PARIS — Manchester City have taken a big step towards the UEFA Champions League final with a 2-1 semifinal first leg win over Paris Saint-Germain.
Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez scored the goals as Pep Guardiola’s men overcame Marquinhos’ first half opener to leave Mauricio Pochettino’s men with a mountain to climb.
To make matters worse, Idrissa Gueye was sent off with 13 minutes to go as PSG went from dominant in the first half to dominated.
It all started so well for the hosts with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria looking motivated in a purposeful first half showing.
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The Argentina international’s delicious corner delivery was met by Marquinhos and the Brazilian headed Les Parisiens in front after 15 minutes.
Although Keylor Navas saved from a Phil Foden effort that was hit directly at him, it was largely PSG as Leandro Paredes flashed a header wide from another corner and Di Maria and Neymar took turns at terrorizing the City defense with the ball at their feet.
Then it stopped.
Although Marco Verratti was inches away from doubling the home side’s advantage at the start of the second half, it was as if they never re-emerged from the tunnel as City seized control.
De Bruyne’s acrobatic effort was a warning of what was to come and the Belgium international levelled after 64 minutes when his ball into the box deceived everybody, including the usually formidable Navas, and ended up in the back of the net.
Paredes joined the disappointing Joao Cancelo on a booking, and it took Guardiola’s men just seven more minutes to complete their turnaround through Mahrez.
The man from the Parisian suburb of Sarcelles put the Premier League leaders ahead from a free-kick and the tide had turned against PSG.
It soon became insurmountable as a straight Gueye red card followed a Neymar yellow as Pochettino’s troops lost their composure in the face of a controlling City.
De Bruyne joined the list of cautioned players before the final whistle and Navas’ gloves were warmed once more but it finished 2-1 and it is now well and truly advantage to the Citizens.
PSG 1, Manchester City 2
⚽ Marquinhos (PSG – 15′)
⚽ Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City – 64′)
⚽ Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City – 71′)