5 things we learned from Man City's famous victory over PSG


Manchester City are through to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in their history.

Kevin De Bruyne’s wonderful second-half strike secured Manuel Pellegrini’s men a 1-0 win against Paris St Germain, seeing them through 3-2 on aggregate.

Here, we pick out five things we have learned from the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

1. English football is not so bad after all

(Jon Super/AP)

The true quality of the Premier League has been widely debated over recent years due to English sides’ inability to make much of an impact in the Champions League or its ugly sister, the Europa League.

City bucked the trend by making history on Tuesday, becoming just the second Premier League side since 2012 to reach the semi-final of European football’s top club competition.

2. Otamendi and Mangala can rise to the occasion

(Thibault Camus/AP)

PSG will have no doubt smiled when Pellegrini confirmed on the eve of the quarter-final that captain Vincent Kompany was not ready to return from his latest calf injury.

It meant Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala lined-up in central defence, but the oft-derided duo performed manfully to keep Laurent Blanc’s men at bay. They read the game well and put themselves in harm’s way when necessary.

3. Zlatan has a lot to offer the Premier League

(Nigel French/PA)

The Etihad Stadium did not witness Zlatan Ibrahimovic at his best, but the Sweden striker did enough to dispel any concerns in Manchester about his ability to compete at the highest level.

Louis van Gaal has suggested he may be too old for Manchester United, but the divisive 34-year-old’s presence was felt throughout this tie.

Joe Hart had to be at his best to twice deny free-kicks from Ibrahimovic, whose anger at having a late goal chalked off the offside was clear. Unfavourable comparisons with Andy Carroll may also have irked.

4. City might want to take Aguero off spot-kicks

(Jon Super/AP)

Sergio Aguero is one of the best players in the Premier League and City’s star man.

The Argentina international proved a nuisance throughout the second leg, but he left the Etihad Stadium open-mouthed on the half-hour mark by putting a spot-kick wide.

Aguero may have netted his penalty against West Brom at the weekend, but he has now failed in two of his last three in the Champions League. De Bruyne, so impressive from set pieces, would be an ideal replacement.

5. Collective anger gets City going

(Nigel French/PA)

Tuesday’s win may have helped the City faithful warm to the Champions League, but their dislike of Uefa and its anthem is not going anywhere.

Pellegrini joked in the build-up if they keep winning, then the fans can keep booing.

Unsurprisingly, they did so with gusto on Tuesday night – arguably the loudest they got until De Bruyne struck. Furthermore, that pre-match din looked to help get City off to a bright start.