Manchester City expose brittle Paris Saint-Germain’s lack of maturity

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The Guardian 29 April, 2021 - 01:00pm 21 views

What channel is PSG vs Man City?

As for watching PSG vs Man City in the USA, it'll be on CBS Sports Network and Univision. 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'

It had all been going so well. They had beaten Bayern Munich with two performances of great discipline, especially at home. And they had much the better of the first half against Manchester City on Wednesday. As Pep Guardiola sat his full‑backs deeper than usual – an element of caution that, yet again in a major European tie, did more to disrupt his own side than the opposition – PSG looked quicker, brighter and sharper.

And then Guardiola released his full-backs. City began to control possession. The second half became the game that had been widely expected: City probing, PSG sitting deep and looking to counter. It’s a dynamic that has not often suited Guardiola sides against the elite in Europe, but City this season press well enough that opponents have consistently struggled to play through, over or round them. Slowly, PSG were suffocated.

Jürgen Klopp insists that to bunker down against City is to rely on luck, to hope to win the lottery. Give an opponent, particularly one of such quality, the ball around the box and eventually something is likely to happen. Perhaps a winger dribbles past two defenders. Perhaps a long-range effort flashes in. Perhaps a perfect cross picks out a teammate even in a crowded box. Or perhaps it doesn’t, and the cross just keeps going and going and drifts in at the far post. Misfortune, yes, but a misfortune that was permitted by circumstances in which PSG were complicit.

PSG have no such maturity. That should have been evident from their behaviour late in their league defeat by Lille at the beginning of the month. But still, the level to which they lost discipline was startling. City’s second goal resulted from a collective meltdown, a team used to getting their own way unable to handle adversity.

Gueye had no need to foul Foden. Leandro Paredes stupidly kicked the ball away to be booked. And then, even worse, he and Presnel Kimpembe split in the wall, allowing Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick to pass between them. Yes, Mahrez was fortunate that what was not a particularly good strike happened to hit the hole in the wall. But then, if there had not been a hole in the wall it couldn’t have been a goal.

By then the tantrum was in full swing. Neymar, who was sent off in that game against Lille, was booked for a late challenge and then Gueye got an inevitable red for an awful foul on Ilkay Gündogan. After almost every challenge PSG surrounded the referee, Felix Brych, threatening to scream and scream until they were sick if he didn’t even up the numbers. It was all very unedifying.

Perhaps PSG will come back at the Etihad Stadium: they certainly have the attacking power to do so, and City are more than capable of freezing in a big European tie. But if they are to win – and the last manager to overturn a first-leg Champions League deficit in the away leg was Pochettino – they will need a lot more mental fortitude than this. Football has few defences left against the distorting power of money, but the way over-successful sides so often lapse into spoiled entitlement is one of them.

Read full article at The Guardian

Champions League soccer: Manchester City rallies to beat PSG

UPI News 29 April, 2021 - 01:10pm

"Just half of the job is done," Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola told reporters. "If we play shy and not who we are, anything can happen and PSG can turn it on.

PSG right wing Angel Di Maria set up the first score when he took a corner kick from the right side. Di Maria bent the kick into the box toward Marquinhos. The PSG center back then jumped and flicked a header into the far-post netting to beat Sky Blues keeper Ederson.

The Sky Blues responded about 20 minutes into the second half. Midfielder Oleksandr Zincheko slipped a pass to the de Bruyne about 30 yards from the goal during that exchange.

Mahrez netted the equalizer about seven minutes later. The Sky Blues forward took a free kick from about 25 yards out for that score.

De Bruyne lined up over the ball and looked like he was about to attempt the kick. Mahrez then darted in front of his teammate and used his left boot for a shot. The laser beat PSG keeper Keylor Navas and found the left side of the net.

"Fortunately it was in and we were so happy because we knew we could win here, to score the [winning goal] for the team was amazing."

Manchester City battles Crystal Palace in Premier League play at 7:30 a.m. EDT Saturday at Selhurst Park Stadium in London. PSG faces Lens in Ligue 1 at 11 a.m. EDT Saturday in Paris.

The Sky Blues and PSG meet for the second leg of their semifinal matchup at 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Manchester, England.

Neymar 'still wants to go back to Barcelona' and is 'desperate to play with Lionel Messi' again

Daily Mail 29 April, 2021 - 01:10pm

By Adam Shergold for MailOnline

Neymar 'still wants to return to Barcelona' despite his public proclamations that he is happy at Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazilian star, whose PSG contract expires next year, claimed he had 'never been happier' at the French club when speaking ahead of their Champions League semi-final against Manchester City.

Asked about his future in Paris, he said: 'I have got time on my contract here at PSG. We want to do what is the best for everyone.

