Riyad Mahrez scored the winner as Manchester City completed the comeback to beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 at the Parc des Princes in the first leg of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League semifinals.

Maquinhos gave the home team the lead before Kevin de Bruyne equalised for the English giants and Mahrez slotted home to give City a huge advantage before next week’s second leg in the Champions League.

Mauricio Pochettino, who had dumped Pep Guardiola’s Man City out at the quarterfinal stage with Tottenham in 2019, looked on course to do the same again during the first half when skipper Marquinhos headed the hosts into a deserved lead as Kylian Mbappe and Neymar caused all sorts of problems for the visitors.

Pep Guardiola’s side fought their way back as the away side dominated the game after the break and turned the first leg tie in Paris on its head.

PSG, Man City

Neymar had a frustrating game against Man City (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Kevin de Bruyne’s menacing cross missed everyone in the penalty area and luckily drifted into the net beyond a helpless PSG goalkeeper Kaylor Navas in the 64th minute to make it 1-1.

PSG struggled as Neymar and Mbappe faded in the second half and Riyad Mahrez scored a freekick that went through the well, somehow, to put City up 2-1 after 71 minutes.

Costa Rican Navas had a night to forget in which he should have not allowed either of the goals to go in. This may have cost the Parisians the tie.

To add to PSG’s misery, Senegal midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye was shown a red card in the 77th minute for a horrendous foul on Ilkay Gundogan.

There is still work to be done, and history suggests that City can not take anything for granted, but they have found themselves in a superb position to go through to the final in Istanbul on 29th May to face the winner between Chelsea and Real Madrid.



Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said, “Sometimes you need to be more relaxed and be ourselves. The first half is normal – you don’t want to lose the ball [so] you don’t play free. We changed a little in the way we press. We were passive [earlier on]. Then we were more aggressive. It’s not easy against Mbappe, Neymar, Di Maria.

“Afterwards we found goals and could have scored another. I’m so satisfied with the performance but we’re only halfway. There are 90 more minutes. Anything can happen.

“We didn’t have good possession in the right positions. This club don’t have much experience in the semi-finals of this tournament. This will help us. In the second half we were aggressive and played really good.

“Against Dortmund, we conceded and came back. Today the same. [We were] ourselves in the second half. We are good playing in a certain way – we can’t do a different way.”

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino said, “There were two different halves – we did well in the first half but it is difficult to eliminate a team like City. We deserved to be ahead but they were better than us and dominated the second half. The two goals were accidents, but they created more than us. It was one half for each team.

“The two goals are very disappointing. It is difficult to accept but that can happen, and it has happened in a semi-final. It is very painful.

“It is difficult to explain why they were better but we were better in the first half. It was difficult to cope, their physical condition, they were more aggressive. We didn’t show the energy you need. The red card could be yellow, could be red.

“The second leg – in football you need to believe. They have the advantage.”

Riyad Mahrez put in another man of the match performance, his second consecutive as he was the player of the final in the League Cup as City beat Tottenham for their 4th consecutive title in the competition.

We’re in for a thrilling second leg at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, next week.