Follow all the action as Paris Saint-Germain host Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
The two superclubs, backed by Qatar and Abu Dhabi respectively, have surged to domestic dominance over the last decade, however, reaching the pinnacle of European football has remained an elusive feat. Pep Guardiola has failed to reach a Champions League final since leaving Barcelona but ensured City finally broke their quarter-final curse with an emphatic victory over Borussia Dortmund earlier this month. The club’s ambition to win the tournament has never been a secret, yet the Spaniard attempted to play down expectation ahead of tonight’s tie. “I don’t want to win tomorrow, I don’t want to go to a final,” he said. The dream is to be ourselves.”
PSG, meanwhile, fell at the final hurdle last year, defeated by Bayern Munich in the final. They have been magnificent en route to the last four this season, though, thrashing Barcelona in the last-16 before avenging that loss to Bayern in the quarter-finals. Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are both fit to start and thriving under Mauricio Pochettino, who is also aiming to clinch European glory for the first time after falling short with Tottenham in 2019. Follow all the action below live:
It’s over five years since Manchester City last played against PSG, facing the French champions in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Manuel Pellegrini’s team came out on top, winning 3-2 on aggregate thanks to a goal from Kevin De Bruyne in the second leg.
Callum Rice-Coates28 April 2021 19:47
Pep Guardiola will make history tonight, drawing level with Carlo Ancelotti as the coach with the most matches in the knockout stages of the Champions League (62).
Callum Rice-Coates28 April 2021 19:39
MAURICIO POCHETTINO SPEAKS TO BT SPORT
“I think we are really lucky to work at PSG because it’s an amazing club with amazing players. It’s not easy to improve them, they are great players, world champions, but they listen and they are humble and they want to improve every day. I’m personally very happy to challenge Manchester City because Pep is for me the best coach in the world. They have players who can dominate you. We know how they play, their different tactics. We really believe we can beat them. We are brave and we are going to try to dominate them. In our mind there is only one thing: to win.”
Callum Rice-Coates28 April 2021 19:35
Callum Rice-Coates28 April 2021 19:26
PEP GUARDIOLA SPEAKS TO BT SPORT
A philosophical Pep has given his thoughts ahead of kick-off: “The season has been incredibly good in terms of consistency and results. We are grateful to be here and focused on winning this game. We have to remember what we did in November, December, January, the toughest period in English football history. I cannot demand more from the players. Go out there and enjoy yourselves.
“We struggle a lot in this competition, only the second time in the semi-finals. You have to feel the pressure, but the greatest athletes like this, they don’t think about the consequences. You have to be a little bit worried, but in a good way. I won Champions League finals and some are already forgotten. It’s part of life, defeats, good moments, sad moments, and that makes life so interesting. We are going to die sooner or later. What I want before I die is that tomorrow is better than yesterday.”
Callum Rice-Coates28 April 2021 19:22
Callum Rice-Coates28 April 2021 19:15
STERLING MISSES OUT
A slight dip in form means Raheem Sterling only makes the bench for one of the biggest games in City’s recent history. Not a bad option to call upon if needed, though.
Callum Rice-Coates28 April 2021 19:09
The big news from a PSG perspective is that Kylian Mbappe is fit to start, despite being forced off with injury late in Saturday’s Ligue 1 win over Metz.
City make four changes from the side that won the Carabao Cup at the weekend, with Ederson, John Stones, Rodri and Bernardo Silva returning.
Callum Rice-Coates28 April 2021 19:04
A symbolic semi-final meeting
And here’s our Chief Football Writer, Miguel Delaney, on another key element to this semi-final:
Alex Pattle28 April 2021 18:58
The clash that proves cash is king
Here’s our own Tony Evans on one of the main narratives from this tie:
Alex Pattle28 April 2021 18:57