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Pep Guardiola’s mistake and two things he got right as Man City beat Paris Saint-Germain

Manchester City beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie on Wednesday.

PSG captain Marquinhos gave his side the lead in the 15th minute, when he nodded home a corner from Angel Di Maria after getting away from his man.

Pep Guardiola’s side hit back in the second-half, though, when a teasing ball into the box from Kevin de Bruyne evaded everyone and found its way into the back of the net.

Riyad Mahrez then gave City the lead with a free-kick that went through the PSG wall and beat Keylor Navas.

Idrissa Gana Gueye then ended PSG’s hopes of finding an equaliser when he was sent off for poor tackle on Ilkay Gundogan.

With City now leading the tie on aggregate, Daily Star Sport has taken a look at two things Guardiola got right and one mistake.

Marquinhos celebrates after giving PSG the lead (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Standing firm in the first-half

Much like Chelsea were against Real Madrid on Tuesday, PSG were electric for much of the first-half with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe leading the line.

However, City deserve credit for standing firm and ensuring they were only 1-0 down going into half-time.

They were much improved in the second-half and, having limited the damage in the first-half, they were able to turn the game around thanks to goals from De Bruyne and Mahrez.

Kevin de Bruyne celebrates with his Manchester City team-mates after scoring the equaliser
Kevin de Bruyne celebrates with his Manchester City team-mates after scoring the equaliser

Adapting in the second-half

City came out with more attacking intent in the second-half, upping the tempo and pushing players forward.

Kyle Walker had largely spent the first 45 in his own half as he attempted to deal with PSG’s attacking threat but in the second-half he was given more attacking licence and an excellent forward run won the corner that led to De Bruyne’s equaliser.

City’s improved second-half performance also frustrated PSG and they gave away a cheap free-kick for Mahrez’s goal and saw Gueye shown a straight red for a poor challenge on Gundogan.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola opted to start with a false nine against PSG
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola opted to start with a false nine against PSG

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Playing a false nine

With both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus on the bench, City started the game with a false nine, but the system was largely ineffective.

Speaking on beIN SPORTS, former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger explained that the system was limiting City’s chances to get in behind PSG.

“Manchester City are suffering from their system,” he said. “No striker, so always sideways. No run in behind and nobody you can play to.”

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