Man City into first Champions League final

Riyad Mahrez has scored twice in Manchester City's Champions League semi-final 2nd leg win over PSG.
Riyad Mahrez has scored twice in Manchester City's Champions League semi-final 2nd leg win over PSG.

By the time Riyad Mahrez had completed the counter-attack that sealed Manchester City's spot in their maiden Champions League final, it looked so effortless overcoming a Paris Saint-Germain side that lost their cool and composure.

Mahrez netted twice before PSG had Angel Di Maria sent off as City won 2-0 at home to eliminate last season's finalists 4-1 on aggregate on Tuesday.

"Then they lost their nerve and started to kick us and it was good," Mahrez said. "They had the red card and after it was more comfortable for us."

It's been anything but comfortable for City getting a shot at lifting European football's top prize for the first time despite 13 years of lavish investment.

Even reaching this semi-final required a fight in court to overturn a ban from this season's Champions League for breaching UEFA's financial rules.

And it's only two weeks since the Abu Dhabi-owned team exposed themselves to fresh sanctions for joining a brief, ill-fated bid to split to form a breakaway European Super League.

Now City could win the competition they tried to leave in what could be an all-English final on May 29 in Istanbul if Chelsea overcome Real Madrid in London on Wednesday - the tie is level at 1-1.

It's not just City that's endured frustration in their quest to win the biggest prize in European club football.

Pep Guardiola, a Champions League winner as Barcelona coach in 2009 and 2011, has been waiting a decade to return to the final.

He fell short three times with Bayern Munich and has taken until his fifth season at City to even reach the last four.

"We are in the final of the Champions League - it's nice words," Guardiola said."

City, on the brink of a third Premier League title in four seasons after already collecting the League Cup last month, are now accustomed to glory but their only continental title came with the now-defunct European Cup Winners' Cup in 1970 - even before Guardiola was born.

After scoring City's winner in Paris last week, Mahrez took only 11 minutes to score in the second leg and he added to that in the 63rd minute to kill off the tie.

The frustrations of PSG were clear and they finished the game with 10 men, just like in the first leg, with Di Maria sent off with 20 minutes to go for kicking out at Fernandinho.

"I congratulated Manchester City but I feel disappointed because I think we deserved more, but they were more clinical than us, they were able to score the goals they needed," PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said.

"We played the match with the plan we wanted."

Australian Associated Press