Paris Saint-Germain face a do-or-die situation against Manchester City on Tuesday. In view of the task at hand, star-man Neymar has promised to die on the pitch if necessary, to ensure the French side gets past City to win the Champions League. The Parisians reached their first-ever final in the competition last term but were beaten 1-0 by a dominant Bayern Munich.
With all of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria in top form while the defence remains solid, expectations are high in the French capital of finally securing the holy grail of European football this season.
However, the team faces a huge obstacle in Manchester City who have ambitions of their own. The Blues have never made it to the final and took a giant step to that accomplishment by coming from behind to beat the French side 2-1 last Wednesday.
Neymar, who has been the engine room of the French champions, has led the team to several domestic trophies. But winning the Champions League remains the ultimate goal.
Unsurprisingly, after scoring to help the team beat Lens in the race to secure another domestic crown, the Brazilian took out time to speak about the upcoming encounter with City.
Speaking to the French club’s official media channel, the Brazilian who remains the world’s most expensive player said: “The first thing to do now is to rest and then really refocus on the Champions League.
“We had a very tough first leg against Manchester City but we have to believe it no matter what the stats say or our percentage chance of winning.
“I think every Parisian should believe in us! I’m in the front line, and I’ll be the first warrior who goes into battle for the team.
“I will give the best of myself and I will do anything to bring this back no matter what, even if I have to die on the pitch.”
Man City will need to be wary of Les Parisiens heading into the encounter as they got to this stage by excelling away from home. The team beat Barcelona 4-1 at Camp Nou in the Round of 16 before knocking out holders Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals. A 3-2 win away at the Allianz Arena meant a 1-0 loss at home put the French side through on away goals.
Given that the team that has a knack for scoring goals, finding the back of the net at the Etihad Stadium can be expected. PSG need to win by a two-goal margin to progress at City’s expense. That is very possible given their past performances. Hence, the Blues will need to be at their very best on the night to complete a good job started in France.
Thankfully, players like Kevin De Bruyne, Ruben Dias, Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden were given a much-needed rest over the weekend ahead of the game. That will ensure they come into the game refreshed, recharged and ready to execute the task at hand.
As already implied, City only need to avoid losing to Mauricio Pochettino’s men to reach the final. The Argentine led Tottenham to break Cityzens’ hearts in 2019 when the Lillywhites progressed to the semis despite losing at the Etihad Stadium due to the away goals rule. Pep Guardiola will do everything to stop that from happening again.
More so as this is City’s best chance to reach the final for the first time. In a competition that Guardiola admits could define his legacy at the club, the Catalan cannot take any chances.
A win or draw at home will do the job. So the team will need to match Neymar’s and the French side’s determination with even more resoluteness to reach a well-deserved final once and for all.