Manchester City have taken a big step towards their first Champions League final with goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez earning them a 2-1 comeback win at Paris Saint-Germain in their semi-final first leg.
PSG went ahead courtesy of a Marquinhos header in the first half but Mauricio Pochettino’s side lost control after the break with De Bruyne and Mahrez finding the back of the net in the space of eight minutes to secure City’s 18th consecutive away win in all competitions.
Last year’s runners-up PSG finished the game after midfielder Idrissa Gueye received a straight red card in the 77th minute for a reckless challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.
French champions PSG will need to show next Tuesday in Manchester the same away form that enabled them to beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou and Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in previous rounds if they are to progress.
“At halftime, I told the players we needed to be ourselves. We needed to be more aggressive and we didn’t let them breathe after the break,” City manager Pep Guardiola said.
“But it is halfway, so we still have many more minutes to beat them and PSG is a team where everything can happen.”
Chelsea drew 1-1 at Real Madrid in the other semi-final first leg on Tuesday.
Marquinhos, returning to the team from an injury suffered in the quarter-final first leg against Bayern, put PSG in front on Wednesday when he headed home Angel Di Maria’s whipped corner in the 15th minute.
Guardiola’s side lacked their usual composure in the first half, with Joao Cancelo picking up a yellow card for a woeful challenge on Kylian Mbappe.
City’s first real chance came in the 42nd minute when Phil Foden tested PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
The visitors were more attack-minded in the second half and they equalised on 64 minutes when De Bruyne, from a corner by substitute Oleksandr Zinchenko, sent in a cross and Navas failed to react as it curled into the far corner of the net.
Navas was beaten again seven minutes later when Mahrez’s free kick deceived the PSG wall.
Pochettino vowed to go for broke when the teams meet again at the Etihad Stadium.
“In football, you need to believe and go there in six days and try to approach the game like today, try to win, to score goals,” he said.
“Of course, the advantage is a little bit with Manchester City, but in football always you need to try.”