The dream is a tough snake. Always lively among the happy, he rushes into every inch of hope and holds the power to transform everything into a divine signal. Thus, the most optimistic could find in the hail, which had fallen in abundance one hour before the kick-off of the semi-final second leg, at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, a blessed echo of the snow against which they struggled – with brio – the players of Paris Saint-Germain, in Munich (3-2), almost a month ago, to the day, in the previous round.
It was without counting on a blade sharper than the weather, Tuesday evening, for the legs of Parisians overwhelmed by a success in the sky blue ascendant. Authors of a start to the match just as intense and voluntary as the first leg, the players in the capital were punished, from the 10th minute of play, by Riyad Mahrez – already a scorer in the first leg – receiver, almost in spite of himself , with a strike countered by the Parisian defense of Kévin De Bruyne, in the area. The African champion, passed by Quimper, did not hesitate to adjust Keylor Navas and Presnel Kimpembe (1-0, 11 ‘).
The crossbar hit by Marquinhos
At this opening of the score against the course of the game and intentions, PSG responded with an outgoing crossbar, found by the head of the very aerial Marquinhos (16 ‘), then by a weary sigh, that of Angel Di Maria, who saw his distant strike, after a recovery in the opposing half of the field, flee the left pillar of an advanced and beaten Ederson (19 ‘).
Although untenable in the heart of the game, the Argentine fished in the last pass, the decisive race or the ultimate catch of the ball, like an attacking trio Mauro Icardi – Neymar – Di Maria orphan of Kylian Mbappé, whose right calf had the last word, earlier in the afternoon.
Against the elements, Paris returned to the locker room led by a single goal, however reassured by the possibilities left by the defense of the Citizens. However, to dream bigger, he had to act better. And to act better, it would have needed, intrinsically, a great Neymar. While, obviously, the Brazilian had covered his crampons a little too much, before the meeting.
Mahrez on fire and Foden’s caviar
Opposite, sang a Mahrez with fire in his legs, which ended, at the conclusion of a masterful counterattack and on a caviar service from the English nugget Phil Foden, the last hopes of Paris Saint-Germain (2-0 , 64 ‘).
The frustration of the PSG players, so close and so far from the goal (no shot on target) was at the height of the disillusion and was illustrated through the bad mood gesture of Di Maria against Fernandinho who, like Idrissa Gueye last week left his family before the end of the match (69 ‘).
It also revealed the fear of an unworthy white season for the Parisians, who no longer have control over the championship, weighed down by their eight defeats, but only on the Coupe de France. But, obviously, this is not what most dreams of the club of the capital.
Referee: M. Kuipers.
GOALS. Manchester City: Mahrez (11 ‘and 64’).
Warnings. Manchester City: Zinchenko (72 ‘), De Bruyne (74’); PSG: Herrera (22 ‘), Verratti (71’), Kimpembe (87 ‘), Danilo (90’). Exclusion. PSG: Di Maria (69 ‘).
MANCHESTER CITY: Ederson – Walker, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko – Silva (Sterling, 83 ‘), Fernandinho (cap), Gündogan – Mahrez, De Bruyne (Jesus, 83’), Foden (Agüero, 85 ‘).
PARIS SG: Navas – Florenzi (Dagba, 75 ‘), Marquinhos (cap), Kimpembe, Diallo (Bakker, 83’) – Paredes (Danilo Pereira, 75 ‘), Herrera (Draxler, 63’) – Neymar, Verratti, Di Maria – Icardi (Kean, 63 ‘).
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