May 18, 2021

Mahrez Sends City To Champions League Final

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They will now face the winners of the other semi-final between Chelsea and Real Madrid in Istanbul later this month.

FILE PHOTO: Manchester City's Rayid Mahrez celebrates after scoring against Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League semi-final. PICTURE: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

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MANCHESTER: The Paris-born winger struck in each half at the Etihad Stadium, adding to his effort in the first leg.

Riyad Mahrez struck twice as Manchester City produced a superb all-round performance to reach their first Champions League final with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Paris St Germain.

The Paris-born winger struck in each half at the Etihad Stadium, adding to his effort in the first leg, as the Premier League leaders completed a 4-1 aggregate victory.

PSG threw plenty into attack as they attempted to chase the tie in unexpectedly icy conditions but Mahrez’s second just after the hour proved a killer blow.

As in the first leg, PSG lost their composure in the latter stages and Angel Di Maria was sent off for a petulant stamp on Fernandinho after the ball had run out for a throw-in.

City were far more disciplined. Pep Guardiola’s men defended stubbornly throughout but showed plenty of attacking intent and took the key chances when they came.

The shame for City was that they had no fans in the stadium on such a historic night, but that did not stop plenty of them braving torrential rain to welcome the team to the stadium.

Despite playing without fans, the pitch was a wintry sight but City will have been warmed by the news Kylian Mbappe was only deemed fit enough for a place on the PSG bench due to a calf injury.

That did not prevent PSG making a positive start. Neymar and Di Maria both had early shots blocked before they were wrongly awarded a penalty for handball against Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Referee Bjorn Kuipers overturned his decision after replays showed the ball to have brushed the Ukrainian’s shoulder.

After surviving that scare, City took a firm grip on the tie as they broke clear to score after 11 minutes with Mahrez’s opener.

Ederson released Zinchenko with a superb ball and the left-back picked out the inrushing Kevin De Bruyne outside the box. The Belgian’s shot was blocked but Mahrez followed up to tuck home the rebound.

PSG did not let their heads drop and turned up the heat with Marquinhos heading against the bar. Di Maria then missed an open goal from 25 yards after Bernardo Silva was dispossessed while Ederson was out of his goal.

Both sides continued to attack in what became a tetchy affair. City will now face the winners of the other semi-final between Chelsea and Real Madrid in Istanbul later this month.

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