Manchester City boosted their chances of reaching the last four of the Champions League as they grabbed a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their quarter-final tie against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes.
PSG manager Laurent Blanc had been talking ill of English sides’ performances in Europe prior to the match, but his words came back to bite him as his side failed to do away with Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
With little over 10 minutes gone, the French champions won a penalty when David Luiz was tripped by Bacary Sagna, but Joe Hart palmed Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s poor penalty behind.
That miss proved to be crucial, as it was City who struck first. Their high pressing paid off, with Fernandinho winning the ball back and slipping through Kevin De Bruyne, who finished with aplomb to give his side the lead.
However, City were pegged back almost immediately, and in comical fashion. Hart’s pass to Fernando looked simple, until the Brazilian’s poor first touch let Ibrahimovic challenge him with the ball rebounding into an empty net.
The Ligue 1 champions dominated much of the second half, with Ibrahimovic hitting the bar and Edinson Cavani firing just over, before finally taking the lead just after the hour-mark.
Cavani’s header from a corner was pushed away by Hart, but Adrien Rabiot was on hand to tap in.
Expecting to cruise to victory, PSG were caught napping just 13 minutes later, as Sagna’s cross eventually fell for Fernandinho, who levelled the scoring with 20 minutes remaining.
City held on to claim an invaluable draw along with two away goals heading back to the Etihad Stadium for the second leg next Tuesday.
Last season’s Bundesliga runners-up Wolfsburg pulled off a huge shock as they beat 10-time European Cup winners Real Madrid 2-0 in Germany.
The Spanish visitors were coming into the quarter-final first leg on a high after pulling off a shock of their own at the weekend, beating Barcelona 2-1 in the El Clasico at the Camp Nou.
However, Zinedine Zidane’s men suffered a reality shock, and have it all to do at the Santiago Bernabeu next Tuesday.
Casemiro had performed admirably against Barca, but became the villain of Madrid’s narrative after giving away a penalty early in the first half. The Brazilian collided with Andre Schurrle, and the referee awarded Wolfsburg a spot-kick.
Swiss full-back Ricardo Rodriguez stepped up and slotted home to give Die Wolfe the lead.
Less than ten minutes later, the German team doubled their lead. Julian Draxler weaved his way through the Real midfield and found Henrique on the wing, who then found Maximilian Arnold at the near post to tap in the second.
Los Blancos were sinking fast, and things went from bad to worse when Karim Benzema was forced off with a knee injury just before half-time.
Real Madrid failed to create too many chances, and were lucky not to be 3-0 down after Schurrle fired a huge chance at the far post over midway through the second half.
Dieter Hecking’s men saw out the victory without conceding an away goal too, and despite currently lying in eighth in the Bundesliga standings, are on the verge of their first ever Champions League semi-final.