Man City v PSG: Match in pictures
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Paris Saint-Germain’s players have been heavily criticised by the French media for their performances against Manchester City on Tuesday. PSG were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the semi-final stage after their 2-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium saw them exit 4-1 on aggregate.
Goals in either half from Riyad Mahrez settled the tie in favour of City, who completely dominated to reach their first Champions League final.
The Algerian winger opened the scoring after 11 minutes when he tucked home from a tight angle after Kevin De Bruyne’s deflected shot dropped kindly for him.
PSG hit the bar through Marquinhos’ header and nearly got a fortuitous penalty when Oleksandr Zinchenko was adjudged to have handballed in the box, but the decision was correctly overturned by the video assistant referee.
That was about as close as Mauricio Pochettino’s side came, as City’s defence, led by Ruben Dias and John Stones, blocked everything that came their way.
City made the game safe when Phil Foden crossed for Mahrez to beat Keylor Navas from close range and PSG’s discipline unravelled, with Angel Di Maria sent off for kicking out at Fernandinho.
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PSG’s second half was notable more for poor challenges than attempts on goal, with Ander Herrera, Marco Verratti, Presnel Kimpembe and Danillo all shown yellow cards.
The away side failed to muster a single shot on target, with Neymar shackled well by the City defence and the injured Kylian Mbappe hugely missed.
The French press are known for their brutal assessments of their sides’ performances, and PSG’s defeat in the Champions League semi-final – a year after they fell at the final hurdle in the final against Bayern Munich – was bound to push L’Equipe into overdrive, with the French newspaper using the headline ‘The End’ on its front page.
PSG captain Marquinhos was their biggest threat on the night and he scored the highest in their famously harsh player ratings, with a 6/10.
It did not make pretty reading from there on, with a few 5/10s and plenty of 4/10s, but special criticism was reserved for Neymar and striker Mauro Icardi.
Neymar was awarded a 3/10 along with right-back Alessandro Florenzi – lower than Di Maria, who left his side with 10 men for over 20 minutes while they should have been chasing the game.
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Even more brutal was the 2/10 awarded to Icardi who was replaced by Everton loanee Moise Kean in the 62nd minute having barely had a kick.
Those ratings come in stark contrast to match-winner Mahrez, who received a rare 8/10, with Foden, Zinchenko and Dias picking up 7/10 ratings.
Fernandinho, who somehow avoided a booking despite making many fouls, was not popular with the French press, picking up a 4/10, while Stones, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva can feel hard done by with 5/10.
Guardiola’s management received high praise, with his 8/10 rating double the mark former Tottenham manager Pochettino received.
City will now face the winner of tonight’s other Champions League semi-final second leg between Chelsea and Real Madrid in the final on May 29, while PSG will go back to the Ligue 1 title race, where they currently sit one point behind leaders Lille with three games left to play.
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