The Warm Down: Point proven at Parc des Princes
Manchester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League first-leg semi-final football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Manchester City at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on April 28, 2021. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP) (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

It seemed like an all-too-familiar story for Manchester City. Despite a dominant start to the game, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were pulling Paris Saint Germain back into it, striking fear into the Man City defenders every time they picked up the ball.

It was Marquinhos who opened the scoring, however. A beautifully swung-in corner was deftly arrowed into Ederson's far corner to put the French side ahead.

With Citizens on the edge of their seats, a Kevin De Bruyne cross which somehow ended up in the back of the net, and a stunning Riyad Mahrez freekick all but sealed the game for City.

PSG could only sit back and let frustration set in, as Idrissa Gueye saw red, both in the tackle on İlkay Gündoğan and afterward, with referee Felix Brych given no other choice but to send the Senegalese man off.

Good omens

City's turnaround in Paris on Wednesday night has a very exciting stat behind it, for Citizens anyway. 

In the history of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League, there have been 47 instances before the "Oil Classico" of an English side winning the first lef of a two-legged knockout tie away from home, and on all 47 occasions, the English side has progressed.

Could that be the sign that City could finally do it? Reach the final? Finally, take the Champions League title? The final was still a long way away but many questions had already been answered, and the excitement was starting to set in.

Pep Guardiola has taken a more sensible approach, though: "When you play in the first leg of a second leg, you can talk before the game but the players think 'don't lose it'. 

"You cannot win the tie in the first leg but you can lose it."

Lack of discipline

The match on Wednesday night finished with a combined total of 24 fouls, four yellow cards, and one red card. It could, arguably, have been more than that.

Man City were the frustrated side in the first half, with multiple decisions seeming to go against them. But it was PSG losing their heads that ultimately decided the game, and could have a big impact in the second leg.

You could see how dispirited Neymar was becoming throughout the second half, with the Brazilian being shut out of the game more and more as minutes passed by.

Another player whose lack of discipline cost PSG on Wednesday night was Presnel Kimpembe. A move that has been repeated by the young Frenchman before - turning his back on the ball (in the Champions League against Manchester United). 

Mahrez fired a freekick, which looked to be heading straight for the belly of the wall. However, Kimpembe had turned his back, allowing the ball to sneak through a gap, bamboozling Keylor Navas in the process.

A turning point in the game that could have been easily avoided. City had the advantage.

Although, the major turning point in the tie was Gueye's red card. A horror tackle on Gündoğan saw the midfielder sent off for the second time in this Champions League campaign - the first player to do so since Alvaro Arbeloa for Real Madrid in 2012/13.

The midfield pivot

Wednesday night marked a milestone for Rodri - 100 appearances in a Sky Blue shirt.

The Spaniard has been instrumental to City's season, both in the Premier League and the Champions League. He has brought height at both ends of the pitch, and can scare a defence with the rocket of a right-footed shot.

Rodri has much more than just a header or a shot. He brings a calmness to the back four that makes it easy for City to play out from the back - which the City players did spectacularly on multiple occasions against PSG. 

As a successor to Fernandinho, it does not come much better than this. Rodri has proven himself on the big stage, despite having big boots to fill when Fernandinho leaves the club.

Although Rodri is very much a defensive rock for City and enjoys getting stuck into tackles, he has only picked up five yellow cards in 39 games, meaning he picks up 0.15 bookings per 90 minutes - a very impressive stat when looking at his 57 tackles in the Premier League so far this season, with 60% tackle success.

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