The footballing world has been eagerly awaiting the battle of the big spenders ever since Paris Saint-Germain were drawn against Manchester City in the Champions League semi-final, and the first leg of the tie certainly didn’t disappoint.
The French champions produced some scintillating football against their Premier League opposition at the Parc des Princes to take a 1-0 lead, but it all came tumbling down in the second half as a dominant City display saw them come from behind to earn a 2-1 win.
After a frantic opening to the game, PSG hit the front with just 15 minutes on the clock as Marquinhos – the man for the big occasion – notched for the second knockout round running with a glancing header from Angel Di Maria’s corner.
While the run from the Brazilian to notch the opening goal of the game was certainly impressive, the defending from City’s Ilkay Gundogan offered, erm, a fair bit to be desired.
City managed to muster a couple of attacks as the first half wore on, though the majority of the visitors’ first 45 minutes was spent trying to shackle the mesmeric talent that is Neymar.
The Brazilian maestro was clearly brimming with confidence as he put on a show for the watching world – and it’s fair to say they enjoyed it.
If you’d asked Pep Guardiola at half-time whether he’d have been willing to accept a 1-0 defeat, he’d probably have taken it such was PSG’s dominance throughout the first half, though he’d have been a foolish man to have done so.
The visitors emerged for the second period looking far more composed and showed much more authority on the ball, and as they began to take control of the game, the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe’s influence began to wane.
Firstly, City levelled the scoring with a slight bit of luck thanks to Kevin De Bruyne’s cross finding its way past Keylor Navas.
Not content with levelling the scoring, City smelt blood and it didn’t take long for them to edge in front via Riyad Mahrez’s free kick. Let’s not mention that wall though, ey?
Any thought the home side had of regrouping and trying to restore parity soon vanished as former Everton man Idrissa Gueye produced a horrible challenge as he scraped his studs down the back of Gundogan’s calf.
City saw out the 2-1 win and will take a lead back to Manchester ahead of the second leg next week.
The result came about from a combination of City’s brilliance and PSG’s ineptitude, and the Twitter world didn’t hold back in assessing both sides….