Thursday, 29 April 2021 08:29

Staff Reporter.

Manchester City produced a superb display to come from behind and take control of their Champions League semi-final with victory against Paris St-Germain in France.

Pep Guardiola's side fought their way through a scintillating early PSG surge when they fell behind to Marquinhos' header, glanced in from Angel di Maria's corner after 15 minutes, to dominate after the break and turn this first leg tie in Paris on its head.

City, who had threatened before the break when Phil Foden missed a great chance, were much more positive and got the reward they deserved after 64 minutes when Kevin de Bruyne's menacing cross evaded everyone in the penalty area and drifted beyond motionless PSG keeper Kaylor Navas.

PSG, with Neymar fading and Kylian Mbappe subdued, were ragged and Riyad Mahrez put City in a great position to reach their first Champions League final when his left-foot free-kick went through the wall to beat Navas seven minutes later.

And to complete PSG's misery, former Everton midfield man Idrissa Gueye was rightly shown a red card late on for a dreadful challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

"At half-time, I told the players we needed to be ourselves. We needed to be more aggressive, and we didn't let them breathe after the break," City manager Pep Guardiola said.

Guardiola added: "I told them 'I understand you guys, I was a player myself. If you lose you lose but you have to try to play our game. What is our identity as a team without the ball and with the ball'?"

Next Tuesday, Man City will need to show the same away form that enabled them to beat Barcelona at Camp Nou and Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in previous rounds if they are to progress.

PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino agreed the visitors were the better team after the interval.

"The key was that we didn't show the same energy with the ball than in the first half," Pochettino said after the match.

"But we are confident that we can turn this around and approach the second leg the same way. The first half showed that we were right in our approach of the game.

"We just have to keep the same intensity with the ball. That's what we have to improve."