Manchester City qualified for their first ever UEFA Champions League semi-final after they beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 on the night, and 3-2 on aggregate, in the second leg of their tie at the Etihad Stadium.
The odds looked to be stacked against City before the quarter-final tie, but Manuel Pellegrini’s men succeeded in carrying the English flag further in Europe.
PSG came to Manchester knowing they had to score, but showed little authority early on, although Zlatan Ibrahimovic went close for the visitors from a powerful free-kick that stung the palms of Joe Hart in the City goal.
For all of their possession though, Les Parisiens were undone on the counter, as Kevin Trapp swept the legs of the onrushing Sergio Aguero to concede a penalty after Serge Aurier had given the ball away. However, much like the first leg, the home side’s talisman missed from the spot, with Aguero sending the spot-kick wide.
City were happy to sit deep for much of the match, but nearly caught out PSG a few times with a high press from goal kicks – a tactic that would prove fruitful later.
In the second half, PSG felt the pressure, as Thiago Silva missed a glorious chance from a corner as his header bounced over the bar, while Hart save brilliantly from Cavani.
Laurent Blanc’s side eventually caved in, as after a sustained period of pressure from the City frontline, Kevin De Bruyne created a yard of space for himself, and picked out the very corner of Trapp’s goal to put his side ahead.
Ibrahimovic, who was anonymous for much of the match, did have the ball in the net with five minutes to go. Unfortunately for him, he was yards offside when Maxwell’s cross came in.
City held on for the win, securing their place in the last four, where they could come up against their new manager next season, Pep Guardiola, should Bayern see off Benfica on Wednesday.
A hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo ensured Real Madrid qualified for their sixth consecutive Champions League semi-final as they beat Wolfsburg 3-0 on the night, progressing 3-2 on aggregate.
The German side nabbed a shock 2-0 win at the Volkswagen Arena last week, but didn’t have the bottle to hold on for a debut appearance in the last four.
The home side arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu with an overwhelming reception, and their fans were paid back early on as Ronaldo netted his first just 15 minutes in. The Portuguese forward made a run towards the near post, and finished neatly to open proceedings.
Just a minute later, Real Madrid had wiped the visitors’ aggregate lead as Ronaldo bagged his second of the night. He rose highest from a corner to send the home fans into raptures.
Things went from bad to worse for Wolfsburg, after key man Julian Draxler was substituted as a precaution after half an hour.
The Bundesliga outfit struggled to get a foothold in the match, and were lucky to still be in the reckoning late into the second half. Sergio Ramos’ header rattled off the Wolfsburg post, trickled along the goal-line, and was eventually stopped in its tracks by goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.
Soon after though, it was curtains for Dieter Hecking’s side, as Ronaldo’s free-kick deflected off the Wolfsburg wall and secured victory.
The players were given a standing ovation at full-time after a brilliant team performance.