Neymar is reportedly still determined to leave PSG and get back to his former club Barcelona 

Neymar 'is determined to play alongside Lionel Messi once again' either at Barca or PSG

'I have already said that I am happy here and I feel much better than in the previous seasons.'

However, suggestions that really Neymar wants to return to Barcelona, where he played between 2013 and 2017, persist.

Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo report that Neymar is desperate to be reunited with Lionel Messi, preferably at Barcelona or even at PSG.

Neymar, 29, is closely monitoring Messi's situation at the Nou Camp amid reports the Argentine star could leave this summer.

Neymar said this week he has 'never been happier' as a Paris Saint-Germain player

The Brazilian forward celebrates with Marquinhos after the opening goal against Man City

He believes he is in a position of strength in any contract negotiations because PSG won't want to let a player they signed for a world record £198million leave for nothing next summer.

Neymar has yet to sign a new deal, which would be until 2026, despite being urged to by the PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

In order to keep the star at the club, PSG is willing to make a serious move for Messi in the summer market.

Neymar with PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino on the training ground - the Brazilian's contract at the club expires in the summer of 2022 

Reports from Spain on Wednesday said they are preparing a two-year deal, with the option of a further one, to tempt Messi to the Parc des Princes.

However, Neymar won't be Barcelona's No 1 target for the summer with president Joan Laporta prioritising the Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.

PSG lost 2-1 to City in the first leg of the semi-final on Wednesday night and face an uphill task to reach the final next month. 

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Neymar's nutmeg on Kevin De Bruyne showed both sides of the Brazilian

GIVEMESPORT 29 April, 2021 - 01:10pm

The Brazilian was in stunning form against Bayern Munich in the quarter-final, earning esteemed acclaim from across the footballing world for his second leg performance in particular.

But Neymar's tendency to dive and feign injury have made him a peculiarly difficult figure to like throughout his career.

His world-class talent has never been in doubt, but his persistence in embracing some of football's dark arts has tarnished his reputation somewhat. 

It doesn't matter how much criticism he receives for his antics, the former Barcelona star can regularly be found rolling on the floor in apparent anguish. 

Those eye-roll inducing moments often arrive after he's bamboozled a defender with a majestic piece of skill, and a perfect example of Neymar's best and worst sides emerged during PSG's 2-1 defeat against City.

The 103-cap Brazil international produced some stunning pieces of intuitive play throughout proceedings, navigating his way out of cul-de-sacs when every avenue appeared to be blocked. 

His ability to dribble directly at opponents, meanwhile, caused City problems in the first half in particular - just ask Kevin De Bruyne. 

Neymar approached the Belgian wizard with the ball glued to his feet and, such is the enormity of his confidence, threw a a stepover and a feint before popping the ball through his opponent's legs. 

Having bypassed the obstacle with gracious ease, Neymar propelled himself into the air theatrically after engineering contact with the back of De Bruyne's ankle.

You can see the clip for yourself below: 

This is just the latest example in a long list of instances of playacting from Neymar.

His tendency to go to ground easily has been a feature of his game throughout his career, and that drew criticism from Brazilian legend Pele back in 2019.

“It’s difficult to defend Neymar for all the things he does besides playing football,” Pele told Folha de Sao Paulo (via Daily Express).

“He was unlucky because Brazil did not win the World Cup and he was singled out.

"I've been with him in Europe twice. We talked and I explained: 'The God of football gave you the gift. What you do complicates it.'"

Pep Guardiola details what he told Man City stars at half-time to turn around PSG tie

Mirror Online 29 April, 2021 - 01:10pm

Pep Guardiola tweaked the way his Manchester City side pressed PSG as their second-half display helped them secure a 2-1 win in their Champions League semi-final.

Goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez will give City an advantage in next week's second-leg at the Etihad.

Guardiola was forced to make some alterations at the interval with PSG 1-0 up and playing with plenty of confidence.

The Catalan was concsious of the threat posed by the Parisians and urged his players to remain calm.

He told BT Sport: "Sometimes you need to be more relaxed, the first half was normal. In 180 minutes you don't want to lose the ball, you don't play free.

"We changed the way we press, we were so passive. The last 10-15 minutes we were more aggressive because it's not easy against Neymar, Mbappe and Di Maria.

"After we found the goals and scored another one and so satisfied with the performance.

"But it's only halfway and we have many minutes still to beat them and PSG is a team where anything can happen."

Marquinhos had given PSG a first-half lead and Guardiola was aware of his side's lack of experience at this level.

City are playing in just a second Champions League semi-final but they have only done half a job - something their manager was keen to emphasise.

"We started really and after we conceded the goal. We held the pressure," he added.

"Sometimes every player has one touch to the put the ball out. It's normal. It's the first semi final for a lot of people and they want to do well.

"In the last 10 minutes of the first half was good. The second half was excellent in every department. We scored two away goals. That is so important.

"But hard to job to do in six days."

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