Man City 2-0 Paris St-Germain (4-1 on aggregate): City into first Champions League final


Riyad Mahrez is only the second player to score in both legs of a Champions League semi-final for an English club after Sadio Mane in 2017-18

Manchester City reached their first Champions League final as they overcame Paris St-Germain at Etihad Stadium to secure a commanding victory over two legs.

In a game played in unseasonal snow, the brilliant Riyad Mahrez capped a sweeping move started by goalkeeper Ederson’s 60-yard pass to extend their 2-1 advantage from the first leg in Paris.

PSG suffered a serious blow before kick-off when world-class forward Kylian Mbappe was restricted to the bench because of injury. They did not lack endeavour or intent but with Neymar subdued and City throwing bodies on the line in defence, Mauricio Pochettino’s side could not find a way through.

Mahrez punished them again just after the hour when he turned in Phil Foden’s cross at the far post to effectively end the contest.

PSG, as they did when Idrissa Gueye was sent off late in the first leg, lost their discipline and Angel di Maria was shown a red card for a senseless stamp on Fernandinho following a touchline tangle.

City were in full control, avoiding further mishap to set up the Champions League final they and manager Pep Guardiola have craved, against either Chelsea or Real Madrid in Istanbul on 29 May.

Man City within touching distance of the great prize

The celebrations when Manchester City scored and at the final whistle illustrated the significance of what these players and Guardiola have achieved.

Guardiola and City have been sweeping up domestic titles on a regular basis, with his third Premier League title a formality which could be confirmed with victory against Chelsea here on Saturday.

This tournament, however, has been the one code an outstanding team has been unable to crack, with hard-luck stories to tell and crucial slips when the pressure is on, such as when they lost 3-1 to underdogs Lyon in a one-off quarter-final last season.

City have shown great maturity and development this season, keeping their nerve when under pressure against Borussia Dortmund in the last eight and also surviving a PSG surge in Paris six days ago to recover for an outstanding win.

Here, early nerves were settled by Mahrez’s goal and any further PSG threats were repelled with resilience and, when needed, desperate defending to ensure the lead they worked so hard to establish was well protected.

The Champions League has always been regarded as confirmation that Manchester City were a European superpower – now this high-class side will have the opportunity to confirm that status in Istanbul.

Guardiola has heroes everywhere

City’s success has been built on a squad effort, as proved by the way those who missed out on the starting line-up, such as Rodri, Aymeric Laporte, Joao Cancelo and Raheem Sterling, provided noisy support and encouragement from the sidelines.

Inevitably, though, there were stand-out performers and the list included match-winner Mahrez, the precocious Foden and the often unsung defender Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Mahrez took his time to settle in the early days of his City career but he is now a key component in Guardiola’s line-up, a creator and scorer of important goals, such as the two here. In eight Champions League starts this season he has scored four goals, including in both legs of this semi-final.

The first goal was classic Manchester City, started by remarkable vision from Ederson and finished emphatically by Mahrez.

The Algerian was a huge threat all night, tormenting PSG, and Foden was not far behind, as he grows in stature with every game. He has strength, vision on the ball and an end product, providing a perfect delivery for the second goal.

Zinchenko got the nod ahead of Cancelo and delivered a superb display, a threat going forward and top class in defence, with one crucial block from Neymar in the second half.

Above all, this was a team effort and Manchester City richly deserve their place in the Champions League final.

More to follow.

Player of the match

Rúben DiasRúben Dias

Paris Saint Germain

  1. Squad number5Player nameMarquinhos

  2. Squad number1Player nameNavas

  3. Squad number6Player nameVerratti

  4. Squad number24Player nameFlorenzi

  5. Squad number3Player nameKimpembe

  6. Squad number10Player nameNeymar

  7. Squad number21Player nameHerrera

  8. Squad number22Player nameDiallo

  9. Squad number8Player nameParedes

  10. Squad number18Player nameKean

  11. Squad number23Player nameDraxler

  12. Squad number15Player nameDanilo Pereira

  13. Squad number25Player nameBakker

  14. Squad number31Player nameDagba

  15. Squad number11Player nameDi María

  16. Squad number9Player nameIcardi

Line-ups

Man City

Formation 4-4-2

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 5Stones
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 11ZinchenkoBooked at 71mins
  • 26Mahrez
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 8Gündogan
  • 47FodenSubstituted forAgüeroat 85′minutes
  • 17De BruyneBooked at 74minsSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 82′minutes
  • 20Bernardo SilvaSubstituted forSterlingat 82′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Aké
  • 7Sterling
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 10Agüero
  • 13Steffen
  • 14Laporte
  • 16Rodri
  • 21Torres
  • 22Mendy
  • 27Cancelo
  • 33Carson

