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Mahrez’s Brace Fires City To First European Final In 51 Years

Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal

By Tafadzwa Chigandiwa

Algerian international midfielder, Riyad Mahrez’s (30) brace against a 10-man French side Paris St Germain (PSG), Tuesday night, saw English Premier League giants, Manchester City breaking their record of failing to qualify for the Uefa Champions League final in 51 years.

Mahrez gave the Citizens the lead in the first half through a right footed hard and low strike in a tight angle inside the box in the 11th minute.

The ball that slid under PSG shotstopper Keylor Navas came after Belgian international highly-rated attacking midfielder, Kelvin De Bruyne’s shot deflected to Mahrez direction resutling in him capitalising on it.

Pep Guardiola’s side doubled the lead in the 60th minute when their goalkeeper Ederson superbly distributed a 60-yard pass to Phil Foden who then supplied a hard and low cross at the far post to Mahrez who finished it without thinking twice, this time with his favourate left foot.

According to statistics that were published by the club’s media on their website, yesterday’s victory is a huge milestone and a big achievement to the club especially in the European football.

“This is our first European final since our 1970 Cup Winners’ Cup victory over GĂłrnik Zabrze and the 51-years between those games breaks the record for the longest gap between appearances in European finals which was previously held by Sporting Lisbon (41-years between 1964 Cup Winners’ Cup final and 2005 UEFA Cup final),” the club posted on their website.

Furthermore, they also revealed another record they have set in the history of English football when it comes to the Champions League tournament.

“We are also the first English side to win 11 games in a single European Cup/Champions League Campaign,” the City media revealed.

In addition, the Sky Blues had previously lost at the quarter final stage for the past three Uefa campaigns including a disappointing exit to Tottenham Hotspur in 2019 followed by a suprise knock out by Tino Kadewere’s Olympique Lyon last season.

Now that Man City have booked a place in the Uefa final, they look forward to meet either Real Madrid or Chelsea in the finale that will be played at Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium on Saturday 29 May.

These two teams are set to clash tonight (Wednesday) at Stamford Bridge in a crucial fixture at 9pm Zimbabwean time.

This will be the second leg and the last semi final fixture of this season’s Uefa Champions League campaign.

The first leg between Madrid and Chelsea was played at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium last week and it ended in 1-1 draw.


Robert Tapfumaneyi