Mahrez doubles sends Man City to first-ever Champions League final


Manchester City will face either Chelsea or Real Madrid in their first-ever Champions League final after beating PSG 2-0 overnight, 4-1 overall in the semi-final at the Etihad.

Riyad Mahrez’s double secured City’s path to Istanbul on May 29 in a moody match that saw Angel Di Maria sent off as PSG belatedly lost the plot.

Pep Guardiola’s men will make their first European final in 51 years, having won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970.

It was a victory that was well deserved, with City center-back duo Ruben Dias and John Stones sensational throughout.

A promising start for PSG was rewarded with a seventh-minute penalty when Dutch referee Björn Kuipers gave a handball against Oleksandr Zinchenko.

However, the decision was quickly overturned by VAR after reruns made it clear that the ball was slammed high over the left-back’s shoulder.

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City gave themselves more breathing space in the draw when Mahrez gave them the overnight advantage and a 3-1 cumulative advantage.

Zinchenko collapsed on the left, after a bright ball in front of Ederson, and brought the ball back for Kevin de Bruyne. The 16-yard midfielder’s shot was blocked but fell nicely for Mahrez to sweep the house from a tight angle.

The visitors were close to a quick response when Marquinos hit the bar with a towering header in a corner. And City lucked out moments later when Ederson tried to play from behind, Di Maria pounced on before making an effort right next to it – with the City stopper scrambling to get back.

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The home side almost completed the draw in the first half stoppage time when Mahrez’s cross shot was knocked back by Keylor Navas’ feet at his near post.

City show silk and steel

Pep Guardiola’s side started the second period on the front foot and nearly doubled their lead on the night when a brilliant volley from Foden was knocked back by Navas.

At the other end, a brilliant run from Neymar was superbly stopped by a brilliant combination block from Stones and Zinchenko.

Moise Kean and Julian Draxler were introduced from the bench by Mauricio Pochettino to try to find a way back in equality with 30 minutes remaining.

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But PSG hopes suffered a stab to the heart on the counterattack when De Bruyne played Foden on the left and his cross at the far post was propelled by Mahrez.

Things got worse for the French side with just over 20 minutes remaining when ex-Man Utd striker Di Maria saw red for sending off against Fernandinho.

Foden was so unlucky not to add a third on the night his Navas run hit the far post.

But the job has been done as City have booked their places in the final and are now awaiting the winners of Wednesday night’s clash between Chelsea and Real.



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