Riyad Mahrez offered a brilliant two-word reaction after scoring twice to put Manchester City into their first-ever Champions League final. Mahrez scored either side of half-time to beat Paris-Saint-Germain 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
The visitors ended the game with 10 men after having former Manchester United midfielder Angel di Maria sent off midway through the second half.
It has been a stunning season for City, who are set to be crowned the Premier League champions for the third time in four years.
Mahrez has made a huge contribution. The Algeria international has scored 14 goals in all competitions and has been crucial during their run to the Champions League final.
He scored in the quarter-final second leg win over Borussia Dortmund to add to his three goals in the semi-final tie.
As the BT Sport feed cut back to host Gary Lineker after Mahrez had been interviewed by Des Kelly, the two-goal hero declared: “Ah, finally!”
Mahrez opened the scoring after a wonderful pass by Ederson found Oleksandr Zinchenko on the left and the Swede cut back for Kevin e Bruyne.
The City midfielder’s effort was deflected into the path of Mahrez who side-footed home.
He then struck the second by converting Phil Foden’s cross after another pacey counter-attack.
Guardiola’s side had a lot of joy in similar counter-attacking situations, but Mahrez said it was not part of their game plan.
“I don’t think it was the game-plan but obviously they had to come at us. Maybe sometimes we were a bit deeper and when they lost the ball, we’re good on the counter as well. That’s how the two goals came and we’re happy,” Mahrez told BT.
“When you play a semi-final of the Champions League, you have to be solid. Everyone has to contribute defensively and that’s what we did.
“We were very solid today, we didn’t concede much and that’s why we’re in the final.
“It was a very good game. We didn’t start good again, I don’t think we had a very good first-half but then we scored the goal.
“Then we were more comfortable after the goal and in the second-half, we played very good and we could have scored more.
“We have another game on Saturday and we have to win to be [Premier League] champions then we will focus on the Champions League.”
Published at Tue, 04 May 2021 21:28:00 +0000