(Manchester) Paris SG’s coronation dream ended in the Champions League semi-final at Manchester City’s muddled ground, a relentless return (2-0) in the first leg (2-1), as on Tuesday, with a double from Riyad Mahrez .
Under the winter skies of northern England, the “Sky Blues” performed the match that Parisians had dreamed of crossing the Channel.
Scoring on his first chance (11.)I) by the Algerian international, Pep Guardiola’s players imposed their momentum at the start of the meeting, which he killed in the second half of a counter-assassin (63)I)
Finally, Mahrez again, already a scorer at the Parc des Princes.
“We were efficient when needed. We deserve to be passed,” said RMC Sport, a native of Sarcel.
Realism, a game of transition, solidarity… English displayed everything it lacked in Paris, showing a nervousness worthy of the ranks of outgoing finalists, for its part.
As in the first leg, Mauricio Pochettino’s men finished on ten after a red card from Angel Di Maria (69).I), for a voluntary sole on Fernandinho.
A very bad gesture that leaves a very bad final image for the course which, until then, was irreplaceable, after qualifying at the expense of FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich, the defending champions.
The match was also polluted by controversy after the referees, Ander Herrera and Marco Veratti, accused Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers of insulting Paris players.
But despite the progress they’ve seen since losing to Bayern in last August’s (1-0) final, it won’t be enough to hide the Parisians’ performance not at the level of their ambitions.
But in Istanbul on May 29, it is PSG’s rivals Qatari owners, who head the English club, who will have the opportunity to become the first Gulf power to win the coveted competition against Real Madrid. Chelsea.
Kylian Mbappe’s absence in the right calf put a heavy burden on the PSG team, which have been able to count on their personalities to make up for their collective failures so far this season.
But Neymar, who made C1 his priority, did not play for two. The Brazilians missed their match, wanting to make too much of a difference on their own.
The Red and Blue attackers didn’t make a shot, scoring in every C1 away game since the quarterback… City (1-0) in 2016.
Today the abyss has opened under his feet. Paris missed his first goal, but by the end of the season, he is far from securing a second, or even third.
Three days after the end of the French Championship, the Parisians are one point behind leader Lille, making what they anticipate a wrong move. In the Cup, they have a tough semi-final in Montpellier in a week.
“You have to keep your concentration, it’s complicated, but you can still show good things,” sporting director Leonardo reminded RMC Sport.
His reaction will decide the color of his record. The eternally optimistic Pochettino saw reason to hold on against City.
“The team never gave up. We respected the game plan,” said the Argentine, who retains a taste of unfinished business, as his players had their chances.
If they are taken away, it is also because they did not know how to confiscate them.
Paris will highlight its lack of realism when Di Maria falls apart (19.)I), while the cage was open after a bad Mancunian cradle.
Three minutes earlier, Marquinhos had found the crossbar on his head (16.)I)
These wasted opportunities perpetuate the illusion that Paris was not far away. But forgetting that City scored on their first chance…
Manchester took it easy with a quick goal from Riyad Mahrez (11.)I), at the conclusion of a flashback initiated by a spectacular release from goalkeeper Ederson.
Back from the locker room, Manchester kills a counter-assassin meeting initiated by Phil Foden, whose center Mahrez finds alone.
The Algerian international embodied the brazen realism of English, which could notably enhance the score by Foden (77).I) during the end of the Paris freewheeling match.
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