PSG

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Navas
  • 24FlorenziSubstituted forDagbaat 75′minutes
  • 5Marquinhos
  • 3KimpembeBooked at 87mins
  • 22DialloSubstituted forBakkerat 82′minutes
  • 21HerreraBooked at 22minsSubstituted forDraxlerat 62′minutes
  • 8ParedesSubstituted forDaniloat 75′minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 6VerrattiBooked at 71mins
  • 11Di MaríaBooked at 69mins
  • 9IcardiSubstituted forKeanat 62′minutes
  • 10Neymar

Substitutes

  • 4Kehrer
  • 7Mbappé
  • 12Rafinha
  • 15Danilo
  • 16Rico
  • 18Kean
  • 19Sarabia
  • 20Kurzawa
  • 23Draxler
  • 25Bakker
  • 31Dagba
  • 60Randriamamy

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Quiz: How do Manchester City and Paris St-Germain players compare?


Manchester City host Paris St-Germain in the Champions League semi-final second leg on Tuesday – but how do the squads compare?

Take our quiz below and see if you know how some of the players match up.

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Paris St-Germain v Barcelona: Neymar to miss Champions League last 16 second leg


Neymar was injured in PSG’s French Cup victory over Caen on 10 February

Paris St-Germain have ruled Neymar out of the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie against Barcelona.

The Brazil forward missed the first leg against his former side, which PSG won 4-1, with a thigh injury.

“Neymar returned to partial training with the squad last week and will continue to work back to fitness individually,” said a PSG statement.

Barcelona will be without defenders Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo for the match in Paris on Wednesday.

Pique sustained a knee injury in the Copa del Rey semi-final win over Sevilla on 3 March, while Araujo has returned to training after an ankle problem but is not in the squad.

Ex-Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho is still missing for the Spanish side because of a knee injury.

Barcelona, who lost 8-2 to eventual winners Bayern Munich in last season’s one-legged quarter-final, have made it past the last 16 of the Champions League in each of the past 13 seasons.

In 2016-17, they were beaten 4-0 by PSG in the last-16 first leg in Paris, before winning the second leg 6-1 in Spain.

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman remained optimistic his side could reach the quarter-finals and said: “It is always different to have a result like this.

“Losing 4-1 at home means we have to score goals away from home and it’s more complicated but nothing is impossible.

“We believe in ourselves – we know we are Barca and have to win and will demonstrate this mentality.”

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino, who took Tottenham to the Champions League final in 2018-19, will also be without on-loan Everton striker Moise Kean as he is self-isolating because of coronavirus.

Neymar helped the French champions reach their first Champions League final last August and has scored 12 goals in 17 competitive fixtures this season.

Barcelona need to make history to advance – the stats

  • PSG have won two of their past three games against Barcelona in the Champions League (lost one).
  • No team has progressed from a European Cup or Champions League knockout tie over two legs after losing the first leg at home by a margin of three goals.
  • This will be the first Champions League meeting between PSG and Barcelona at the Parc des Princes since February 2017, when the home side won 4-0 – PSG’s biggest margin of victory in a home knockout game in the Champions League and Barcelona’s joint-heaviest defeat in an away knockout match (also 4-0 v Liverpool in May 2019 and v Bayern in April 2013).
  • Barcelona have won one of their past nine away games in the knockout stages of the Champions League (drew three, lost five), beating Manchester United 1-0 in April 2019.
  • PSG have scored at least once in each of their last 22 Champions League games at the Parc des Princes (61 goals). The last team to keep a clean sheet away at PSG in the competition was Real Madrid (0-0 in October 2015).
  • Barcelona are yet to concede a goal away from home in the Champions League this season (three games).



