City win the battle of the Gulf states

The second semi-final of the Champions League took place in Paris and was a battle between the owners of PSG from Qatar with stars such as Neymar and Mbappé against the Abu Dhabi controlled City with Guardiola as head coach. Two 'state clubs' as Javier Tebas likes to call both teams with deep pockets from oil rich nations able to fund both institutions and avoid sailing too close to the FFP winds. Rumour has it that the Parisian side have made Leo Messi an offer he 'can't refuse' as City continue to spend big each summer ensuring that Guardiola has all the players at his disposition that the Catalan coach demands with both sides searching for the holy grail ... the Champions League title.

Sin tituloManchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola gives his instructions (R) next to Paris Saint-Germain's Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino during the UEFA Champions League first leg semi-final football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Manchester City at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on April 28, 2021. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

PSG dominate the first 45

City go into the second leg with an clear advantage after a fine second half display last in Paris after the home side dominated the first 45 minutes. PSG went in at the break just one goal to the good as Pochettino's side controlled the opening period of the tie. City retained the ball and PSG struck on the break looking for the same impact as in the Bayern tie. Di María, Mbappé and Neymar were outstanding in these transitions during the first half with the opening goal coming from a Marquinhos header as the Brazilian latched onto a fine Di Maria corner.

Champions League - Semi Final First Leg - Paris St Germain v Manchester CitySoccer Football - Champions League - Semi Final First Leg - Paris St Germain v Manchester City - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - April 28, 2021 Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring their first goal with Bernardo Silva, John Stones and teammates REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

City fire back

PSG came out after the break a little subdued, as if they were aware that City would have to up their game and this is precisely what happened. The Manchester side moved up a gear and started to dominate proceedings moving the ball around with pace and purpose. Their cause was aided by the home side shipping two soft goals as De Bryune crossed into the box and the ball caught Keylor Navas napping and nestled in the back of the PSG net. A Mahrez free-kick saw the PSG wall open to see City move ahead and to make matters worse, PSG were reduced to ten men after Gueye caught Gundogan with VAR being called upon in the first time over both semi-finals. PSG failed to capitalise from their spell of domination and City did the opposite and the Sky Blue side edge a step closer to the Istanbul final next month.