Manchester City have reached into the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history after beating Paris St-Germain by 1-0 (agg 3-2) in the second leg of last-8 at Etihad Stadium. Kevin de Bruyne’s late strike helped Manuel Pellegrini side to knock out the French champions from the competition. De Bruyne scored in the both legs against PSG for Manchester City with both of his shots on target. After a 2-2 first-leg draw in Paris on last Wednesday, the game stayed in the balance in Manchester because of the missed penalty of Sergio Aguero for City in the first half.
The hosts had Joe Hart to thank for three superb saves when the score was 0-0, particularly a fierce free-kick from Zlatan Ibrahimovic that the England goalkeeper clawed to safety. But, roared on by a maximum crowd of 53,039 that provided an exceptional environment, Manchester City held their nerve at the back before De Bruyne’s decisive header 15 minutes from time with their only shot on target. The final whistle brought scenes of real feeling from the supporters at Etihad Stadium, who were at the point of uncharted region.
England’s last residual representatives in Europe’s first class football club tournament had never achieved a place in the quarter-finals before this season – now they can see a dream of the final in Milan. First they can look forward to Friday’s semi-final draw, after winning what was seen as the clash of Europe’s wealthiest clubs with a PSG side who have now fallen at the last-8 stage for four consecutive seasons.
Manchester City’s defence has been tremendously insulted this season and their display in Paris specifically indicated a clean sheet looked a long shot in this second leg. The major reason they attained one was Hart but, at this time, their back four also deserve tremendous credit. Their full-backs handled the PSG’s wide players, whether it was wing-backs Maxwell and Gregory van der Wiel in a 5-3-2 formation in the first half, or orthodox wingers Lucas and Angel di Maria in a 4-4-2 in the second half.