Berlin: Manchester City and Chelsea hold narrow advantage in their semi-final second leg matches this week as they look to set up an all-England Champions League final.
City host Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday having won 2-1 in the French capital while Chelsea have the edge on away goals at home to Real Madrid having secured a 1-1 draw at the home of the record 13-time champions, reports DPA.
The last of seven one-nation finals was in 2019 when Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur but Chelsea have previous experience of one when they lost on penalties to Manchester United in 2008.
City, despite being on the verge of a third Premier League title in four years, are still relative newcomers to the last four of the elite event while PSG were beaten finalists last season.
“This club doesn’t have much experience at this stage of the competition,” admitted coach Pep Guardiola, who won two Champions Leagues with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 but hasn’t made a final since.
“All I want is for us to be ourselves in the second leg. We are good playing a certain way, we cannot do it differently.”
Only once before have City reached a Champions League semi-final, in 2016 under coach Manuel Pellegrini, and lead thanks to Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez scoring in the second half after Marquinhos gave PSG the lead.
But with Idrissa Gueye being sent off for the hosts, PSG may feel glad simply not to be out of the tie.
“In football you need to believe,” said PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino, who led Spurs to the final two years ago.
Pochettino is hopeful Kylian Mbappe can join Neymar in attack. The French forward missed Saturday’s league win over Lens, but has been named in PSG’s travelling squad. Gueye will also make the trip despite being suspended.
Guardiola is likely to continue his heavy rotation in pursuit of the “perfect performance” he says will be necessary to reach the final.