Man City ousts PSG to reach first UEFA Champions League final
Riyad Mahrez struck twice as Manchester City reached the UEFA Champions League final for the first time thanks to a 2-0 victory over Paris St Germain at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday that secured a 4-1 aggregate win.
City were dominant against their French opponents, who lost their heads in the second half and finished the semi-final, second leg with 10 men after Angel Di Maria was sent off in the 69th minute for an off-the-ball stamp on Fernandinho.
Pep Guardiola’s City side will now face the winner of Wednesday’s last-four match between Chelsea and Real Madrid in the May 29th final in Istanbul.
Guardiola, who won the competition twice with Barcelona, has waited 10 years to get back to the final and was in no doubt about the scale of his team’s achievement, with City having won all six games in the knockout stages.
“People believe it’s easy to arrive in the final of the Champions League. Getting to the final now makes sense of what we have done in the past four or five years. Every day these guys have been consistent and this is remarkable,” he said.
“It is for all of us and the club. I’m incredibly proud,” added the Spaniard.
Mahrez put City ahead on the night in the 11th minute and then finished off a superb counter-attack in the 63rd to secure their place in the final.
PSG sorely missed their talented striker Kylian Mbappe who, still struggling with a calf injury, was forced to watch the match from the bench.
The City fans locked outside of the stadium, celebrated wildly with car horns blaring but for PSG, beaten by Bayern Munich in the final last season, it was another year of disappointment.
“We played with character. We have to believe in ourselves, we will succeed,” said midfielder Marco Verratti.