PSG welcomed Manchester City to the Parc De Princes in the first leg of the Champions League semi finals. It ended evenly at 2-2, with the Citizens leaving with an advantage of 2 away goals.

Manchester City drew first blood with the Belgian Kevin De Bruyne slotting past Trapp with a good finish. This came moments after Joe Hart made a superb penalty save to deny Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede eventually did get his goal, taking advantage of a horrendous error by Fernando. 21 year old Adrien Rabiot, formerly of Manchester City’s youth academy, then went on to make it 2-1 by capitalizing on a rebound from a Joe Hart save. A mix up between Serge Aurier and Captain Thiago Silva, saw Fernando equalise and  proved enough to cancel out both PSG goals.
Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester City FC

The Citizens started off well, and their pressing seemed to have caught PSG off guard. PSG’s penalty appeals for a Mangala shove on Blaise Matuidi, in the first half, were disregarded. But they were later given the opportunity to open the scoring after being awarded a penalty under debatable circumstances, one which saw Bacary Sagna trip David Luiz. The Swede would go on to miss however, with Joe Hart making a good save. PSG would be left to rue the missed chance as De Bruyne then put City a goal to the good  through a counter attack. But Ibrahimovic made up for his many misses by taking advantage of Fernando’s error and slotting home an easy finish.

In the second half, Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani saw his header parried off by Hart, but the rebound made it easy for Rabiot to score Parisians’ second of the night. This seemed to be the motivation that PSG needed and they bombarded the visitor’s goal with wave after wave of attacks. But Hart & Co. survived the onslaught and then found themselves level after Fernandinho took his chance following a miscommunication between PSG captain Thiago Silva and young Ivorian Serge Aurier.

 

Player Ratings

1. Paris Saint Germain

Kevin Trapp (5/10): Had a bad night, conceding 2 goals at home. However, his back 4 didn’t make it any easier. Could have stood up better in an attempt to stop De Bruyne’s goal.

Serge Aurier (5/10): Bad defending aside, his woeful attempt to control an easy cross from Bacary Sagna allowed Fernandinho to level the game and put PSG in a tough position for next week’s tie.

Thiago Silva (6/10): Played his part in conceding PSG’s second goal. A rare off day for the Brazilian. Could have marshaled his defence better.

David Luiz (5/10): As soon as the game started, he received a yellow which didn’t help his cause. Wasn’t paying attention to De Bruyne, leaving him unmarked, not dealing with the pass properly which allowed the Belgian get his goal.

Maxwell (6/10): Was constantly attacked down his flank, as City tried to use the pace of Navas to exploit him but he held on as best as he could. Offered little going forward, but arguably was the best defender for the Parisians on the night.

Adrien Rabiot (7/10): The 21 year old had a good game, staying alert enough to score off of Hart’s rebound and giving his side an advantage, albeit for a little while. Was taken off the ball far too easily by Fernando, the move eventually leading to City getting their first of the night.

Thiago Motta (7/10): Took a little time to settle against City’s hard pressing approach from the start of the game, but settled well as PSG tried to take control later on.

Blaise Matuidi (5/10): Suspension will see him miss the second leg of the tie. Beaten in the air too often, didn’t have a great game alongside Motta as he couldn’t impose himself.

Angel Di Maria (6/10): Showed glimpses of his ability, but that was it. Nowhere near his performance at Chelsea and had only a few key passes, which he can take encouragement from. Will have to do much better in the next leg.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (7/10): Taking nothing away from Hart’s save, it was a below par penalty. An off day for the Swede, missing a one on one vs Hart and placing a few headers wide. Gave the defenders a tough time with his presence. Credit to him for making the most of Fernando’s lapse in concentration.

Edinson Cavani (6/10): Had a few attempts on goal but his header, which was parried away by Hart for Rabiot to capitalize on, was his most significant contribution. Missed a header and blazed a shot wide.

 

2. Manchester City

Joe Hart (7/10): Made a good save to deny Ibrahimovic but the Englishman wouldn’t be happy to concede two goals. Couldn’t hold on to the shot from Cavani and parried it on to Rabiot’s path which led to the Parisian’s second of the night.

Bacary Sagna (5/10): Assisted Fernandinho’s goal but it was a pass which should have never reached the player, a tame cross which Aurier made a mess of. Conceded the early penalty, although in debatable circumstances, but saved by Joe Hart. Nearly scored an own goal in the second half.

Nicolas Otamendi (5/10): Didn’t fare too well the entire game, and looked hesitant.

Eliaquim Mangala (6/10): Fortunate to not concede a penalty in the first half, but did did not have a good game. Nearly conceding a penalty hurt his composure and he never recovered properly after that. Almost scored an own goal. Had a good second half defensive display.

Gael Clichy (7/10): Was booked for a silly challenge on Serge Aurier. Had a good game otherwise and did well with his distribution. Best of the Citizens’ defenders on the night.

Fernando (6/10): Rating would’ve been higher perhaps if his lack of concentration didn’t lead to PSG equalizing. Had a good game otherwise and did well in the middle of the park during the first half for City and helped break up and start moves with Fernandinho well.

Fernandinho (8/10): An energetic display from City’s best player of the night. Played an integral part in running City’s game from the middle of the park and was superb defensively and in starting off City’s attacks. Scored the all important second equalizing goal which gives City a huge advantage next week.

Jesus Navas (6/10): His speed down the right flank made life hard for Maxwell. Did well whenever he was on the ball, and caused the PSG defence trouble throughout. Played an integral part in setting up Fernandinho’s goal.

David Silva (7/10): Seems to be getting back to his best. Nearly scored off a superb ball from Navas, but just headed wide. Had a good game overall, combining well with Aguero and De Bruyne with some good passing.

Kevin De Bruyne (8/10): Scored a goal with a good finish to give Manchester City the lead. Made his presence felt with his passing and movement throughout and made space for Aguero by dragging defenders away.

Sergio Aguero (6/10): Had a good game, often dropping deep to help start out City’s attacks. His best contribution, however, was getting David Luiz booked early and hence suspended for the second leg of the tie, making the Parisians significantly weaker.

 

Manager Ratings

1. Manuel Pellegrini (7/10): He deserves credit for instilling Manchster City with confidence to take the game to PSG from the get go. City seemed a bit unsettled in the second half, but then chased a second goal and held on to see the tie through.

2. Laurent Blanc (6/10): Seemed to have underestimated City, his players were caught well off guard at their pressing. However, did get his side to get their act together in the second half.

 

City’s for the taking

PSG face Guingamp in their next game, which is of no consequence having already won the Ligue 1 title. City play West Brom in a high pressure game as they look to keep 4th place and stay in a Champions League spot with Manchester United only a point behind them.

Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester City FC

 

With PSG without Aurier and Luiz for the second leg, it should be easier for Aguero & co. They will hope to improve and add to their first leg performance and will hope to have the backing of their fans in full voice as they try to qualify for the semi finals.

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