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dressing down Niall Quinn identifies the key moment as Man City beat PSG in a classy Champions League semi-final


Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Niall Quinn believes a half-time dressing down by manager Pep Guardiola could have played a key role in Manchester City's sparkling second half performance as they beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

City produced a superb second-half fightback to claim a 2-1 advantage after the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against 10-man Paris St Germain in Paris.

The Premier League leaders were stung by an early Marquinhos goal as the hosts dominated the first half of a high-quality encounter at the Parc des Princes.

They responded brilliantly with Kevin De Bruyne equalising after 64 minutes and Riyad Mahrez firing home a free-kick soon after.

PSG lost their discipline as City threatened to score more in a strong finish and Idrissa Gana Gueye was shown a straight red card for a poor challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

In a classy contest in Paris, former City striker Quinn suggested Guardiola's half-time team-talk was a significant moment in drawing a response from his players, as he suggested the soon to be English champions are closing in on their first appearance in a Champions League final.

"They were out two of three minutes before their rivals and that was a sure sign that Pep had given them a flea in the ear," Quinn told Virgin Media Sport.

"They had a zest in them from that moment on. Eventually, PSG came strolling out two of three minutes later, but they were at it then and took charge of the game from that moment."

Guardiola did his best to dampen down his excitement after a result that puts City on the brink of their first ever appearance in a Champions League final.

"A lot of people, it was the first time in the semi-finals and wanted to do it well," stated Guardiola. "The last 10 minutes was good. In the second half we were excellent in every department. Two away goals. We have a hard job in six days.

"Sometimes you need to be more relaxed and be ourselves. The first half is normal - 180 minutes, you don't want to lose the ball, you don't play free. We changed a little in the way we press.

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"We were passive [earlier on]. Then we were more aggressive. It's not easy against Mbappe, Neymar, Di Maria. Afterwards we found goals and could have scored another. I'm so satisfied with the performance but we're only halfway. There are 90 more minutes. PSG are a team, anything can happen.

"We didn't have the good possession in right positions. That sometimes is normal. This club don't have much experience in the semi-finals of this tournament. This will help us. In the second half we were aggressive and played really good.

"Against Dortmund, we conceded and came back. Today the same. Be ourselves in the second half. We are good playing in a certain way - we can't do a different way."

Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino had contrasting emotions to Guardiola, as he admitted his side have a mounting to climb in the second leg in Manchester.

"There were two different halves, we did well in the first half but it is difficult to eliminate a team like City," declared the former Tottenham manager.

"We deserved to be ahead but they were better than us and dominated the second half. The two goals were accidents, but they created more than us. It was one half for each team.

"The two goals are very disappointing. It is difficult to accept but that can happen, and it has happened in a semi-final. It is very painful.

"It is difficult to explain why they were better but we were better in the first half. It was difficult to cope, their physical condition, they were more aggressive. We didn't show the energy you need. The red card could be yellow, could be red, it was an action.

"The second leg, in football you need to believe. They have the advantage."

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