD: Di Maria (PSG)
69 min: It was always bound to happen. Di Maria and Fernandinho tussle over a throw. Fernandinho cheekily nudges the ball away. Di Maria flashes a kick at the Brazilian, clipping him. The referee has no option. Fernandinho perhaps went over easily, but he’s played his opponent there. So stupid from Di Maria.
68 min: PSG win a corner down the left. Di Maria takes. Who’s there to clear? Dias, naturally. This is getting old!
66 min: Draxler drives down the inside-right channel before reaching the box and creaming a shot goalwards. Dias flings himself in the road. Another heroic block. What a defender.
64 min: PSG now need three goals in 26 minutes. Not impossible, but it’d be peak old-school City if they somehow make it. And they’re not playing peak old-school City. The Champions League final is with touching distance now!
GOAL! Manchester City 2-0 PSG (Mahrez 63); agg 4-1
… City break quickly, Foden and De Bruyne one-twoing down the left. Foden into space. He rolls crisply across the face of goal. Mahrez, coming in from the right, roofs home fro six yards. Simple as that, but so lethal. Istanbul ahoy!
62 min: PSG make their big move, swapping Herrera and Icardi for Kean and Draxler. But it could all be in vain, because …
61 min: So having said that, PSG finally cause some bother in the final third. Di Maria crosses from the right; Stones hoicks clear as Icardi was shaping to shoot from six yards. Di Maria’s cross is then half-cleared, falling to Herrera, whose scissor volley is taken full in the face by the brave Dias. What fine last-gasp defending!
60 min: PSG have enjoyed nearly 60 percent possession in this second half … but as yet, Ederson has had nothing to do. City are doing a proper number on the French champions right now.
59 min: Mahrez hands off Herrera. Free kick, though the PSG midfielder holds his mouth before gesticulating towards the referee, who isn’t much interested. The visitors getting a little frustrated, as they struggle to bust out of the City press, which is forcing them deep.
57 min: There’s a heightened atmosphere now. PSG are beginning to throw more bodies forward as the clock ticks on, leaving City opportunities on the break.
55 min: Neymar embarks on a George Best style diagonal dribble, left to right. He nearly works enough space for a shot … only for his effort to be blocked brilliantly by Zinchenko, who then celebrates with Dias like he’s just scored a last-minute winner in the final! If you didn’t already know how important this is to City, you’ll be aware now.
54 min: De Bruyne releases Foden down the inside-left channel with a peach of a pass. Foden is clear … but his eventual shot is smothered by Navas. The flag goes up anyway, but City come again, Foden having another whack from distance. Navas parries this one well, too.
52 min: Neymar slips a pass down the left for Verratti, who earns a corner off Walker. Di Maria takes. Fernandinho heads out for an action replay. Di Maria takes again … and the referee spots some Parisian shoving in the middle, blowing up for a City free kick. Mind you, Dias shoved Paredes in the back there, taking quite a risk because you’ve seen penalties given for less.
51 min: It’s all a bit slow right now, which suits City perfectly. Time is already conspiring against PSG.
49 min: Verratti dribbles neatly down the left before slipping the ball inside for Di Maria, whose shot is calmly blocked by Stones.
46 min: The groundstaff have cleared most of the snow from the pitch. There are still patches, but the pitch no longer looks like a cheap Christmas card. City are quickly on the front foot, but De Bruyne’s effort squirts through to Navas, who claims easily enough.
City get the second half underway. No changes … so that means no Mbappe. Yet. City are so close to the final of the Champions League at long, long, long last. PSG need … well, not a miracle, but they’ve got quite a job on here. “Like a Pochettino-coached team is going to score three times in the second half of a Champions League match away from home,” tuts James Maslen.
Half-time postbag. “No matter who scores the next goal, it’s going to be interesting. If PSG score, game on. If City score, let the PSG full-on meltdown begin” – Rob Coughlin
“I love how Ruben Dias has added a swagger to City’s defending nowadays, even in a semi-final, as exemplified by that sliding headed block of the cross. What a stud” – Nas Iqbal
“PSG doesn’t seem to have a sense of urgency. They need to score three goals, not the other way around” – Arnav Salu
“Why would the Arsenal board want to play against these teams every week? Make it make sense!” – Nelson Chiwara
HALF TIME: Manchester City 1-0 PSG (agg 3-1)
… that’s the end of the first half. Wow, that flew by. PSG have played more of the football, on balance, but have achieved nothing in the final third. City by contrast have looked solid and calm at the back, and occasionally dangerous up front, with Riyad Mahrez scoring that precious, nerve-settling goal. Manchester City are 45 minutes away from their first-ever European Cup / Champions League final! PSG need two goals to take the tie into extra time.
45 min +3: Mahrez has another crack from the spot where he scored the goal. It’s blocked. Silva latches onto the rebound and tries a curler towards the top left. That’s deflected out for a corner. One corner leads to another, and …
45 min +1: Marquinhos should clear a long ball down the City left, but allows De Bruyne to nick the ball away. Fortunately for the visitors, he recovers the situation just in time, before De Bruyne can skitter free.
45 min: PSG continue to hog the ball, but City’s shape is solid and there’s no way through. There will be three added first-half minutes.
43 min: Di Maria feeds Neymar, 20 yards out. His shot is blocked. The ball breaks right to Paredes, whose low drive into the six-yard box is spectacularly blocked and headed out for a corner by Dias. For a split second there, a PSG tap-in looked the most likely outcome. What a block! Nothing comes of the corner.
41 min: A little bit of space down the left for Foden. He feeds Mahrez, who attempts a snapshot from a tight angle. The ball breaks up into the air, allowing Navas to claim.
39 min: Silva clips the ankle of Neymar, and is slightly fortunate not to go in the referee’s notebook. Neymar isn’t impressed and briefly goes nose to nose with the City midfielder. The ref places himself in between the pair, and everyone calms down quickly enough. But there remains a sense that PSG are combustable, and it might not take too much more for everything to spark, if things don’t start going their way soon.
37 min: A free kick for City out on the right. Everyone lines up on the edge of the Paris box. De Bruyne’s delivery is uncharacteristically poor, failing to beat first man Diallo, and the danger is cleared. “Am finding almost nothing to latch onto here in terms of drama or tension,” writes the jaded Ian Copestake, who may not find too many City fans in agreement. “Am not even feeling any spiteful pleasure at watching millionaires forced to play out in the May snow.”
36 min: Di Maria and Diallo cause a few problems down the left, and the ball breaks to Herrera, who creams a first-time shot towards the top-left corner from the edge of the box. Just wide; just over. A fine effort, though Ederson almost certainly had it covered.
35 min: It’s PSG’s turn to ping it around in a sterile fashion. City’s press keeps them on their toes, and they go nowhere in particular.
33 min: Some room for Di Maria down the middle. He’s got Neymar and Icardi to his left, but hesitates, allowing City’s defence to funnel back and get into position. Eventually a high ball’s flung into a crowded box and easily claimed by Ederson.
31 min: De Bruyne has a look from distance. Nope, though Navas scrambles after it in the manner of someone who knows another City goal would almost certainly be terminal for the visitors.
newstime.world is an informative news website. News referenced from external website has source link at the bottom of the post. No edits are made until mentioned otherwise. If any query / suggestion please inform us.