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'I said, 'If you believe in yourself, take it'' - De Bruyne's advice for Mahrez as strike puts Man City in pole position

Champions League semi-final first leg: PSG 1 Man City 2

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Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring their second goal in the Champions League semi-final first leg win over Paris St Germain at the Parc des Princes, Pari. Photo: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring their second goal in the Champions League semi-final first leg win over Paris St Germain at the Parc des Princes, Pari. Photo: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring their second goal in the Champions League semi-final first leg win over Paris St Germain at the Parc des Princes, Pari. Photo: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

Manchester City produced a superb second-half fightback to claim a 2-1 advantage after the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against 10-man Paris St Germain in Paris.

The Premier League leaders were stung by an early Marquinhos goal as the hosts dominated the first half of a high-quality encounter at the Parc des Princes.

They responded brilliantly with Kevin De Bruyne equalising after 64 minutes and Riyad Mahrez firing home a free-kick soon after.

PSG lost their discipline as City threatened to score more in a strong finish and Idrissa Gana Gueye was shown a straight red card for a poor challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

City skipper De Bruyne was delighted with the way his side fought their way back into the game.

He told BT Sport: "It was a game of two halves. We started well, the first 10 minutes, had some control, but they are an unbelievable team and they have got great quality up front.

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Paris St Germain's Neymar in action against Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne during the Champions League semi-final first l

Paris St Germain's Neymar in action against Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne during the Champions League semi-final first l

Paris St Germain's Neymar in action against Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne during the Champions League semi-final first l

"It's a shame about the way that we conceded, after that, they had a couple of small chances. After 25 minutes, we changed the way we pressed them and it became better, we had a couple of opportunities, especially the one with Phil (Foden).

"But the second half was much, much better. We put them under pressure. Obviously the way the first goal goes in was a little bit lucky, but we played great football in the second half. We did well there."

Asked about the free-kick from which Mahrez scored the winner, De Bruyne added with a smile: "He asked me if he could take it and I said, 'If you believe in yourself, take it'.

"I feel confident with all my team and he scored the goal, so who am I to say something about that?"

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The way City controlled proceedings in the latter stages was remarkable given how vulnerable they looked to PSG's slick counter-attacks in a breathless opening period.

Neymar looked dangerous from the outset but City, and crucially manager Pep Guardiola, did not panic under considerable pressure and their response was a mature one.

Guardiola has been accused of over-complicating matters at this stage in the past but his selection, without a central striker and similar to that which disposed of Borussia Dortmund in the last round, delivered for him in style.

They now have a great chance to wrap up the tie and reach the final for the first time in next week's second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

The game began at a cracking pace on a greasy surface and City had an early warning when Rodri was dispossessed and Neymar raced into the box to shoot tamely at Ederson.

Alessandro Florenzi had a fierce shot blocked and Neymar forced another save from Ederson. The French side's breakthrough came with 15 minutes gone as Angel De Maria swung in a vicious corner and captain Marquinhos, who had been a fitness doubt ahead of the game, escaped from Gundogan to head home.

PSG continued to threaten with Di Maria causing problems from another corner and Neymar also teeing up Leandro Paredes to head wide. A brilliant flick from Florenzi created another opening but Mahrez got back to deny Neymar.

City's best chances of the first half came after PSG mistakes. Keeper Keylor Navas gave the ball away and Phil Foden swooped to cross for Mahrez but the Algerian's header was cleared.

Foden was then put in the clear himself after Kyle Walker seized on a loose pass but the England international shot straight at Navas.

City pegged PSG back in a strong start to the second half but, again, they were almost caught on the break. Kylian Mbappe brilliantly wrong-footed the defence but his ball across the six-yard box was too strong for Marco Verratti.

Undeterred, City pressed on and De Bruyne went close as he latched onto a Presnel Kimpembe header to send an overhead kick flashing narrowly over.

The pressure continued as Walker won a corner and it paid off as De Bruyne levelled moments later.

The ball was worked to the Belgian outside the area and he lofted a dangerous cross towards the far post. The dip on the delivery bamboozled PSG and it evaded everybody to bounce into the net.

City sensed their chance and continued to press, winning a free-kick just outside the area. Mahrez stepped up and drilled home a powerful shot as the PSG wall faltered.

PSG's night then took another turn for the worse as Gueye was shown a straight red card after catching Gundogan on the ankle with a late challenge.

Foden and De Bruyne had late chances to put City in complete command but PSG escaped further damage.



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