PSG 1-2 Man City: 5 major talking points as City claim vital first-leg advantage in UCL

Kevin de Bruyne-Mahrez-Manchester City

Paris Saint-Germain were beaten 2-1 by Manchester City in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals earlier tonight.

The French outfit would have been expected to win the game at home and now they have a massive challenge ahead of themselves. It will be interesting to see if they can overturn the deficit at Etihad next week.

Here at Anytime Football, we look at the five major talking points from tonight’s clash.

Ilkay Gundogan is Manchester city’s best player this season

The German midfielder has been in exceptional goalscoring form this season but tonight he put on a midfield masterclass for his side.

City were struggling in the first half but Gundogan helped them control the game and retain possession in the second half.

His calmness and composure on the ball was instrumental to City’s come back in the second half.

 Pochettino’s second-half tactics

Paris Saint-Germain started the game brightly with high intensity and they managed to put Manchester City under pressure in the first half.

However, Pochettino was tactically beaten by Pep Guardiola in the second half as City managed to force them back into their own half.

Pochettino’s men were camped in their own half and they did not press their opposition hard enough. City slowed the game down and picked out their moments to hurt the home side. 

PSG needed to make changes and up the tempo of the game but they failed to do so. 

Mahrez said after the game: “It was a game of two halves. In the 1st half, we were not able to be dangerous, they were a bit better than us. After that after that we stuck them in their own half, that’s where we are strong.”

Manchester City’s set-piece vulnerabilities

Paris Saint-Germain caused mayhem in the first half with their set pieces and Manchester City could have easily conceded more than once.

Marquinhos headed in the opening goal of the game from a set piece and the likes of Paredes had the opportunity to double the French club’s advantage.

City will have to work on defending set-pieces better if they want to go all the way in the competition this season.

PSG need a better midfield

The French club are stacked with world-class talent across the pitch but the midfield remains their main weakness.

For a club hoping to win the Champions League, a midfield unit of Paredes, Herrera and Gueye is simply not good enough. PSG’s best controller Verratti was used in a wide position and the decision seems quite baffling. 

Pochettino must look to sign an elite controlling midfielder in the summer in order to dominate midfield contests better.

Furthermore, the French outfit need to bring in a quality defensive midfielder who could break up the opposition play and shield the back four better.

Gabriel Jesus could have made a big difference

The Brazilian was on the bench for Manchester City today and the likes of Foden, Mahrez and Bernardo Silva were given the nod ahead of him in the attack.

All three players are midfielders and they were lacking the natural instinct and movement of the striker.

With Paris Saint-Germain pressing heavily in the first half there were gaps in behind their defence but City failed to exploit them because of the lack of movement from their attacking players.

Jesus could have been an important player for the Premier League side in the first half.