Kevin de Bruyne and Riyard Mahrez scored in quick succession to give Man City a slender lead heading into the second leg of their Champions League semi-final clash with PSG after beating the French giants 2-1 in Paris on Wednesday night.
Despite having Aguero and Gabriel Jesus all fit for the game, City manager Pep Guardiola started the game with no recognized striker with the Spaniard deploying a false nine in his formation.
The midfield combination from the visitors seemed to be working wonders with PSG forced to sit back and wait for their chances. But while the hosts relaxed, they looked dangerous on the counter with Di Maria causing City all kinds of problems each time they broke.
It was from a dead ball where PSG took the lead in the 15th minute. After Di Maria’s shot was deflected for a corner, the Argentine took the resultant kick to whip a flat, vicious corner towards the near post which found the rising Marquinhos to head in the opener into the top left corner.
It was just the fourth goal City have conceded in this competition so far but it was an expression of PSG’s potency. The goal seemed to have given the hosts some impetus with Neymar and Di Maria combining well on the visitors’ box on several occasions only to be thwarted by the City defense.
City then had a perfect chance of restoring parity minutes to the break when Phil Foden, who was free on the edge of the PSG box shot too close to Navas, who was able to parry the rising shot into the air, then claim after the England international had found himself with only the keeper to beat.
City came a different team in the second half and with PSG standing their ground, Guardiola was to withdraw Cancelo who was on a yellow card for Zinchenko. Their perfect start to the half was rewarded when Kevin De Bruyne restored parity in the 64th minute.
It was a complete turnaround for the visitors with Riyard Mahrez giving City the lead seven minutes later via a well-taken free-kick by Riyad Mahrez. Things went from bad to worse for the host when Idrisa Gueye was sent off eleven minutes from time following a tackle on Ilkay Gündogan. The one-man advantage gave City the needed energy but despite pilling pressure late on, their hosts were able to keep the tie alive heading into the second leg next week.
Match Stats here!