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Riyad Mahrez's Double Lifts Man City to First Champions League Final in Win Over PSG

On a historic night in Manchester, Riyad Mahrez scored two goals to send Manchester City to its first Champions League final with a 2–0 win (4–1 aggregate) over Paris Saint-Germain. 

PSG star Kylian Mbappé never made it off the bench after missing the weekend win over Lens due to a calf injury, and it showed as the French champions were never able to find a groove in attack.

Manchester City never seemed to feel the pressure of years of Champions League disappointment, hitting PSG on the counterattack with a goal in each half on an icy night in Manchester.

City had a penalty scare in the eighth minute when the referee pointed to the spot, signaling a handball committed by Oleksandr Zinchenko. But after a quick VAR review, the call was overturned as the cross into the box hit Zinchenko on the shoulder. 

Manchester City took the lead in the 11th minute after Ederson launched a trademark City counterattack with a long pass that found Zinchenko in the PSG final third. The Ukrainian found Kevin De Bruyne at the top of the area before his shot was blocked. But the deflection fell to a sprinting Mahrez, who sent a shot under Keylor Navas for his second goal of the semifinal. 

In the 17th minute, Marquinhos nearly added his second goal of the semifinal tie when his header hit off the crossbar. 

Two minutes later, PSG came within inches of the equalizer once again as Ángel Di María intercepted an Ederson pass and caught the keeper out. But the Argentine's shot fizzled just wide of the open net. 

De Bruyne found himself with a couple of chances around the half-hour mark, but his best opportunity to double the City lead was blocked by Alessandro Florenzi in the 29th minute.

After picking up a yellow card, Ander Herrera gave PSG its first serious chance in nearly 20 minutes when he blasted a shot just over the crossbar in the 36th minute as tension between the two sides continued to build. 

Rúben Dias cut short a prime chance for PSG in the 43rd minute, diving at a strongly hit Herrera cross at the near post that inadvertently struck his forehead and went out of play. 

Navas came up with a big save for PSG just on the stroke of halftime when he blocked Mahrez's shot from close range. Bernardo Silva jumped on the rebound, but his shot destined for goal was deflected out of play.

By the time the teams walked out of the tunnel after halftime, there was little ice left on the field and a first half that saw the ball drag, especially on low passes. But City didn't seem to have a problem keeping up its quick-passing attack, continuing to push for a second in the opening minutes of the second half.

Phil Foden stepped up in the second half with a series of chances, first in the 54th minute when De Bruyne threaded him a pass that saw him wide open on goal as he was called offside following a saved shot. Just a minute later, Foden forced Navas into action again as City continued to have numbers pressing forward with PSG desperate for a goal. 

Dias came up with another important block on Herrera once again as the PSG midfielder had a chance at goal on a volley just inside the penalty area in the 61st minute. 

City continued to jump on the counterattack until it paid off in the 63rd minute with another Mahrez goal. Foden started the counter, finding De Bruyne on a run toward goal until the Belgian's perfect through ball dropped to Foden on the wing. The young England phenom sent a low cross across goal that found Mahrez open at the back post for the easy tap-in goal, his third goal of the semifinal. 

Much like the first leg, PSG was sent down to 10 men after the second goal when Di María stomped on Fernandinho along the touchline in the 69th minute. The Argentine winger saw a straight red card, the club's 10th of the season, as PSG tempers seemed to boil over. 

On a hat trick, Mahrez nearly secured his third in the 74th with a scintillating run down the right wing, cutting back onto his left and gliding into the box past two defenders before his shot was blocked.

In the 77th minute, Foden continued to put on a show, dancing around his defender before whipping a low curling shot toward goal that beat Navas but hit the far post. PSG continued to rack up the yellow cards in frustration as Presnel Kimpembe and Danilo each picked up bookings as the game wound down. 

With a League Cup victory already in tow and only three points away from a Premier League title, City will have a chance at a treble in Istanbul on May 29 against the winner of Real Madrid vs. Chelsea. The two sides played to a 1–1 draw in the first leg of their semifinal, with Chelsea and U.S. star Christian Pulisic and Real Madrid's French veteran Karim Benzema scoring the goals.

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