M.anchester City was not stopped by winter conditions on the way to the first Champions League final in club history. The team of start coach Pep Guardiola won the semi-final second leg against Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 (1-0) on Tuesday thanks to match winner Riyad Mahrez, making progress after the 2-1 in the first duel. There could even be an English final in Istanbul on May 29th. Chelsea FC with coach Thomas Tuchel has good cards on Wednesday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and Dazn) against Real Madrid after the 1-1 draw in the first leg.
Bayern conqueror Paris, on the other hand, missed repeating the final from last year. To make matters worse for the French was that world champion Kylian Mbappé only sat on the bench due to calf problems and the team decimated itself as in the first leg. This time Angel di Maria saw the red card (69th) because of a frustration foul.
With the goals of Riyad Mahrez (11th and 63rd) Guardiola finally managed to reach the premier class final with City in the fifth year. In recent years, Manchester had repeatedly failed in the role of favorites against clubs such as Olympique Lyon, Tottenham Hotspur or AS Monaco. The Citizens even had to wait 51 years to reach another European final. In 1970 the English won the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
“We didn’t allow a lot and that’s why we’re in the final. On Saturday we have one more game that we have to win to be champions. Then we’ll concentrate on the Champions League final, ”said match winner Mahrez.
Before the ball rolled, the stewards had to do heavy work. Heavy showers of hail had turned the lawn into a white area. In addition, temperatures in the single digits ensured that many players resorted to gloves in May. Despite the adverse conditions, high-class football was played. The city gate alone was worth seeing. With an excellent 70-meter pass, Manchester keeper Ederson staged his full-back Alexander Zintschenko. The Ukrainian crossed the ball perfectly to Kevin De Bruyne, whose shot was blocked and landed at goal scorer Mahrez.
But Paris did not give up without a fight. The team around superstar Neymar tried everything again and had good opportunities. A header from Marquinhos hit the crossbar (16th), while Angel di Maria put the ball very thinly past the empty goal after a mistake by Bernardo Silva (20th). Often, however, the PSG actions were not compelling enough. Especially Mauro Icardi, who played for Mbappé, looked like a foreign body. In addition to Mbappé, the two Germans Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer were also missing from the starting lineup. Draxler was substituted on after a good hour.
City presented itself as a compact unit. Ilkay Gündogan also helped a lot in midfield. For the native of Gelsenkirchen it is the second Champions League final after losing to FC Bayern Munich with Borussia Dortmund in 2013. The preliminary decision was made in the 63rd minute when the hosts countered again at lightning speed. After a perfect pass from Phil Foden, Mahrez only had to put the ball in the goal from close range. Then there was frustration at PSG. Di Maria let himself be carried away to kick Fernandinho and saw the red card. With further frustration fouls of the guests, there could have been more dismissals.
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