Author: John Mawuli Atidigah
Manchester City is a finalist in the European Champions League, after leaving Paris Saint Germain on the road with a 4 to 1 aggregate.
In the first leg the “citizens” had won 2-1 as a visitor, so that result gave them the peace of mind to face the revenge.
Paris Saint Germain started better, but in one of the first approaches to the rival goal, City struck first.
Great counterattack started by goalkeeper Ederson, and which culminated in the goal of Algerian Riyad Mahrez, when he ran the 11th minute of play.
From then on, the game changed, PSG – without Mbappé injured – was inoperative in attack, and the English team controlled the actions.
In the second half came Mahrez’s second goal at 63 minutes, to begin to sentence the tie, and 6 minutes later the Argentine Ángel Di María was expelled.
Victory for Manchester City, reaching the Champions League final for the first time, and a rematch for Guardiola, who returns to this decisive instance after 10 years.
Since leaving Barcelona, Pep Guardiola was no longer able to reach the Champions League final. Before last night. When, by annihilating PSG in the second leg, he broke a ten-year curse. So much has passed since the 2011 final, when, at Wembley, his Barça swept away Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United with a clear 3-1. Conquering his second, and so far last, Champions League. Now, the chance to try again, with Manchester City.
The chances of making three of a kind are very high, because the team built in these five years by Guardiola is today a perfect car. Rich in solutions and with a solid and recognizable game. He proved it a week ago, when a substitution was enough to take back the reins of a semifinal that, in the first half, had done very badly. From that moment, four goals in one and a half games, practically never undergoing the initiative of PSG. Anyone who will come across, Chelsea or Real Madrid, has far fewer certainties and strengths. At the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı in Istanbul, the Catalan coach almost has the duty to put the icing on a perfect cake, which he has never lost in the Champions League so far: 11 wins and one draw.
And then, winning the third Champions League would propel Guardiola into the Olympus of the great ones. In that of the greats, after all, it has been around for some time. Also because, with Bayern Munich in three seasons he always reached the semifinals. A result taken for granted, but which is not taken for granted. With the City, however, everything was more complicated, also by virtue of a non-existent European dimension. In this, Pep was able to be patient, at least as much as the owner of the club, which in fact never fails to thank. We’ll see in three weeks if he can close the circle. And, above all, if he will be able to reach that trio of phenomena capable of winning the Champions League (it was the Champions League), three times: Zinedine Zidane (with Real Madrid in 2016, 2017 and 2018), Carlo Ancelotti (with Real Madrid in 2014 and with Milan in 2003 and 2007) and Bob Paisley (with Liverpool in 1977, 1978 and 1981).