Pep Talk

Pep Talk

The first-leg between PSG and Manchester City saw the hosts bow down to a second-half performance by the sky blues. PSG looked all set to take the win at the end of the first half through a goal by their captain. But a Keylor Navas slip-up, a poor wall and a red card later, they found themselves a goal down. The game ended on the night, PSG 1-1 Manchester City.

 

 

Pep Guardiola hasn’t taken a team to the Champions League final since 2011, but the first leg of the semi-final suggests that this might just be his year. City was a goal down at the end of a poor first-half performance. PSG was the more dominant team in the half which saw Neymar and Di Maria pulling off some impressive runs. Neymar also came close to scoring twice, but Ederson and the City defence did well to stop him.

A ‘Pep talk’ later, Manchester emerged out of the dugouts much more confident than they went in. City was much more solid and created more chances in the game.

They were fortunate to equalize, but they did well to clinch the lead. The match ended on an aggressive note, with both sides making ridiculous challenges near the end. The game saw four yellow cards and a sending off for Gueye. Mauricio Pochettino will need to add some spice if he is to beat Manchester City at home in the second leg.

Let’s take a look at our key takeaways from the match.

 

 

 

ABSENCE OF A STRIKER

Manchester City is capable of creating goal-scoring chances irrespective of the quality or set-up of their opposition. However, the absence of an out and out striker is a key feature of this team. If Sergio Aguero or someone of his quality were present, the outcome of many chances that were created in this match would’ve been different. Phil Foden, Bernado Silva and Riyad Mahrez are all good attackers, however, they are not instinctive finishers.

In one instance, Bernado Silva put the ball on a plate for Phil Phoden who should have found the net, considering his recent form, but all he finds is Keylor Navas, who might have been just as surprised as us, as to why it didn’t end up in goal behind him. Phil Phoden found Navas two more times in the game. He did everything apart from scoring a goal.

 

 

Seven minutes after the equalizer, Manchester took the lead through Riyad Mahrez. Parades brought down Phil Phoden just outside the box. It looked like De Bruyne was all set to take the kick, but Mahrez was the one who curled it in. A magnificent shot that found its way through the wall to the bottom left corner. Another brilliant set-piece in the match.

 

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

Although Manchester City was the dominant side in the opening minutes of the game, PSG’s Neymar was the first player to get the shot on goal. A brisk break away from the halfway line after dispossessing City, saw Mbappe drive on with the ball who then slides it forward for Neymar who takes a shot with his left leg. But the shot lacked power and was a comfortable save for Ederson.

 

 

Neymar looked like he was in the mood as he got his second shot away just minutes later. Brilliant exchange of passes in between a crowded City box made space for Neymar whose shot was deflected off for a corner.

Minutes after Neymar’s effort, PSG wins another corner, this time on the far side off the ground. A brilliant run by Marquinhos in between the defenders in sky blue left the captain unchallenged for a header that was whipped in by Di Maria. One he flicked into the net brilliantly. A beautiful set-piece that was worked to perfection.

 

 

KDB IS THE MAN OF THE HOUR

Kevin De Bryune created a lovely chance in the game when he dribbled his way past a couple of challenges on the left side to feed a beautiful grounded ball across goal.

However, there was no attacker quick enough to react. KDB remained the constant threat in the match for the Paris defenders who had to lunge into tackles several times to stop him. If the Belgian did not find any options, he took on the shot, and several times he was unlucky not to find the target.

 

 

We can’t shoot the ball into the net, so why not just cross it in? Kevin De Bruyne was clearly the best man for Manchester City on the night. He was excellent in possession and smart off it. His ability to find teammates is unparalleled. In the 63rd minute when he received the ball outside the six-yard box, he was thinking of the same thing.

To find someone in blue. A beautiful early cross into the box once again was not met by a City player. But this time, it was lucky it didn’t. Keylor Navas in goal erred his decision and did not attempt to parry the ball away, which eventually bounced into his own net. KDB saves the day.

 

The post Pep Talk appeared first on FootTheBall.