May 9, 2021

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Player ratings as Cityzens book their place in the Champions League final

A bracket from Riyadh Mahrez gave Manchester City the famous 2-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night, giving Cityzens an overall 4-1 victory and sending them to their first Champions League final.

The first half saw chances for both sides, and after the referee’s decision to award a handball penalty against Alexander Zinchenko was overturned by the VAR, it was City who overcame the impasse. Kevin De Bruyne’s efforts under Zinchenko’s restriction were well blocked, only for Mahrez to enter and clinically transform the rebound in 11 minutes.

PSG threw almost everything at their opponents, but the closest to equalizing the score before halftime was through Marquinhos, whose brilliant header from the cut cross of Angel Di Maria could hit the crossbar only in the 17th minute.

But Pep Guardiola’s men took control after the break and managed to double their lead in 64 minutes. De Bruyne and Phil Foden combined wonderfully from the left, before the English national put the ball on a plate for Mahrez to provide a certain bracket.

The questions were even more difficult for the guests in the 70th minute, when Di Maria was shown a straight red card for an excited, stupid seal of Fernandinho from the ball.

The ten men from PSG could not really hinder City in the last stages, and Guardiola’s men conveniently saw the victory with 2: 0 to send them to the Champions League final, a total of 4: 1.

Now, let’s get to the player ratings.

Alexander Zinchenko, Ederson
The whole back line of Manchester City was exceptional Lawrence Griffiths / Getty Images

Ederson (GC) – 7/10 – Unusually, he looked a bit cunning with his distribution in general, but he played a breathtaking ball to Zinchenko in the accumulation until the first goal.

Kyle Walker (RB) – 8/10 – Not too much to offer, but he excelled in defense, made nine rebounds and marched on the PSG strikers as they climbed to perfection.

John Stones (CB) – 9/10 – A rock at the heart of the defense, whose physicality proved decisive in the battle. He made four clearances at all times and was crucial to controlling Marquinhos and Co.’s air threat from certain figures.

Ruben Diaz (CB) – 9/10 – The organizational voice in the back that orders colleagues to maintain order. Stoic in his defense, using any part of his body to protect PSG outside. A true leader.

Alexander Zinchenko (LB) – 8/10 – He remained equal, even after fearing a wrongly awarded penalty against him. They defended themselves with the greatest composure and remained firm throughout the game. Provided a shiny support on top, being an integral part of the opener.

Neymar, Riyadh Mahrez, Fernandinho
Fernandinho disappoints similar to Neymar Lawrence Griffiths / Getty Images

Fernandinho (DM) – 9/10 – Influential, commanding and absolutely phenomenal. Keep things compact and tight all the time, making 12 interventions and disappointing like Neymar brilliantly – somehow managed not to be reserved. What a way to celebrate turning 36; happy birthday, captain!

Bernardo Silva (CM) – 7/10 –
He showed class with some wonderful touches to help his country move back and forth, but was largely overshadowed by some outstanding performances around him.

Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 7/10 – Was the support between the defense and attack for the most part and brought the ball very well, avoiding the press to move his country up.

Manchester City vs. Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Semifinal: Second stage
Riyadh Mahrez was the hero of the night Lawrence Griffiths / Getty Images

Riyadh Mahrez (RW) – 10/10 – Once again, he worked tirelessly in defense, tracking back to maintain a solid defensive form without mistakes. He stole the show in attack, inserting a bracket to score City in his first Champions League final. A night he and Manchester City will never forget.

Kevin De Bruyne (ST) – 8/10 – Amazing speed of work from the start. Pressed all the time and denying his opposition the chance to build effectively from behind and above, he ran outside all the time to secure a way out for his side and was crucial to both goals.

Phil Foden (LW) – 8/10 – There were a few moments of “Messi-esque”, he looked dangerously creative and unstoppable in full flight, assisting brilliantly for the second of Mahrez. So lucky he didn’t score alone, hitting the upright late.

Gabriel Jesus (ST) – 6/10

Raheem Sterling (LW) – 6/10

Sergio Aguero (ST) – N / A

Marquinhos in action against Kevin De Bruyne PAUL ELIS / Getty images

Kaylor Navas (GK) – 5/10 – Several decent stops in the second half, but could not stop any of the goals as his side crashed.

Alessandro Florenzi (RB) – 4/10 –
It gave Zinchenko the freedom of Manchester to build the opening tool and never seemed like a threat to the Ukrainian until he came forward.

Marquinhos (CB) – 6/10 – Defended quite well, making four games and desperately unlucky not to equalize in the first half, hitting the crossbar.

Prenel Kimpembe (CB) – 7/10 –
Once again, it demonstrates brilliant positioning, constantly appearing essential on the cover, registering nine interventions.

Abdu Diallo (LB) – 5/10 – Make a forward to a good effect, giving his side width to the left flank. I made a few vicious deliveries and was unlucky not to register help. To the left, asking from the other end, however, as he could not see the opener anywhere.

Bjorn Kuipers, Marco Verratti
Marco Verratti at times hosted the show for PSG Lawrence Griffiths / Getty Images

Marco Verratti (CM) – 7/10 – He was up and down the field throughout the game, giving teammates the opportunity all the time. He moved forward well and hung on loose balls as they came out of City’s defense..

Ander Herrera (CM) – 4/10 – He seemed worried about the press and was not clinical enough to spread the ball from deep. He was (unnecessarily) hot-headed from the start and I was hooked on class.

Leandro Paredes (CM) – 6/10 – Once again he did well and played well to connect the defense with the attack, but the game missed him a bit as he failed to put his mark.

Angel Di Maria
Disappointing end to the night for Angel Di Maria Lawrence Griffiths / Getty Images

Angel Di Maria (RW) – 4/10 – He swam around and sporadically found himself in really threatening areas to make three key passes. But an unforgivable red card ruined his night.

Mauro Icardi (ST) – 2/10 – He was completely absent and could not create space at all or worry about City’s back line.

Neymar (LW) – 6/10 – He lifted the ball into space and moved it beautifully forward at times, but he was disappointed with the excellent achievements of the City organization and could not influence the procedures so much.

Moise Kean (ST) – 5/10

Julian Draxler (CM) – 5/10

Danilo (CM) – 6/10

Colin Dagba (RB) – 6/10

Mitchell Baker (LB) – N / A