Mahrez asked if he could take his free-kick before scoring it

Kevin De Bruyne reveals the inspirational words he whispered to Riyad Mahrez as Man City’s captain for the night sprang a surprise by letting the winger take the free-kick that sealed victory over PSG

  • Man City were 1-0 down to PSG at half-time in the first leg of the semi-final 
  • But goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez completed the comeback
  • De Bruyne scored the first with a cross, before Mahrez’s free-kick made it 2-1 
  • And Mahrez asked De Bruyne permission to take it before scoring the winner 

Kevin de Bruyne gave Riyad Mahrez permission to take the free-kick that led to Manchester City’s second goal, which proved to be the winner in their 2-1 victory against Paris St Germain.

Manchester City went into half-time 1-0 down, but a Kevin de Bruyne-inspired comeback in the second half means they go into the return leg at home next week with a 2-1 advantage, as they eye their first ever Champions League final.

De Bruyne scored in the 64th minute from a cross that no one got on the end of, and seven minutes later City were awarded a free-kick from 20 yards out that was very much in the kind of range that De Bruyne would’ve liked.

Riyad Mahrez lines up his free-kick after asking Kevin de Bruyne if he could take it

But Mahrez asked if he could take it instead, and De Bruyne let him.      

‘I said if you believe in yourself, so who am I to say no? I believe in all my team-mates,’ De Bruyne told BT Sport.

De Bruyne was awarded Man of the Match for his performance on the night, but things could’ve been very different after Marquinhos headed in the opener after just 15 minutes.

But Pep Guardiola’s side slowed things down in the second half, and eventually their patience reaped rewards. 

Mahrez scored a free-kick that gave Manchester City a 2-1 advantage going into the second leg

‘We know there are moments where we will suffer, you have to set your mind that you need to run hard,’ De Bruyne said.  

‘I think we started well first 10 mins, they got great quality up front, shame the way we conceded.

‘After 25 minutes we changed how we pressed, we had chances, second half much better, put them under pressure, first goal lucky but we played great football in second half.

‘Just to play more with ball, we were too rushed in first half, we are not set up to go forward too quickly, we found spaces more patiently in second half, progression we made was good.

Of course, (the tie) it is set up in perfect position we kept going and second goal is good for us, but still a game to go, so concentrate on that.’

De Bruyne was awarded Man of the Match for his performance after scoring his side’s opener

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