Champions League: Mahrez Brace Against PSG Sends Man City Into Finals
Riyad Mahrez scored a brace that helped Manchester City reach their first Champions League final as they overcame Paris St-Germain at Etihad Stadium to secure a commanding victory over two legs.
City will look to set the seal on a third Premier League title in the past four seasons in the coming days as they remain on course for a treble, having already lifted the League Cup.
PSG suffered a serious blow before kick-off when world-class forward Kylian Mbappe was restricted to the bench because of injury. They did not lack endeavour or intent and had early hope when a penalty was awarded for a handball by Oleksandr Zinchenko.
However, Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers rightly reversed his initial decision on seeing a replay of the ball bouncing off the Ukrainian’s shoulder.
A few moments later Zinchenko was heavily involved again when the opening goal arrived at the other end.
He raced onto City goalkeeper Ederson‘s thunderous long pass into the PSG area. Zinchenko’s cut-back found Kevin De Bruyne and after the Belgian’s shot was blocked, Mahrez pounced to slot home on his weaker right foot.
In the second half with Neymar subdued and City throwing bodies on the line in defence, Mauricio Pochettino‘s side could not find a way through.
Mahrez punished them again just after the hour when he turned in Phil Foden‘s cross at the far post to effectively end the contest.
PSG, as they did when Idrissa Gueye was sent off late in the first leg, lost their discipline and Angel di Maria was shown a red card for a senseless stamp on Fernandinho following a touchline tangle.
City were in full control, avoiding further mishap to set up the Champions League final they and manager Pep Guardiola have craved, against either Chelsea or Real Madrid in Istanbul on 29 May.