Manchester City took a big step towards the Champions League Final on Wednesday night as they came from behind to beat PSG 2-1 at Les Parc de Princes.
Marquinhos headed a dominant PSG side in front early on but the pendulum swung in City’s favour in the second half, as they produced an excellent display and completely nullified the threat of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Kevin De Bruyne’s intended cross went all the way in for the equaliser, before Riyad Mahrez curled a free-kick through a weak PSG wall to give Pep Guardiola’s side the lead, before the French champions went down to 10 men after a horror tackle from Idrissa Gana Gueye.
The former Everton man was one of several PSG stars to lose their heads in the second half as they began to chase shadows and his foul on Ilkay Gundogan was perhaps in frustration that the German international completely ran the show in the second half.
As per SofaScore, the former Borussia Dortmund man would earn a solid 7.1/10 rating for his performance on Wednesday night, with only Mahrez (8.2), Bernardo Silva (7.5) and Phil Foden (7.2) rated higher of the City players who featured.
However, the 30-year-old midfielder had the most touches (116) and played the most passes (103) of any player who featured in the game, which highlights that he was key to City’s strong performance.
Gundogan has averaged just 77.5 passes per game in the Champions League this season, which emphasises just how impressive he was on Wednesday night, especially when you consider that this was arguably City’s hardest game in the competition so far.
He also broke forward well, completing all three of his dribbles in the game, which again is more than the 1.2 dribbles he has averaged in the competition so far this season.
Guardiola was full of praise for Gundogan earlier in the season, saying:
“Ilkay is an exceptional player in all situations. He can play more upfront and as a defensive midfielder.”
He emphasised this on Wednesday night as he also impressively won 5/9 of his duels and lost possession on just four occasions, which is impressive when you consider how successful PSG were with their pressing in the first half.
Therefore, whilst Mahrez and De Bruyne will earn the plaudits for their goals, it was Gundogan who kept things ticking over for City, which was vitally important in them earning the win.