Manchester Players celebrate
Manchester Players celebrate
AFP

Manchester: It was a landmark night for Manchester City as Riyad Mahrez scored twice to send them to a maiden UEFA Champions League final with a 4-1 aggregate success over Paris Saint-Germain.

At the City of Manchester Stadium, here on Tuesday, Paris were positive early on but that proved their downfall as they were caught out by Ederson's long pass.

Oleksandr Zinchenko latched on to it and found Kevin De Bruyne, whose blocked shot fell nicely for Riyad Mahrez to sweep in.

The visitors responded, though, with Marquinhos heading against the bar and Angel Di María firing just wide from distance.

Josep Guardiola's side had to dig deep after the interval with Zinchenko denying Neymar and Rúben Dias thwarting Ander Herrera before another clinical counterattack finished the job.

De Bruyne led the break and released Phil Foden, who slid the ball across for Mahrez to write his name into City folklore. Di María's red card soon after summed up a disappointing night for Mauricio Pochettino's visitors.

"We didn't have a good first half but we got the goal and we were more comfortable," said the man in focus, Riyad Mahrez, of Manchester City.

" We have another game on Saturday, we need to win to be league champions and then we'll concentrate on the Champions League final, added the midfielder.

It was the Paris-born winger who netted twice before PSG had Angel Di Maria sent off. City won 2-0 to eliminate last season's finalists 4-1 on aggregate.

It's been anything but comfortable for City getting a shot at lifting European football's top prize for the first time despite 13 years of lavish investment.

Even reaching this semifinal required a fight in court to overturn a ban from this season's Champions League for breaching UEFA's financial rules.

And it's only two weeks since the Abu Dhabi-owned team exposed itself to fresh sanctions for joining a brief, ill-fated bid to split to help form a breakaway European Super League.

Now City could win the competition it tried to leave in what could be an all-English final on May 29 in Istanbul if Chelsea overcomes Real Madrid on Wednesday. Chelsea and Madrid played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

"Of course, we've invested money in the last decade since Sheikh Mansour took over the club, but it's not just about this," City manager Pep Guardiola said.

"If you want to think it's just about money, it's OK. But there is a lot of incredible things behind the scenes."

"To reach the Champions league final is so difficult," Guardiola said.

"It's the toughest one, but we did it."

City is now accustomed to success, sitting on the brink of its third Premier League title in four seasons after already collecting the League Cup last month. But its only continental title came with the now-defunct European Cup Winners' Cup in 1970.

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