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Paris St-Germain 0-2 Monaco: Pochettino loses second game as PSG boss


Defender Guillermo Maripan has scored five goals in Ligue 1 this season

Monaco condemned Mauricio Pochettino to his second defeat as Paris St-Germain head coach with a shock win at Parc des Princes in Ligue 1.

Sofiane Diop opened the scoring for the visitors in the sixth minute, heading home Ruben Aguilar’s header back across goal from Kevin Volland’s cross.

And Guillermo Maripan doubled the lead with a second-half side-footed finish after Ander Herrera failed to clear.

The hosts had just one shot on target as Monaco cantered to all three points.

In their first game since their impressive 4-1 win at Barcelona in the Champions League, PSG struggled to create clear-cut chances after Monaco’s early opener.

Niko Kovac’s side should have been 3-0 up on the hour mark as Volland headed wide when unmarked inside the six-yard box.

Despite dominating possession the champions tasted defeat for the fifth time in the league this season.

And the loss means they stay third, four points behind leaders Lille, who thrashed Lorient 4-1 on Sunday.

Kovac’s Monaco are fourth, now just two points behind Pochettino’s side.

Line-ups

PSG

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Navas
  • 24Florenzi
  • 5Marquinhos
  • 3KimpembeBooked at 50mins
  • 20Kurzawa
  • 21HerreraSubstituted forVerrattiat 55′minutes
  • 8ParedesBooked at 57minsSubstituted forDaniloat 73′minutes
  • 27GueyeBooked at 45minsSubstituted forRafinhaat 55′minutes
  • 18Kean
  • 9IcardiSubstituted forDraxlerat 73′minutes
  • 7MbappéBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 4Kehrer
  • 6Verratti
  • 12Rafinha
  • 15Danilo
  • 16Rico
  • 22Diallo
  • 23Draxler
  • 25Bakker
  • 34Simons

Monaco

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 40Lecomte
  • 20Disasi
  • 3Maripán
  • 32Badiashile
  • 26AguilarSubstituted forSidibéat 80′minutes
  • 8TchouameniBooked at 15mins
  • 22Fofana
  • 12Caio Henrique
  • 37DiopSubstituted forGolovinat 80′minutes
  • 31VollandSubstituted forBallo-Toureat 90′minutes
  • 9Ben YedderSubstituted forJoveticat 71′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Ballo-Toure
  • 4Fàbregas
  • 10Jovetic
  • 17Golovin
  • 27Diatta
  • 29Sidibé
  • 30Mannone
  • 34Matsima
  • 36Matazo

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Neymar: Paris St-Germain ‘strongly support’ striker after racism allegation


Neymar was dismissed for making contact with the back of Gonzalez’s head, after the incident was viewed by VAR replay

Paris St-Germain say they will “strongly support” their Brazilian playmaker Neymar after he claimed to have been racially abused by Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzalez.

On Twitter, Neymar accused his opponent of racism and urged the authorities to use VAR to clarify matters.

PSG said there was “no place for racism in society, football or in our lives”.

In a short statement issued on Monday, the French champions said the club “looks forward to [French governing body] the LFP’s disciplinary commission investigating and ascertaining the facts”.

“The club remains at the LFP’s disposal for any assistance required,” the statement added.

Neymar and team-mates Leandro Paredes and Layvin Kurzawa, plus Marseille pair Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto, were dismissed after trouble broke out in added time following a shove by Paredes on Benedetto.

After his dismissal, Neymar informed the fourth official he had been subjected to racial abuse by Gonzalez and later wrote of the Spaniard: “Insulting and bringing racism into our lives no, I don’t agree. I don’t respect you, you have no character.”

Gonzalez denied racism and accused Neymar of being a bad loser.

The LFP disciplinary committee will meet on Wednesday to examine all five red cards and will use reports from officials and match pictures to decide whether further disciplinary action is taken.



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Paris St-Germain 0-1 Marseille: Five sent off in injury time after brawl


Neymar has been sent off three times in his Paris St-Germain career

Neymar was one of five players sent off after an injury-time brawl as Marseille beat Paris St-Germain in Ligue 1.

