Citizens continue to make history
A packed Etihad Stadium played host to by far Manchester City's biggest and most important match of the season so far. They managed to come out on top, not without drama, courtesy of Kevin de Bruyne's well-taken strike in a second-half filled with half-chances and nerve-racking moments.
City unlucky not to be rewarded for fast start
An electric start to proceedings, the hosts were able to create a couple of chances in the early exchanges. Breaking down the right flank, Jesús Navas' low cross was a dangerous one - but despite the potential, only found the Parisien defenders. Thereafter, both sides struggled to create much in the final third as they were sloppy when it mattered, and you could definitely sense the frustration beginning to creep in.
22 minutes gone and some excellent pass-and-play between matchwinner Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva sent Sergio Agüero through on-goal, but the Argentine managed to drag his shot wide of the mark. Manuel Pellegrini's men then began to mount the pressure on their visitors as a quick succession of low crosses saw PSG having to scramble clear, with the sky Blues on the front foot as Laurent Blanc's side sought to regain some control.
On 29 minutes a huge opportunity was passed up, to scenes of shock and horror within the home supporters' various sections of the crowd. Having been hauled down cynically by goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who was fortunate to be cautioned as opposed to dismissed altogether, Agüero stepped up for what everything thought was going to be a routine spot-kick, asserting City's place in the driving seat of the tie. Instead, the forward lost his composure and slotted narrowly wide of the far post, with the ball trickling past painfully. A definite shock to the system, it was admirable that he refused to let the miss get to him too badly.
From then onwards, it was a similar story once more. Both sides were frustrated, and knew they really couldn't afford to be patient. Thiago Motta was replaced after 42 minutes with a hamstring inury, with pacey winger Lucas Moura on as his replacement.
Nail-biting second 45
The first chance of the second-half fell to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a ferocius free-kick forced Joe Hart in to action - the Englishman was able to parry the danger over his crossbar. The resulting corner-kick was however, dealt with relative ease. With both sides fired up it became a more open affair, possession changed hands frequently and tackles were rapidly becoming more and more rash. Javier Pastore replaced fullback Serge Aurier on the hour mark, as the visitors sensed they needed a fresh impetus of attacking fluidity in midfield.
Chances became few and far between as neither team had sufficient composure, with the nerves beginning to take hold it would seem, as a few offside goals gave City a brief scare although the decisions themselves seemed somewhat dubious.
de Bruyne returns to haunt PSG once more
It took 75 minutes for the deadlock to finally break, with de Bruyne placing a beautiful effort in the bottom corner: sending the Ethiad into raptures of delirium. Buoyed by this goal the hosts then went in search for another, to essentially kill off the game as a spectacle. As the clock continued to tick down, it was no longer a dream for many sky Blues - it was becoming a reality.
de Bruyne was unsurprisingly given a hero's departure as he was replaced with six minutes plus stoppages to play, in his place came the imposing figure of Yaya Touré to solidify the midfield. Fabian Delph and Kelechi Iheanacho were both introduced late on, whilst there were a loud roar of cheers when Ibrahimovic's tap-in from close-range was flagged as offside in the dying minutes.
It was too little, too late for PSG - who came to play but were particularly underwhelming and struggled to get going when it really mattered, ultimately. Booking their place in the semi-finals for the first time in the club's history, it's definitely a night to remember for City fans everywhere, whilst PSG will be wondering how they managed to let this golden opportunity evade their grasp dramatically.