Man City Persists, PSG Collapses in Telling Champions League Semifinal First Leg

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Sports Illustrated 28 April, 2021 - 04:18pm 23 views

What channel is PSG vs Man City on?

As for watching PSG vs Man City in the USA, it'll be on CBS Sports Network and Univision. In the UK, it's on BT Sport. MARCA.comPSG vs Manchester City: Final score, goals and reactions

Has Pep won Champions League?

Guardiola has enjoyed huge success in his five years at Manchester City with an eighth trophy on the way once they wrap up the league. But this is the furthest he has taken City in Europe. "It is the second time in our history at this stage," the two-time Champions League winner as Barcelona boss said. bbc.comChampions League: Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola tells team not to be 'shy'

City and PSG were two clubs who emerged relatively unscathed from the Super League fiasco. City did sign up, but it never seemed entirely committed and was the first club formally to withdraw. PSG, meanwhile, refused the invitation and its president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, wound up as the new chairman of the European Club Association. But to portray either club as the savior of the game would be misleading; it is the existence of clubs fueled by petro-wealth that has provoked the present crisis as the traditional elite have found their hegemony challenged by resources almost beyond comprehension.

PSG didn’t oppose the Super League, and City was skeptical about it, not through any romantic vision of the community function of football but because the present situation suits them fine. They are not in the game to make money but to enhance the reputations of their owners—a reputation that, it rapidly became clear, would have been severely damaged by signing up to the Super League.

History may view the final weeks of April this year as highly significant. Sheikh Mansour took City over in 2008, QSI bought PSG in 2011, yet neither has landed the Champions League prize it covets. Until last season, neither had even reached the final. But for the sides to meet in the semifinal guarantees one reaching the final, perhaps to face another petro-club in Chelsea; coming the week after the Super League proposals, which may come to be seen as a last throw of the dice from the traditional elite, this could be the moment at which the stranglehold of the traditional elite is finally broken.

Whatever unease may be felt about how the teams are funded, the football they produced was stunning. Both these sides have made a habit of blowing it in the big occasions, but PSG this season, for all its struggles in the domestic league—or perhaps because the fight at home has made it sharper—has been excellent since Christmas in the Champions League.

The thought had been it would rely on hitting City on the break, using the pace and intelligence of Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and Ángel Di María, but instead it attacked City from the opening whistle, and City, initially, failed to deal with it. The opening goal may have come from a corner, with Marquinhos escaping Ilkay Gündoğan to head in Di María’s superb delivery, but it was the result of intense pressure. This is not a City side used to being attacked, and it did not deal with it well, certainly in the first half.

This was not a team selection like the one against Lyon last season or against Liverpool at Anfield in 2018, but yet again there was a sense that Pep Guardiola’s attempt to tweak his system to combat the opponent had served mainly to undermine his own side. A feature of City, of all Guardiola sides, is the way the fullbacks push on, but early on here João Cancelo and Kyle Walker stayed deep. That isn’t necessarily a problem, but when City operates without a recognized striker, it needs players high up the pitch to create angles. Without that, City was largely toothless and repeatedly lost possession cheaply, allowing PSG to keep the pressure on.

When City did press, it troubled PSG, but for too much of the first half, it seemed wary of doing so. In the second, it did play much higher and as a result was able to dominate possession. The game settled into the pattern that had been widely expected, with PSG defending deep and in numbers and looking to spring Mbappé on the counter. City struggled to create clear chances, and when it did equalize after 65 minutes it was a freakish strike, with Kevin De Bruyne’s floated cross evading everybody and bouncing in at the back post.

And with that, the worst of PSG was suddenly on show. Under pressure, it lost discipline. Phil Foden was needlessly fouled by Idrissa Gana Gueye. Leandro Paredes was needlessly booked for kicking the ball away. And then the PSG wall split in two as Presnel Kimpembe and Paredes turned their backs for the decisive goal. Perhaps City was fortunate that Riyad Mahrez’s free kick hit the precise gap in the wall they left, but it was sloppiness that allowed it to happen. Keylor Navas was unsighted and helpless.

The tale of petulance continued. Neymar was booked for a late challenge. Gueye was sent off for a horrendous foul on Gündoğan. Suddenly there was the familiar theater every time a City player made a challenge, the howls of pain, the surrounding of the referee. This was a team that knew it had been outplayed seeking any means to gain an advantage.

In the end, City could easily have added a third, but given how the first half had gone, 2-1—and holding Mbappé without a shot—was impressive enough. It knows now that PSG does not handle its pressure well and that, if it needs to, it can keep the ball away. In its first semifinal under Guardiola, City is now within touching distance of a first final.

Read full article at Sports Illustrated

Pep Guardiola's latest Lionel Messi declaration hints at where star's future lies

Mirror Online 29 April, 2021 - 10:11am

Pep Guardiola has dropped arguably the strongest hint yet that Lionel Messi will extend his stay at Barcelona beyond the end of this season.

The Argentinean superstar's future has been the source of constant speculation ever since he sensationally declared his intentions to leave the club last summer.

Guardiola's Manchester City and French giants Paris Saint-Germain have been two of the teams most strongly linked with his signature, with Messi's contract at the Nou Camp set to expire in just two months' time.

However, the 33-year-old has appeared a happier figure on the pitch in recent months, with Barcelona winning the Copa del Rey and getting themselves back in the race for the La Liga title.

