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Champions League

Champions League: Stats reveal Mahrez is Manchester City’s key attacking player

The African star demonstrated his dependability in Pep Guardiola’s squad this term after propelling them past the Parisians

Riyad Mahrez has now had a hand in six goals in his last five Champions League games for Manchester City, having scored twice as the Citizens defeated Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Of the six contributions, four of them are goals while the remaining two are assists.

With just 11 minutes into the semi-final second leg encounter at the Etihad Stadium, the Algeria international put his team ahead with a cool effort.

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Goalkeeper Ederson Moraes had picked out Oleksandr Zinchenko down the left and he pulled it back for Kevin De Bruyne.

The Belgium international’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Marquinhos in the middle, but the defender played it straight to Mahrez who drilled it across goal, past Keylor Navas and into the far bottom corner.

That strike saw him match Sadio Mane’s record as the second Premier League player to score in both legs of the competition’s semi-final tie.

Despite an improved effort after the conceding first, Mauricio Pochettino’s Parisians tried in vain towards getting an equaliser as they went into the half-time break a goal down.

Mahrez completed his brace in the 63rd minute thanks to an assist from Phil Foden. In a brilliant counter-attack that caught PSG unawares, the Englishman drilled a dangerous ball across the six-yard box while the African lifted past the goalkeeper.

The former Leicester City star has now overtaken Yacine Brahimi to become Algeria’s top scorer in the history of the Champions League with ten goals.

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Overall, the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations winner has been directly involved in 21 goals in the 2020-21 campaign across all competitions for the six-time English kings.

PSG’s ambition of launching a comeback proved abortive as Argentine superstar Angel Di Maria was given the marching orders in the 69th minute by referee Bjorn Kuipers for a thoughtless challenge on Fernandinho.

Manchester City are now through to the Champions League final after a 4-1 aggregate win over Pochettino’s side.

Their attention turns back to the Premier League where they face Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea on Saturday with Mahrez expected to play a crucial role in that blockbuster fixture.

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