Manchester City won on Wednesday at the Parc des Princes, in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
At the Parc des Princes
Everything had started so well… Impressive serenity, strength and certainty in the first period, the Parisians, beaten by Manchester City on Wednesday (1-2), in the semi-final first leg of the Champions League, sank after rest. They are doomed to the feat on their return next Tuesday, at the Etihad Stadium, to hope to play a second consecutive final in C1, on May 29 in Istanbul. After their successes at Camp Nou and the Allianz Arena in the previous rounds, it is not forbidden to dream …
PSG starts strong, but …
From the outset, City shuddered on a loss of ball and the trio Di Maria, Mbappé, Neymar in action (2nd). Ederson was still attacked by Florenzi (12th) and Neymar (13th). But it is the man of the big meetings, Marquinhos, who unblocked the situation with a helmet blow on a corner signed Di Maria (1-0, 15th). The 103rd assist of the latter in Paris, the club’s historic record equaled. Corners, a precious weapon for PSG, with this header from Paredes (28th) and “Fideo” who shot straight on goal (29th). Certainly, City had possession, but without succeeding in endangering Navas. Control, aggressiveness and the little touch of talent which also goes well for Parisians masters of their subject against Citizens divided between their desire to play high and the fear of being countered. The only two Mancunian situations of the first period intervened following unstable Parisian revivals (21st, 42nd). Small City, very large Paris (1-0 MT).
Same story at the start, with Verratti, a hair just in the 6 meters (56th) on a center of Mbappé, discreet because well taken until then. But the second half did not look like the first. On two paw kicks from De Bruyne (1-1, 64th), a seemingly innocuous ball over the defense, and Mahrez, a direct free kick that pierced the Parisian wall (1-2, 71st), City froze the Park. And the nervousness returned at a gallop in the Parisian ranks, like this stupid yellow harvested by Neymar (74th), or this big fault of Gueye (77th). So big that Mr. Brych stuck out the red after a few moments of thought. After the recital of the inaugural 45 minutes, this meeting turned into a nightmare for PSG, led and reduced to ten, less sovereign, less strong in duels, less impressive de rigor. City was obviously more urgent, with Mahrez from afar (84th). Decidedly clumsy, Foden missed the opportunity to kill the match (75th, 87th). The Skyblues multiplied the faults and held their huge blow (1-2 final score).
De Bruyne, executioner of PSG
If Marquinhos is the “heart and soul” of PSG, Kevin De Bruyne is, in another register, that of Manchester City. The Parisian leaders are well placed to know it, them who wanted to recruit the Belgian international when he was blazing in Germany. The interested party had finally preferred to join the north of England. Already a scorer in the outward journey and in the return during the last confrontation between the two clubs, in 2016, he made the powder speak again Wednesday, with the kind participation of Navas (see elsewhere). And this goal does not say everything about the recital of the former Chelsea player, sure, fair, simply precious.
Navas, back to earth
Head in the stars for many months, Keylor Navas has not saved Paris Saint-Germain this time. Shining against Barça, shining against Bayern, the Costa Rican goalkeeper is guilty of not having chosen on the first Mancunian goal, on a ball it is true tricky. He should have won, he didn’t. And on Mahrez’s free kick, if the wall cracks, the ball seemed within reach … Navas is not the only fault, however, and Paris has generally lowered its foot after the break. Mbappé? He never got out of the trap.