Manchester City top PSG to advance to Champions League semis

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Manchester, April 13 (IANS) Kevin De Bruyne’s 75th-minute strike helped Manchester City beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 for a 3-2 aggregate quarter-final win that sets up the English football club’s first appearance in the Champions League semi-finals.

With two away goals after holding PSG to a 2-2 deadlock in last week’s first leg in Paris, City on Tuesday began the match at the Etihad Stadium knowing that a scoreless draw would be enough to advance to the final four.

And the match seemed to be heading in the exact direction, aided by a missed penalty from Sergio Aguero. But De Bruyne’s low shot past PGS goalkeeper Kevin Trapp gave them a 1-0 triumph, reports Efe.

City head coach Manuel Pellegrini stuck with the same starting 11 and the same formation he used at the Parc des Princes, an option not available to PSG coach Laurent Blanc, who had to make major adjustments in the absence of the suspended Blaise Matuidi and David Luiz.

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City, as Pellegrini had promised, started the contest in aggressive pursuit of a goal, while the visitors were tentative and lacking in options.

PSG’s only clear chance of the first half came in the 15th minute on a free kick by Swden star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose rocket forced an acrobatic stop from City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

The Citizens dominated from that point on, with Sergio Agüero shredding Blanc’s three-man backline. The Argentine got a pair of opportunities in the 23rd minute, only to shoot just wide on both occasions.

Five minutes later, a defensive lapse sent Aguero charging into the area, giving Trapp little choice but to bring him down.

The referee pointed to the spot, yet Agüero failed to convert and Trapp got off with a yellow card.

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An improved PSG generated some worried for the hosts in the second half, and Hart had to come up big again on a booming free kick by Ibra.

The Manchester City keeper was forced to make another key stop in the 66th minute, turning aside a Thiago Silva header.

Disdainful of playing for a draw, City returned to the attack and their efforts bore fruit in the 75th minute, when Belgian De Bruyne beat Trapp.

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