The Warmdown: City say 'Au Revoir' to PSG and 'Bonjour' to their first Champions League final
Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Route one football opened the scoring in Manchester on Tuesday night. A stunning ball from Ederson found Oleksandr Zinchenko in acres of space, who cut the ball back to Kevin De Bruyne.

The Belgian looked to bend a curler into the corner, but his blocked strike bounced to an onrushing Riyad Mahrez who slotted under a helpless Keylor Navas. The advantage was with Manchester City.

Moments later, it was as if Man City had not learnt from the first leg, as Marquinhos rose highest but was left with head in hands as the ball looped off the crossbar. City had been warned.

It was a face-off between two defenders on the night, Ruben Dias and Marquinhos. A crucial block from the Portuguese, in turn, started the counterattack for City's second goal of the night. 

A one-two between De Bruyne and Phil Foden meant the boy from Stockport could put the ball on a plate for Mahrez to slam home his second goal of the night. City were beginning to dream of Istanbul. 

Angel Di Maria then rubbed salt into Paris Saint-Germain wounds as the Argentian acted out, stamping on Fernandinho as both went to collect the ball. PSG were losing their heads now.

And there it was. Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League final. Citizens, this was not a dream.

The birthday boy

What a way to spend your 36th birthday. Fernandinho was, arguably, one of the best players on the pitch, and showed no signs of slowing down.

The midfielder is never afraid of a tackle and was somewhat lucky to leave the pitch without a booking. Man-marking Neymar is not an easy task for any player, but the midfield general managed the task like a duck to water.

It seems that either this season or the next could be the Brazilian's last in City colours. So how much would a Champions League title mean to him?

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Joining City all the way back in 2013, Fernandinho has become part of the family at the Etihad, and many would argue that he is just as much a legend at the club as Sergio Agüero, Yaya Toure, David Silva, and Vincent Kompany.

Even with the introduction of Rodri - a much younger prospect - Fernandinho has still made 33 appearances across all competitions. If anything, the introduction of new blood has bumped him up another level, giving Pep Guardiola no choice but to keep him in the side.

And what a decision it was to put him in the Starting XI.

A Man of the Match performance

You know your club has a special player on their hands when a centre-back is being compared to Virgil van Dijk after one season at the club. Well, that is exactly what Dias has been for City.

Dias made a number of crucial blocks, whether it was a shot or cross. Multiple chances for PSG were thwarted by the Portuguese brick wall, putting his body and head on the line for his side, with a triumphant roar.

A true leader. A future captain. A man who left everything out on that pitch. Citizens had him to thank, along with John Stones, taking on the likes of Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Harry Kane, the list goes on.

Ruben Dias has transformed this City side.

An Ederson assist (almost)

With three assists to the keeper's name already in his time at City, Ederson's through-ball to Zinchenko to set up the opening goal on Tuesday night was worthy of the assist.

Ederson found the Ukrainian left-back from just outside his own penalty box, allowing him to roam free down the wing, before picking out De Bruyne in the middle. The Belgian's deflected shot left Mahrez to coolly slide the ball under Navas.

Mahrez took the credit at the time, but Ederson's pass left Man City fans around in the world in absolute awe.

Ederson's most well-known assist is THAT one against Huddersfield Town in the 2018/19 Premier League season.

PSG's missing link

It was clear to see that PSG were frustrated for large parts of the game, with half of their main attacking duo only being fit enough to make the bench - Mbappe.

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PSG are no strangers to a goal or two. They scored three away goals against both Manchester United and Bayern Munich, with four coming against FC Barcelona at Camp Nou.

However, 50% of those goals were scored by Mbappe. Mauricio Pochettino had a massive task in replacing the missing goals against an English team who had only conceded four goals in 11 games. 

The French team's main chance came from centre-back, Marquinhos. Other than that, the City closed them out well and caused PSG to have zero shots on target, despite having more shots than City in total.

Did you know?

Man City are the first English side to win 11 games in a single European Cup/Champions League campaign. Dominance!

Now just one last step. The final in Instanbul.

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