After 180 minutes of grueling football, Manuel Pellegrini’s men managed to knock out one of the favorites to win the Champions League with a 1-0 victory against PSG on Tuesday.
Sergio Aguero missed a penalty early in the game but that did not affect the outcome of the game as in-form Belgian attacker Kevin de Bruyne struck in the second half and sent the French outfit packing back home as he gave City they are first ever semi-final in the Champions League.
Pellegrini, who will leave the club at the end of the season will be hoping to go all the way but it will not be easy with teams like Real Madrid, Bayern and Barcelona still fighting in the competition.
Here are 5 talking points from City’s 1-0 victory against PSG:
- Pellegrini deserves the credit:
Ever since City announced the appointment of Guardiola next season, Manchester City have found it hard to find consistent results under the Chilean but the Champions League has been a different accusation. The manager had the team believe in themselves and had them play confident football and helped them knock one of the best teams in the competition out in the quarter-finals. Surely, even if he does not go all the way, he deserves credit for bringing the team to the semi-finals.
- Laurent Blanc undid himself:
Everything was working fine for PSG in the domestic league but a poor game against City at home saw PSG panic on their way to the Etihad. They needed to play their own game but Blanc managed to change the whole system by playing a 3-man defense at the back thanks to the absence of David Luiz who was suspended. This change in the system took PSG more time to settle in than he expected and never allowed the visitors to dominate the game which they eventually lost complete grip on. Surely Blanc will have to sit and contemplate what would have happened had he not changes the whole system at PSG.
- Kevin de Bruyne the difference:
On the night at Etihad, it looked like neither team had the cutting edge to break the deadlock but once De Bruyne was playing on a different field. He created more than double the chances any other player created on the night and also thumped in a sumptuous goal from outside the box to seal the game for the Citizens on a memorable night. Surely De Bruyne was the reason Manchester City are comfortable placed in the semi-final of the competition this season.
- Ibra’s UCL voodoo continues:
For a man who has won 12 league titles in the last 14 years, Ibrahimovic is still to win a Champions League trophy and he has missed yet another chance to do so on Tuesday when the Paris franchise knocked out of the Etihad stadium. This year, the Swede had a great chance to go all the way but they ran into a gritty Manchester City side who just did enough to move on to the semi-final of the competition. Zlatan un-fortunately has to wait another year for a chance to lay his hands on the UCL trophy.
- City to go all the way?
Along with City, Real Madrid also managed to sneak into the semi final 3-2 on aggregate against Wolfsburg on Tuesday. Bayern Munich lead 1-0 against Benfica and are expected to move into the next round while Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are locked in a sizzling battle for a semi-final spot. It will not be easy to go to the final at Milan but the confidence they have shown to reach the semi-final might help them go all the way even as clubs like Bayern or Real Madrid come in their way in the next round.