It’s advantage Manchester City in their quarter-final clash with PSG after they claimed a 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes in the first leg.
Fernandinho’s late goal earned his side a draw but more importantly two away goals heading into the second leg of the tie at the Etihad Stadium. Crucially, teams who have taken a 2-2 scoreline back to their home ground for the second leg have progressed in 220 of the 277 instances in which this has happened in the past; that’s nearly 80%. No wonder Manuel Pellegrini looked so pleased at the end of the game.
In truth, it could have been a lot worse for the English team. Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a penalty and a hatful of other gilt-edged chances as City’s defensive frailties when playing without skipper Vincent Kompany were all too evident. They counter-attacked with purpose – Kevin de Bruyne’s opening goal the result of one such raid – but in truth PSG dominated the game and Sergio Aguero ploughed the loneliest of furrows up front for City.
How this dynamic will change in the second leg is anybody’s guess, although you would expect the roles to be reversed: City will dominate possession with the Parisians looking to hit them on the break. Whether that will be enough for them to win the match – which is what they essentially need to do know that City have notched two away goals – is anybody’s guess.
1. "To qualify" Betting Odds
Given the proximity between the two sides in the first leg, it’s no surprise to see the bookmakers hedging their bets somewhat with their prices for the second. Bet365 have priced Man City at 6/4 and PSG at 9/5 – so they have no clear idea who will win – with the draw available at 9/4.
They are offering odds in the ‘to qualify’ market too, with Man City holding a clear advantage at 8/13 and PSG back on 5/4.
2. Betting Preview
PSG, remember, will be without the suspended David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi for this match, but they will be buoyed by the fact that City have conceded at least once in eight of their nine Champions League outings this term. Without Kompany, they do look vulnerable in the centre of defence.
But how will Laurent Blanc play it? He will know that his side just need to win 1-0 to progress to the last four, but are they capable of keeping City’s front three of Aguero, De Bruyne and David Silva at bay?
The stats from the first leg are indicative of how these matches tend to go. PSG had 67% possession of the ball and carved out five shots on target, but no statistic other than the 2-2 scoreline really matters.
Man City have already created a small slice of history – only Barcelona had beaten PSG in European competition at the Parc des Princes in their last 39 games there, and all they now need to do is hold their nerve in the second leg. Given their excellence on home soil, it would take a brave punter to bet against them doing just that.
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