‘Sometimes you need to relax’: Pep Guardiola identifies change that led to Man City comeback against PSG

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is aiming to reach his first Champions League final since 2011

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised his side’s response after they came from a goal down against Paris Saint-Germain to take a first-leg lead in their Champions League semi-final.

City fell behind to Marquinhos first-half header and were second best to begin with at the Parc des Princes, but produced an excellent display after the break as goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez earned Guardiola’s side a 2-1 win.

It was the second Champions League match in row in which City had come from behind to win away from home, following their second-leg victory over Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals.

Guardiola admitted City “felt the pressure” when PSG were on top in the first half, but was delighted with the adjustments that followed.

“We felt the pressure after conceding. A lot of people, it was the first time in the semi-finals and they wanted to do well,” Guardiola told BT Sport.

“Sometimes you need to relax, to be ourselves. We changed how we pressed, we were more aggressive, because it’s not easy to defend against Mbappe, Neymar and Di Maria.

“Afterwards we scored the goals, and we could have had another one, but I’m satisfied with the performance. But it’s only half-way. Anything can happen.”

City will welcome PSG to the Etihad Stadium in the return leg next week and Guardiola said the experience of the first half in Paris will benefit his players on Tuesday.

“At 1-0 [PSG] were good. We could not press well. We didn’t have good possession in the right areas, but that sometimes is normal,” he added.

“This club, we don’t have much experience in this competition at these stages, especially in the semi-final. But I think it’s going to help for us to realise that either we are ourselves, or anything can happen.

“Against Dortmund, we conceded and came back. Today the same. What I want is for us to be ourselves in the second leg. We are good playing in a certain way. We can’t do a different way.”

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