• Joseph Faulkner

Mahrez Reveals Tactical Reasons Man City Beat PSG in UCL Semi-Final

Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez has disclosed his thoughts on Manchester City's victory over PSG in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

The Premier League champions-elect dispatched their French opponents with relative ease, beating them home and away to reach their first Champions League Final in history.

Since the second leg on Tuesday, PSG players have come under heavy criticism. A portion of the PSG fanbase stated on social media that Neymar and Mbappe neglected their defensive duties.

However, former CAF African Player of the Year, Riyad Mahrez explained that this was unfair criticism. He claims that City won the tie because they were better than their French opponents.

Speaking to L'Equipe, the City winger said: "I saw Neymar defend a lot, Mbappe also in the first leg. I think we were a little better than the Parisians overall. We did not qualify simply because two players defended less."

Mahrez disclosed that the City team that played in both legs of that tie applied a high level of discipline. Pep Guardiola had instructed them intensively on maintaining their positions and winning the ball back as soon as they lost it.

He said: "Pep [Guardiola] instilled us with this aggressiveness when you lose the ball. To be a very, very high-level player, you have to make that kind of effort. I don't defend very well, but I do. I'm doing it to help my teammates. At a very, very high level, if you don't defend, you can penalise your team."

Mahrez, who has won a continental title with his national team, the Desert Foxes of Algeria, knows all about the importance of keeping your head in the biggest games.

PSG had Idrissa Gueye sent off in the first leg while Angel Di Maria also got an early shower after a rough tackle on Fernandinho in the return leg. The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations winning captain analysed that the game was easier for Man City after the red cards.

"We didn't start well again - we didn't have a good first half. However, we got the goal and we were comfortable. We played well in the second half and could have scored more. They lost their nerve and started to kick us. After the red card, it was more comfortable," Mahrez concluded.

Manchester City will face Chelsea in an all-English Champions League Final in Istanbul on the 29th of this month. Mahrez would hope to feature in the final and write his name in Manchester City's history books.

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