United kingdom, France – Manchester City took a big step towards qualifying for their first UEFA Champions League final on Wednesday with a 2-1 win at Paris St. Germain (PSG).
Goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez earned them the comeback win in the semi-final first leg match.
PSG went ahead courtesy of a Marquinhos header in the first half, but Mauricio Pochettino’s side lost control after the break.
De Bruyne and Mahrez found the back of the net respectively in the space of eight minutes to secure Manchester City’s 18th consecutive away win in all competitions.
Last year’s runners-up PSG then found themselves with a higher mountain to climb as they were reduced to 10 men.
Midfielder Idrissa Gueye picked up a straight red card in the 77th minute for a reckless challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.
The French champions will need to show next Tuesday the same away form which enabled them to succeed in earlier rounds, if they are to progress.
They beat FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou and Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in previous rounds.
Manchester City dominated the early possession but PSG were the more dangerous side with Brazilian forward Neymar testing goalkeeper Ederson twice.
Marquinhos, returning to the team from an injury suffered in the quarter-final first leg against Bayern Munich, put the hosts in front.
That was when he headed home Angel Di Maria’s whipped corner-kick in the 15th minute.
Manchester City, overly cautious for fear of being punished on the break, were again exposed on a set-piece when Leandro Paredes headed Neymar’s corner-kick just wide.
Pep Guardiola’s side lacked their usual composure, with Joao Cancelo picking up a yellow card for a woeful challenge on Kylian Mbappe.
Manchester City’s first real chance came in the 42nd minute when Phil Foden, played infield by Bernardo Silva, shot too close to PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
The visitors were more attack-minded in the second half and they equalised after 64 minutes.
This was when De Bruyne, from a corner-kick by Oleksandr Zinchenko, who had just replaced Cancelo, sent in a cross.
Navas failed to react as it curled into the far corner of the net.
The goalkeeper was beaten again seven minutes later when Mahrez’s free-kick flew through an inadequate PSG wall.
Gueye’s dismissal for a wild tackle on Gundogan made Manchester City’s task easier and they will take a big advantage into the second leg in Manchester. (Reuters/NAN)