As he left the pitch, PSG’s Brazil forward told the fourth official he had heard a racist comment.

Florian Thauvin scored the only goal as PSG lost their opening two league games for the first time since 1984-85.

Home substitutes Leandro Paredes and Layvin Kurzawa, and Marseille’s Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto, were dismissed along with Neymar.

The referee watched a video assistant referee (VAR) replay of a punch by Neymar before showing the 28-year-old a straight red card.

After the match, Neymar posted on social media to say that his “only regret” was not hitting Marseille’s Spanish defender Alvaro Gonzalez in the face, having struck him on the back of the head.

In response, Gonzalez denied claims of any wrongdoing, posting on social media: “There is no place for racism.”

In the post-match news conference Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas said: “There is no place for racism in football but I don’t think that was the case.

“We’ll have to look at it.”

The game, which was watched by a crowd of about 5,000 fans at the Parc des Princes, was fractious even before that late brawl. There were 17 cards shown, a record for a Ligue 1 game in the 21st Century.

The injury-time drama started when Marseille’s Benedetto nudged Paredes in the back, with the PSG midfielder then punching him to the ground before appearing to headbutt Alvaro.

A melee broke out, with Kurzawa and Amavi punching and kicking each other.

Benedetto and Paredes were shown second yellow cards, with Kurzawa and Amavi given straight reds.

The VAR review showed Neymar had punched Alvaro, a player he had been in a running battle with, and the forward was shown a straight red card, having earlier been booked.

Alvaro had also been involved in a big first-half flashpoint when he suggested Angel di Maria spat at him.

Di Maria was one of seven PSG players – along with Neymar – to test positive for coronavirus before the season started, although he had since provided a negative test.

Alvaro Gonzalez and Neymar
Alvaro Gonzalez and Neymar are involved in a coming together during the game
Neymar argues with Alvaro Gonzalez and other Marseille players
Things escalate as more players become embroiled in the argument
Alvaro Gonzalez and Neymar arguing, with the Brazilian forward pointing his finger at the Marseille player
Neymar points his finger at Alvaro Gonzalez

What about the game itself?

Under any other circumstances the headlines would have been about a famous victory for Villas-Boas’ Marseille over the French champions.

Marseille had last beaten PSG in Le Classique – one of French football’s biggest rivalries – in 2011.

PSG – who were beaten 1-0 by promoted Lens on Thursday – have lost their opening two league matches for the first time in 36 years. They finished 13th that season.

The last time they lost their opening two fixtures without scoring was 1978.

Including the Champions League final against Bayern Munich only 21 days ago, that is three 1-0 defeats in a row for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Thauvin scored the only goal when he volleyed Dimitri Payet’s free-kick in from close range. Di Maria and Benedetto both had goals disallowed for offside.

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Line-ups

PSG

  • 16Rico
  • 24FlorenziBooked at 13minsSubstituted forDagbaat 84′minutes
  • 4Kehrer
  • 3Kimpembe
  • 14BernatBooked at 52minsSubstituted forKurzawaat 84′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 21HerreraSubstituted forDraxlerat 61′minutes
  • 27Gueye
  • 6VerrattiSubstituted forParedesat 71′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 19Sarabia
  • 11Di MaríaBooked at 74mins
  • 10NeymarBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 8Paredes
  • 20Kurzawa
  • 22Diallo
  • 23Draxler
  • 25Bakker
  • 29Muinga
  • 30Bulka
  • 31Dagba
  • 36Ruiz-Atil

Marseille

  • 30Mandanda
  • 2H SakaiBooked at 7mins
  • 3GonzálezBooked at 50mins
  • 15Caleta-Car
  • 18AmaviBooked at 90mins
  • 21Rongier
  • 4Kamara
  • 22GueyeBooked at 38minsSubstituted forBenedettoat 58′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 26ThauvinSubstituted forGermainat 77′minutes
  • 27LopezBooked at 61minsSubstituted forStrootmanat 68′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 10PayetBooked at 11minsSubstituted forRadonjicat 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Balerdi
  • 6Strootman
  • 7Radonjic
  • 9Benedetto
  • 16Pelé
  • 23Aké
  • 24Khaoui
  • 25Nagatomo
  • 28Germain

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