News : Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain fails at Manchester City – again not
Scene of the game: A perfect attack over almost the entire playing area gave City the lead: Goalkeeper Ederson hit the ball superbly into the barrel of Oleksandr Zinchenko, who was still starting in his own half and who, after a run over 20, 30 meters from the left wing, in the back of the Defense fit. There Kevin de Bruyne failed at a defender, but the ball landed at Riyad Mahrez, who completed the far corner from a half-right position. The 1-0 after eleven minutes.
No Mbappé: “He’ll definitely play,” Pep Guardiola had dismissed the day before when he was informed of Kylian Mbappé’s calf problems. But the Manchester City coach was wrong, the PSG star was on the bench at kick-off. And there he stayed for the 90 minutes. An enormous weakening of the French who so outstanding in the quarter-finals against Bayern, who had so far scored eight goals in the current competition.
Peps birthday present: On his 36th birthday, Fernandinho was allowed to lead host City onto the pitch as team captain. A surprising decision, because he doesn’t have the offensive qualities of a Rodri. But as a perfect combination player plus destructive talent, he offered the package that Guardiola considered necessary for this semi-final second leg.
The first half: On a greasy and partly snow-covered surface, City took the lead early on through Mahrez (11th minute). In the 17th minute Marquinhos almost repeated his goal from the first leg, but his header hit the crossbar. Ángel Di María also missed the equalizer when he shot past the goal left by Ederson after a quick capture of the ball (19th). After that City had this encounter under control.
The second half: PSG needed two goals but only ran behind. Mahrez again completed an enjoyable attack on the left attacking side to make it 2-0 (63rd). PSG now lost their nerve like in the first leg, Di Maria saw the red card after violating Fernandinho (69th). Phil Foden hit the post for City (77th), otherwise there was a lot of passionate discussion and kicking, primarily by the now rampant losers.
Finally finals: For the first time in club history, Manchester City have reached the premier class final. Hundreds of millions of euros had been invested in recent years to add a second title, this time in the Champions League, to their success in the 1970 European Cup Winners’ Cup. Because even if the club is supposed to celebrate the third success in the last four seasons of the Premier League this season – internationally with this one title win they are still on par with 1. FC Magdeburg, KV Mechelen or Steaua Bucharest.
Ten Years of Hurt: Guardiola has reached a final of the premier class again after ten years, his last four duels in the semifinals were all lost, in 2019, for example, his opponent Mauricio Pochettino, today at PSG, threw him out of the competition with Tottenham Hotspur. In general: Elimination against Spurs or, as last year against Olympique Lyon, had scratched the image of the coaching genius Guardiola. His third Champions League title after 2009 and 2011 would outshine these biographical dents. His record in 2020/2021: twelve games, eleven wins, one draw, 25: 4 goals.
PSG, goodbye: It didn’t work out again. That’s how briefly it can be summed up for the ambitious club with Qatari support. A few months after the final defeat against Bayern 2020, coach Thomas Tuchel had to leave. This time it was over in the semifinals. In the first leg you lost access to the duel in the second half and never found it again in the second leg, apart from brief phases in the game. Disappointing the appearance of Neymar, who did not carry his teammates with him through communication or performance. Whatever Pochettino’s plan might have been – it didn’t work out.
The opponent: City’s final opponent will be determined between Tuchel’s new club, Chelsea FC and Real Madrid (Wednesday, 9 p.m., live ticker: SPIEGEL.de). The first leg in Madrid ended 1-1. If PSG doesn’t make it into the final for the second time in a row, then maybe their ex-coach. The Champions League final will take place in Istanbul on May 29th.