And it is expected that once the campaign is concluded Messi will sit down with his representatives to firmly decide his next step.

Spanish station TV3 are preparing a new documentary about the six-time Ballon d'Or winner, and asked Guardiola for his thoughts on Messi's situation.

And despite the rumours about joining him at City, Guardiola insisted his former player would be best off remaining in Catalonia.

"I hope he can finish his career at Barca," Guardiola said. "Messi will not find a better home than at Barca.

"The only thing that needs to be done is to go back to the origins of what makes the club special."

TV3 also report that Messi's father and agent Jorge recently met with new Barca president Joan Laporta for the first time to discuss the possibility of a new two-year contract for his son, along with a potential future ambassadorial role at the club after retirement.

Messi has spent his entire professional career at Barca, along the way winning ten La Ligas and four Champions Leagues as well as breaking numerous individual records.

For now he will be fully focused on ensuring he wins La Liga title number 11, with his side currently third in the table but knowing that winning their game in hand over Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid would put them top with just weeks of the season remaining.

Manchester City Beat PSG, Earn Crucial Away Win, 2-1: Reaction & Tweets

Bitter and Blue 29 April, 2021 - 07:30am

Pep and his men get job done in Paris.

Thanks to second half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez that saw City fight back from behind to win first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

Trailing at the break to a first-half Marquinhos header, Pep Guardiola’s side managed a wonderful performance after the break at the Parc des Princes.

A great advantage and now they go home to complete th job next week. 90 minutes from the club’s first UCL Final.

We move. On to the reaction-

“We started really well and then conceded a goal, we felt the pressure. That’s normal. For a lot of people, it is our first time in semi finals and they want to do well. Last ten minutes of the first half was good and second half was good but we have a hard job in six days.

“Sometimes you need time to be relaxed and be ourselves. First half it’s normal. We changed a little bit the way we pressed. We more aggressive. Last 10 minutes of first and then second half, we were more aggressive.

“So satisfied with the performance but it’s half way. We still have 90 minutes to beat them and with PSG anything can happen.”

“It looks easy but it’s not easy,” he said. “I played when I was young and it’s not easy.

“PSG scored four goals in Camp Nou and three goals against Bayern Munich. They have the quality to do it.

“You play cautious sometimes, but in a good sense.

“I was not complaining. I said at half-time, I understand why they were like this but try to play our game. Go out there and try to do it.

“They were fantastic. I admire them going from not playing good to playing well, it means a lot.

“When you play knock-out stages, semi-final first leg, the players are thinking about not losing.

“You can’t win qualification in first leg - but you can lose it.

“So, I understand the players. Sometimes you feel not comfortable.

“But we spoke at half time and adjusted a few little stupid things, not important things.

“Anything can happen in the second leg.

“Now we go to Crystal Palace to make important step in the Premier League.”

90mn left... ✊ pic.twitter.com/073cfkcVVQ

Huge away goals ⚽ So happy we've turned this game around. C'mon City! @ChampionsLeague pic.twitter.com/tURsLV6qd8

FT: Massive away victory. Man City 90 mins from a UCL final. CMON CITY

Joe Hart hits out at Idrissa Gueye for his tackle on Ilkay Gundogan

Daily Mail 28 April, 2021 - 05:28pm

By Max Winters For Mailonline

Former Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart hit out at Paris Saint-German midfielder Idrissa Gueye for his 'needless' tackle on Ilkay Gundogan on Wednesday night.

PSG lost their discipline during the second half of their Champions League semi-final first leg and Gueye was shown a straight red for an awful challenge on City's German midfielder.

Gueye caught his opponent on the back of the ankle with his studs. It was a late challenge from behind and Gundogan needed treatment before he could continue at Parc des Princes.

PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye was sent off during their 2-1 defeat by Manchester City

Gueye flew into a tackle with City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan that was 'needless', says Joe Hart

Gueye will now miss next week's second leg at the Etihad and Hart, who won the Premier League title twice with City, was less than impressed with the former Everton midfielder's tackle.

Speaking on BT Sport, he said after the game: 'I think the frustrating thing is it is needless.

'He got caught up in emotion of the game. He got it all wrong and it's a good job it did not do what they we feared it may do.'

Ex-Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves agreed with Hart, adding: 'It's a poor challenge from Gueye. 

'It is not malicious, just really poorly timed, a very nasty one. It was an easy decision.'

Hart says Gueye 'got it all wrong' and was relieved to see Gundogan walk away without injury

Gundogan was inundated by social media messages from City fans asking if he was okay as they look to win the Premier League and Champions League in the coming weeks.

In response, the 30-year-old posted: 'I'm fine. All good. Thanks for all your messages'.

City produced a superb second-half fightback to claim a 2-1 advantage after the first leg of their last four encounter.

Gundogan let Manchester City fans know that he's 'all good' after the final whistle in Paris

The Premier League leaders were stung by an early Marquinhos goal as the hosts dominated the first half of a high-quality encounter at the Parc des Princes.

They responded brilliantly with Kevin De Bruyne equalising after 64 minutes and Riyad Mahrez firing home a free-kick soon after.

PSG lost their discipline as City threatened to score more in a strong finish. Phil Foden and De Bruyne both had late chances to put City in complete command but PSG escaped further damage.

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