UK Man City fans show Pep Guardiola has kept his promise after PSG win last minute news
MetiNews.Com - Manchester City are heading to a first Champions League final after a 2-0 win against PSG at the Etihad secured a 4-1 win on aggregate.
Breaking News ! Two years ago Pep Guardiola told his Manchester City squad they had to seduce the fans into showing the same affection for the Champions League as them, the trophy that means more to the Catalan and to players. If love is standing in the relentless Manchester rain to serenade those players on a 400-metre journey from the training ground to the Etihad then he can consider it job done. It's been a long-distance romance this season but the gusto with which those hardy Blues belted out 'Istanbul, Istanbul we are coming' showed the Champions League is now a part of the City mythology. Guardiola felt this club didn't have the same affection with this competition that has mesmerised him as a player and a manager because they hadn't experienced the highs it can give you. Instead, they'd had to watch Manchester United and Liverpool live off the romance of European nights. Not any more. The only sadness at the Etihad on Tuesday was that the stands stood empty on the night City's love affair with the Champions League was consummated. There's something uniquely special about the second leg of a Champions League semi-final, the pleasure and pain that can contort through 90 minutes or more. To experience that at home is special, but to experience it without your fans when this is your first time elicits more than a tinge of regret. City's fans also won't be able to flock to Istanbul in their thousands at the end of May. Their first European final in 51 years will take them to the very edge of the continent in unique circumstances. Read More Related Articles Man City player ratings: Ruben Dias and John Stones magnificent against PSG Read More Related Articles Man City vs PSG LIVE score and goal updates as Riyad Mahrez scores twice and Di Maria sent off But this season - and this night - while special in its own right, should just be the start. City have spent 10 campaigns trying to master the Champions League but all they had to show for it was scars. Unwanted reminders of its relentless, capricious nature. The luck of the draw, the blast of a referee's whistle, the mood-killing meddling of VAR and an untimely off night, all had left City fans wondering just what the fuss with this competition was and Guardiola wondering if he'd ever get back to the final. A decade on from his last he is there again and this shouldn't be City's first and last. This season they've shown they've matured in this competition, navigating the group stage with professionalism and refusing to panic against Borussia Dortmund when they were rocked in both legs. As a tough first quarter against PSG they recovered magnificently. When they were grateful for the use of VAR inside the first six minutes at the Etihad it certainly felt like the times they are a-changin'. The tie turned decisively in those moments and City can start dreaming of a Saturday in Istanbul at the end of May, when the sun will surely shine. That will be a blessed change from an early Tuesday in May in Manchester, when the weather was as Mancunian as it gets. Hundreds of City fans had gathered to give the team coach a welcome those players won't forget before kick-off and as they lit smoke bombs and set off fireworks on Ashton New Road the rain was as relentless as City had been in the second half in Paris just under a week ago. As the coach tiptoed through the throng, with fans surrounding it, the rain turned to hail. There are occasions in the season that you associate with certain weather and the Champions League semi-finals are usually sun-kissed affairs as spring heads towards summer, but this is Manchester and no such guarantees can be made.
. They were boisterous and determined to appeal for everything, a tactic that got its reward when they screamed for a spot-kick when the ball clipped Oleksandr Zinchenko on six minutes.
Riyad Mahrez scores the opening goal
(Image: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
The left-back furiously pointed to his shoulder and when the City bench saw the replay they did likewise. Bjorn Kuipers sprinted over to his VAR screen and quickly reversed his decision. Ederson exchanged passes with Ilkay Gundogan, sucking PSG up the pitch, before the goalkeeper got out his sledgehammer, sending a booming left-footed pass down that side and into the path of Zinchenko, who collected it on the edge of the PSG box. His cut-back found Kevin De Bruyne, whose shot was blocked, but Riyad Mahrez finished with his right foot from close range.
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That goal gave City valuable breathing space but it didn't kill the spirit of PSG, despite the absence of Kylian Mbappe, who was only fit enough for the bench. His replacement Mauro Icardi couldn't get in the game, but City had plenty of defending to do. Marquinhos hit the bar with a header after a short corner routine and Angel Di Maria shot wide when the Blues gave the ball away with Ederson out of position. In Mbappe's absence, it was down to Neymar to carry the fight to City and he wasn't shirking for the challenge, but he got nothing of the outstanding John Stones and Ruben Dias. Their partnership has been the story of City's season and it was fitting they played such an integral part in this second leg. Dias heading behind a cross from Ander Herrera as he lay prone on the floor was a sign of their unflinching commitment.
Manchester City players celebrate Riyad Mahrez's opening goal
(Image: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
They were determined there would be no route back for PSG. As Neymar jinked across goal early in the second half Stones and Zinchenko combined to block his shot and celebrated like they'd scored a goal, joined by Dias, the defensive leader who wrapped his comrades in a bear hug. The intensity of that work was shutting Neymar, Di Maria and Icardi out of the game. All the talk of PSG's threat coming into this tie was their speed on the counter, but it was City who unpicked the Parisians just after the hour to put Istanbul within touching distance. De Bruyne and Phil Foden exchanged passes down the left and the City fan burst to the byline and squared to make Mahrez's back-post finish a fait accompli. While Guardiola just turned to his bench and clenched his fists, all 10 outfield players raced to the corner flag to celebrate with the goalscorer. If that wasn't the end then it arrived with Di Maria's red card for a petulant kick out at Fernandinho. From then on City were toying with PSG, with Foden going close to getting the goal he so richly deserved. The final whistle was greeted with roars at the Etihad, with Dias and the Stones the first to embrace. The rocks at the heart of City's beauty who have made sure that they are coming to Istanbul.