Paris, Apr 28 (EFE).- Manchester City overcame a poor performance in the first half to beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-2 here Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal tie.
Marquinhos put the hosts ahead in the 14th minute at the Parc des Princes and PSG looked more than capable of extending the lead in the second half against a flat City side.
But Pep Guardiola’s men were vastly better after the break, while Mauricio Pochettino’s squad stumbled and will need to come up with special next week at the Etihad to make a second consecutive appearance in the final.
For City, who can clinch their third Premier League title in four years as early as Saturday, limiting PSG to one goal will be enough to assure them of their first-ever trip to the final of Europe’s elite club competition.
PSG, last year’s runners-up in the competition, arrived in the final four with the wind at their backs after a decisive triumph against holders Bayern Munich.
City, conversely, had to work hard to get past Borussia Dortmund and showed signs in the first half of being perhaps a bit intimidated by PSG’s stars, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
The Parisians’ first chance came in the second minute, when Mbappe got the ball to Neymar on the counter. But City’s Kyle Walker got enough of the Brazilian’s shot to set up a comfortable save for Ederson.
In the 13th minute, a corner resulted in a Neymar strike that Ederson had to stretch to tip over the cross-bar. PSG won another corner seconds later and Marquinhos headed-in Angel Di Maria’s kick to make it 1-0.
PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas was first called into action in the 21st minute to turn aside Bernardo Silva’s shot for a corner. The Costa Rican had no problem handling a tame effort from City’s Phil Foden with two minutes left in the first half.
Mbappe blew past defender John Stones in the 56th minute and sent a cross into the box, but the ball rolled just beyond Marco Verratti and City’s Ruben Dias put it out of play.
The initiative passed to the visitors and Kevin de Bruyne nearly equalized in the 61st minute with an overhead kick.
Three minutes later, City were level thanks to a De Bruyne cross from outside the area that bounced into the net untouched.
Leandro Paredes fouled Foden in the 70th minute to set up a City free kick from a dangerous spot. De Bruyne seemed set to deliver the kick, but made way at the last second for Riyad Mahrez.
The Parisian native exploited a split in the PSG wall to blast the ball into the lower left corner to the chagrin of Navas.
As if going behind 1-2 weren’t bad enough, PSG found themselves reduced to 10 men in the 77th minute as Idrissa Gueye received a straight red card for a reckless, studs-out challenge on Ilkay Gündogan.
Mahrez fired wide on a chance in the 84th minute and Navas denied Foden again in the 88th. EFE lmpg/dr