Manchester City (ING) is the first finalist of the 2020/2021 Champions League. This Tuesday (4), the English team beat Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) 2-0 at Etihad Stadium, and guaranteed a place in the European decision.
The goals that made Pep Guardiola’s team stand out were scored by Riyad Mahrez, who had already scored the second in the 2-1 win in the first leg in France.
The final in Istanbul, on May 29, will be the first in City’s history at the main club tournament in the world. Unlike its biggest rival, United, who is three times champion of the Champions, the blue club of Manchester has only one international title in its trophy room: the Recopa, a second-tier tournament, won in the 1969/1970 season
It will also be Guardiola’s third coaching decision. In the previous two, both with Barcelona (ESP), the Catalan won the title – in 2009 and 2011. He still has a title as a player in 1992, defending Barça.
Since leaving the Spanish club, the coach has never managed to reach a new Champions League final. With Bayern (ALE), he stopped in three semifinals, and at the helm of City he had not yet passed the quarterfinal stage until this edition.
The vacancy is a prize for the team’s two safe performances in the semifinal, but mainly for the defensive performance of the English team, owner of a solid rearguard that was sought after by Pep Guardiola since his arrival in Manchester in 2016.
Owner of the best defense of the tournament with only four goals conceded, City went blank once again this Tuesday in England. It was the seventh clash without being leaked in 12 matches in the competition.
The qualification started to be built early at Etihad Stadium, despite initial pressure from Paris Saint-Germain, who took a penalty kick and later canceled after revision at VAR.
At 11 minutes, and with the snow-covered lawn, Ederson sent a long throw to Zinchenko, who went to the bottom line and crossed for Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian arrived hitting, but the ball deflected on the French mark and it was left to Mahrez, who hit under Keylor Navas to open the scoring.
Without the company of Kylian Mbappé, who did not enter the field due to an injury to his right calf, Neymar performed only discreetly. Substitute for the Frenchman, Argentine Mauro Icardi had an even more discreet presentation.
Neymar sought to be the organizer of PSG’s moves, but felt the absence of Mbappé. In the various attempts at individual play, the Brazilian was well marked and was disarmed by the English defenders.
Shortly after going back on the scoreboard, Paris Saint-Germain hit the crossbar in a header by Marquinhos, who scored his team’s goal in the first leg. It was the best opportunity for Mauricio Pochettino’s team in the duel.
In the final stage, PSG failed to make the same strong start as the first half. In the search for goals to return to the duel, Pochettino sent to the field Moise Kean and Julian Draxler, but soon afterwards the hosts reached the second goal.
Phil Foden was sent wide, swapped passes with De Bruyne and invaded the area from the left. The Englishman crossed low on the second post and found Mahrez, who completed for the goal, decreeing the classification of Manchester City, in the 18th minute.
The Englishman’s mission was made easier by the expulsion of Di María, who received the red after off-ball aggression and confirmed by VAR.