Riyad Mahrez scored the winning goal for Manchester City as they defeated Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the semi-final of the Uefa Champions League.
The Algerian proved his worth once again for Pep Guardiola’s side. His penalty against Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of the quarter-final booked City’s place in the last four of the competition and now he has gotten them a step closer to the final.
PSG took the lead through Brazilian defender Marquinhos who headed home in the 15th minute of the game. It was end to end stuff going to half time, but none of the two sides managed to find the back of the net.
City came out with more intent in the second half and it came as no surprise when Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne equalised in the 64th minute – which turned the game around for the visitors.
Mahrez put City ahead in the 71st minute after Phil Foden won a free-kick outside the 18-yard box and the former Leicester City winger stepped up and put the ball at the back of the net beating the opposition wall, 2-1.
Things went from bad to worse for Mauricio Potchetino’s side when midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye was sent off with 13 minutes left to play at the Parc des Princes Stadium.
Next week Tuesday, City will host the second leg at the Etihad Stadium.
Mahrez recently came out saying that the Champions League is the only trophy the Citizens are hungry to win after years of struggling to make an impact at the continental showpiece.
Skipper De Bruyne revealed a chat he had with Mahrez before he took the free-kick.
“He asked me if he could take it and I said, ‘If you believe in yourself, take it’.
“I feel confident with all my teammates and he scored the goal, so who am I to say something about that?.”
Meanwhile, the 30-year-old told City’s official website that his goal went in by God’s grace because he meant to curl the ball around the wall instead of through it.
“Yes it’s because of Ben (Benjamin Mendy), he asked God, and God gave me this goal.
“I wanted to go around the wall to be honest, and I missed it, but it went between the two players.
“Fortunately it was in and we were so happy because we knew we could win here, to score the 2-1 for the team was amazing. We are going to enjoy it a little bit even though it’s not over.
“We have a big second leg, but today we will drop a little bit of the pressure, enjoy it, have some food and sleep and then tomorrow we concentrate on Crystal Palace.”
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By Prince Sobayeni