However, City upped their aggression and produced a much better display thereafter, eventually securing a narrow lead to take back to the Etihad Stadium for next week’s return clash courtesy of Kevin De Bruyne’s cross that nobody could get a touch on before it drifted past goalkeeper Keylor Navas and a Riyad Mahrez free-kick that went straight through the PSG wall.
City pressed to extend their advantage even further late on after former Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye was sent off for a shocking challenge on Ilkay Gundogan, though a thrilling game ended 2-1 to the Premier League champions-elect, who managed to keep the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe quiet after the break, thanks in large part to another excellent showing from record signing Ruben Dias.
“Sometimes you need time to be more relaxed, to be a little bit ourselves. It’s normal – 180 minutes, you don’t want to lose the ball, you don’t play freely,” Guardiola summed up the performance in his post-match interview with BT Sport.
“We changed a little bit the way we pressed, we were more aggressive – in the first 20 minutes, we were so passive and the last 10, 15 minutes of the first half and the second half, we were more aggressive because it’s not easy to do it against Neymar and Mbappe and Di Maria.
“After, we found the goals and we could have scored another one, but in general, I am so satisfied with the performance.
“But it is halfway, so we still have many more minutes to beat them and PSG is a team where everything can happen.”