- Chris Sobey
It was a great night for Manchester and English football yesterday as Manchester City made it through to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history. The Citizens defeated PSG 1-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate, thanks to star man Kevin de Bruyne brilliant 76th minute strike.
It was a tight and nervy encounter throughout, especially for the City faithful, who had to endure a first half penalty miss by top scorer Sergio Aguero and the added disappointment of PSG keeper Kevin Trapp not being sent off for his part in the incident. However, the City fans, who had turned out in their droves, played a massive part in their teams victory creating one of the most memorable atmospheres the Etihad has ever seen.
The electric atmosphere at the Etihad and the lucrative prize on offer provided the current star studded City squad with the perfect stage to produce arguably their best ever performance, which could not have come at a better time.
PSG, who were missing central defender David Luiz from the first leg, had to make do with a makeshift back three and they struggled to deal with City’s front three of Aguero, Silva and de Bruyne throughout the 90 minutes. Not surprisingly PSG top scorer Ibrahimovic was their most potent threat upfront, but England keeper Jo Hart, who saved the Swedish International’s penalty in the first leg, was more than his match again on this occasion and he produced a string of world class saves to keep PSG at bay.
As the game sat finely in the balance, PSG’s frustration grew as they searched for the elusive and vital away goal, but Mangala and Otamendi in the centre of defence were finally looking like world class defenders and along with Hart in goal, they protected the 1-0 lead admirably and helped see City through to the final whistle for a deserved clean sheet and a memorable victory.
Real Madrid also made it through to the semi-finals last night after they turned around a 2-0 deficit against Wolfsburg at the Santiago Bernabeu, thanks to another brilliant performance and hat-trick from Ronaldo. The Portugues International had levelled things within 20 minutes with his quick fire brace, and while there were nervous spells for the Spanish Giants it was only a matter of time before they found the decisive winner, which came 13 minutes from the end thanks to Ronaldo again, who secured his hat-trick via a free-kick.