Manchester City into first Champions League final

Manchester City players celebrate reaching the Champions League final after defeating PSG.

Manchester City players celebrate reaching the Champions League final after defeating PSG. Photo: PSG

Manchester City have progressed to their first Champions League final after Riyad Mahrez’s double secured a 2-0 home for a 4-1 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain in their semi-final.

The Paris-born Algerian winger struck in each half at the Etihad Stadium, adding to his effort in the first leg, as the Premier League leaders accounted for last season’s beaten finalists.

Angel Di Maria was sent off in the second half for lashing out at Fernandinho to end any slim chance PSG had of a comeback.

City will meet Premier League rivals Chelsea or 13-time record winners Real Madrid in the Istanbul final on May 29.

The second semi-final concludes in London on Wednesday with the teams tied at 1-1.

The victory means City could complete a treble of Champions League, Premier League and League Cup titles this season, after Chelsea ended their quadruple dream in the FA Cup semi-final.

It also ends a four semi-final losing streak in European’s elite competition for manager Pep Guardiola, who led Barcelona to Champions League titles in 2009 and 2011.

PSG, who had previously won first leg ties at Barcelona and holders Bayern Munich, were busy early on and had a handball penalty decision correctly overturned when the ball hit Oleksandr Zinchenko’s shoulder.

Zinchenko was involved in the 11th minute when goalkeeper Ederson sent him clear on the left and he found Kevin De Bruyne, whose shot was deflected.

The ball could have gone anywhere but fell perfectly for Mahrez to finish through the legs of goalkeeper Keylor Navas, on a field covered in the remnants of a spring hailstorm..

And in the 63 minute De Bruyne, whose equaliser turned the tide of the tie last week, was again crucial as he fed Phil Foden to cross for Mahrez to ram home at the back post.

That settled matters with PSG needing three goals to secure an unlikely comeback.

Their best chances had come straight after the opener when captain Marquinhos, who scored in the first leg, headed onto the bar.

Di Maria then shot wide with Ederson out of position the visitors struggled to create further opportunities against a resolute City defence.

Frustration boiled over for Di Maria when he petulantly kicked out at Fernandinho following a minor spat and like the first leg PSG ended with 10 men.

Foden hit the post late on as PSG grew resigned to their loss and City cruised to within one game of a maiden crown in European soccer’s top club competition.


Topics: football
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