By Ian Ladyman for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:15 BST, 4 May 2021 | Updated: 22:19 BST, 4 May 2021
It is the goals that they will remember. Three for Riyad Mahrez over the course of the tie. One for Kevin De Bruyne that started to turn things in Manchester City’s favour in Paris a week earlier.
But this was a victory over two games that was built on something more than those moments.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Facing a really dangerous opponent, Pep Guardiola’s team had to be as disciplined and resilient as perhaps they have ever been.
Riyad Mahrez (left) and Kevin de Bruyne (right) scored four goals between them in the two legs
And one incident early in the second half summed up the collective effort of excellence as well as anything.
As PSG’s Brazilian Neymar ran across the top of the City penalty area, danger threatened. There was space, a clear opening. Had the French champions scored at that point the tie would have been open again.
But Neymar did not score. His shot did not even reach City goalkeeper Ederson. And that was because young City full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko blocked it brilliantly. Had he not done so, Ederson still would not have been required as John Stones was right behind his team-mate ready to do the same.
As the ball disappeared behind for a corner, Stones and Zinchencko celebrated like goal scorers. It was that kind of night for Mauricio Pochettino’s team at the Etihad Stadium. If one City player didn’t get you then another one would.
The whole of City’s back four was magnificent here. Kyle Walker continues to look like a player reborn. The Portuguese centre half Ruben Dias appeared to block at least one shot with his face.
All this from a defensive unit that Guardiola had appeared to suggest was technically limited in the run up to the first game.
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Phil Foden was impressive again, with the young midfielder being likened to Paul Gascoigne
This was a night that grew as ugly as the weather as the game approached its latter stages. That was a shame. But by then City’s work had been done. For the second game running between the teams, PSG fell apart