Champions League: City fight back to beat 10-man PSG in 1st leg semifinal

Julien Pretot, Reuters

Posted at Apr 29 2021 05:27 AM

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne in action in the Champions League semifinal first leg against Paris St Germain at Parc des Princes, Paris April 28, 2021. Benoit Tessier, Reuters

PARIS—Manchester City took a big step towards their first Champions League final as goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez earned them a 2-1 comeback win at Paris St Germain in the semifinal first leg on Wednesday.

PSG went ahead courtesy of a Marquinhos header in the first half, but Mauricio Pochettino's side lost control after the break with De Bruyne and Mahrez finding the back of the net in the space of eight minutes to secure 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 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 that enabled them to beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou and Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in previous rounds if they are to progress.

City dominated the early possession but PSG were the more dangerous side with Brazilian forward Neymar testing City keeper Ederson twice.

Marquinhos, returning to the team from an injury suffered in the quarter-final first leg against Bayern, put the hosts in front when he headed home Angel Di Maria's whipped corner in the 15th minute.

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 just wide.

Pep Guardiola's City side lacked their usual composure, with Joao Cancelo picking up a yellow card for a woeful challenge on Kylian Mbappe.

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 when De Bruyne, from a corner by Oleksandr Zinchenko who had just replaced Cancelo, sent in a cross and Navas failed to react as it curled into the far corner of the net.

Navas 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 City's task easier and they will take a big advantage into the second leg in Manchester.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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