For 45 minutes Paris Saint-Germain was in complete control of their UEFA Champions League semi final against Manchester City.
It took just a quarter of an hour for Marquinhos’ header to break the deadlock and it looked as if PSG would pile on the goals after dominating a large portion of the first half.
Neymar and Kylian Mbappe each had one massive chance each in the opening stanza, but couldn’t convert. Meanwhile, City’s attack was almost nonexistent as the Parisians pressed high and clogged the midfield for Pep Guardiola’s crew.
City wonderkid Phil Foden found himself inside the penalty area after a breakdown in PSG possession, but blasted a high left-footed effort straight at Keylor Navas. That was the biggest City chance of the first half, but when the two teams came out onto the pitch after halftime both clubs looked drastically different.
It’s been a recurring theme for PSG throughout this season’s Champions League, but more so during the second legs of their knockout ties against Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side had done the job in their two previous rounds courtesy of strong showings in the opening leg, and then proceeded to sit back and nearly allow their opponents back into the tie.
In PSG’s second leg against Barca, the La Liga giants outshot PSG nearly three to one, finishing the match with 21 shots and 10 on target. A combination of Navas’ brilliance in goal and poor Barcelona finishing allowed the 1-1 scoreline to appear far more comprehensive than it should have been.
Then, we saw an eerily similar performance against Bayern in their second leg meeting. After earning a 3-2 win over the Bundesliga side on the road, PSG absorbed pressure for large portions of the match and luckily advanced on away goals despite losing the second leg 1-0.