Kevin de Bruyne sent Manchester City into the Champions League semi-finals for the first time on Tuesday, securing a hard-fought 1-0 victory over French giants Paris Saint-Germain for a 3-2 aggregate win.
fourth successive quarter-final exit leaves the Qatari-owned club still
chasing a European cup. Instead, City are celebrating another landmark
in their transformation in the eight years since also coming under
Middle Eastern ownership.
"It's an amazing night for us," said
goalkeeper Joe Hart, City's only player before the 2008 takeover by Abu
Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour. "We've worked hard in this competition.
been here since the start of this Champions League run and we did
struggle to start with, but we started to piece together results and
this speaks volumes."
The win ensures Manuel Pellegrini, who
reached the semi-finals as Villarreal coach 10 years ago, can still turn
City into European champions before handing over in May to Pep
City's Sergio Aguero missed a penalty and PSG's Zlatan Ibrahimovic had two free-kicks saved and a goal disallowed for offside.
evening, and last week in Paris, we weren't clinical enough - we
weren't efficient," PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. "City is a good team,
not a particularly spectacular team, but they are efficient and they get
the job done ... imposing their physicality without creating many
De Bruyne struck in the 76th minute. After taking
the ball past Edinson Cavani, De Bruyne curled a slight deflected shot
through traffic to find the net.
Chelsea discarded the midfielder
in 2014 but City signed him from Wolfsburg last year for 75 million
euros ($A111 million). The Belgian has scored three goals in four games
since a two-month layoff - including one in last week's first leg.
money is not the most important thing," Pellegrini said. "All the clubs
spend a lot of money. The most important thing is the performance of
the player and the team."
One potential semi-final opponent is
Real Madrid after Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick in a 3-0 victory over
Wolfsburg in Tuesday's other game to advance 3-2 on aggregate.
Madrid are nine-time winners and City are chasing their first European trophy since the Cup Winners' Cup in 1970.
PSG can still end the season with a treble, by adding the French Cup and League Cup to their fourth straight league title.