Thursday, December 9, 2021

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Champions League: ‘Trust yourselves’ – Guardiola charges City after 2-1 win in Paris

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola told his players to believe they can complete the job against Paris Saint-Germain next week and reach the club’s first ever Champions League final.

City came from behind to beat the French champions 2-1 in the Parc des Princes on Wednesday to take a vital lead back to the Etihad Stadium on 4 May.

The runaway Premier League leaders reached the last four for the first time in five years under Guardiola by also bouncing back from conceding an early goal in their quarterfinal, second leg against Borussia Dortmund to win 2-1 in Germany.

They needed a similar response after Marquinhos’s early header gave PSG a well-deserved halftime lead.

City were much improved after halftime, but had luck on their side to level when Kevin De Bruyne’s cross found the bottom corner before Riyad Mahrez’s stunning free-kick completed the comeback.

“In Dortmund we conceded a goal and came back and today the same,” said Guardiola. “Only what I want is to be ourselves in the second game.

“We are good playing in a certain way, we cannot do it another way. Hopefully we can find the right words, the right decisions to do it.”

The former Bayern Munich and Barcelona coach put a slow start down to nerves in a first Champions League semifinal for many of his players.

“At 1-0 they were good, we could not press well. We didn’t have the good possession in the right positions but that sometimes is normal.

“This club does not have much experience in this stage of the competition, but I think it will help us to realise that we are ourselves or anything can happen. I think the second half we were, we were incredibly aggressive and played really good.”

 

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