Manchester City is about to host Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League semi-final round, those led by Mauricio Pochettino hope to demonstrate the determination of the club to get their first “orejona”, for this they will have to overcome a tie that requires them to score at least two goals at the Etihad Stadium, a difficult task against the best defense of the tournament.
Those led by Josep Guardiola did their job in the French capital by coming back from 1-0 with two goals in which there was some complicity on the part of the PSG defense. Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez responded to Marquinhos’ goal, bringing City closer than ever to reaching the Champions League final. Although he was in the semifinals of the competition before, he failed to score against Real Madrid in that tie.
Both clubs managed to win in their respective league matches and also gave rest to some of their important pieces in the face of this important commitment. City already has little to worry about in the Premier League, finding themselves one more win or United defeat of the title. PSG for their part keeps fighting for the Ligue 1 title, but it is not up to them to lift the trophy at the end of the season.
Guardiola at a press conference spoke about how little changes in the game, despite the advantage, it will continue to be just as difficult to face PSG as it was in the first leg. “From my experience, the semi-final round is always difficult. You play with the result of the first leg, you forget that what you have to do is win the match. It is always so. The dangers are the same as in the first leg. They can change their scheme, their coach is very smart, I don’t know what they are going to do. The desire to reach the final is normal, it is something that has never been seen here. We have to focus on reading the game, on being united in bad times, on suffering together. We will try to impose our game as much as possible. We have to defend well, be patient and try to score goals ”.
Pochettino knows that they face a difficult task to score at least two goals, but he has an idea about which could be the way to reach the final. “The intention is to deprive them of the ball. We are a team that also likes possession, but with a balance between possession and transition, due to the characteristics of our players. We are going to have to be clinical and aggressive. We need two goals. It is going to be a battle, it is going to be difficult, but we have to be prepared. It is difficult to know the keys to this match. Things are difficult to anticipate. Soccer is a game that can surprise you. Moments may appear during the match that will be handled because you have managed to create certain habits throughout the season. It is the method, the philosophy, and the team is prepared to handle those moments ”.
Manchester City comes to the return only with the absence of defender Eric García due to a fever. PSG has an important doubt facing the game, it is Kylian Mbappe, who missed the weekend’s match in Ligue 1 due to a calf injury. In addition, Idrissa Gueye will not be available after being sent off in the first leg.
Paris Saint-Germain previously managed to overcome a tie in which they lost 2-1, last season when they faced Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16. Although on that occasion they closed the tie at home, it must also be said that the rival was much less demanding than City. The outlook is very complicated for the French, Pochettino knew how to face matches like this when he was a finalist with Tottenham, a more modest squad than PSG, so Pochettino is capable of overcoming adversity. What plays against him is his negative record against Guardiola and PSG’s negative record against City, a team that he has failed to beat in four previous meetings.
Semi-final heroics! 🙌 Favourite comeback? 🤔
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 4, 2021