It's been a hell of a long time coming, but Manchester City have finally reached their first ever Champions League final.
In truth, Paris Saint-Germain barely laid a glove on City in the Tuesday's second leg with a Riyad Mahrez brace giving them a deserved 2-0 win.
Before all that though, everyone was focussed on one thing and one thing only. The weather in Manchester.
Some called it hail, some snow. One thing everyone could agree on, though, was that it completely bonkers that a game in May was being played in these conditions.
Seriously they didn’t have a red ball for the game?#MCIPSG— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) May 4, 2021
When Man City spoke to Neymar during his time at Santos, he asked a City director whether Nike could make special boots to play in the mud in England. City took that as a sign he didn't want to come. Eight years on, he's playing in snow in Manchester in a CL semifinal in May..— Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) May 4, 2021
Good evening! I just arrived from another planet. I am watching a game between Man City and PSG and no fans have turned up. And it’s May...why are there snow on the pitch?— Jan Aage Fjortoft ?️? ?? (@JanAageFjortoft) May 4, 2021
It did not take long for City to take full advantage of the unique conditions with Mahrez opening the scoring inside 11 minutes.
Ederson was key in the build-up, launching a truly ridiculous long ball over the top of the PSG defence which Oleksandr Zinchenko latched onto. A few passes and a deflection later and Mahrez was wheeling off to celebrate.
MAHREZ! ⚽️— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 4, 2021
That man produces the goods once again! A massive goal for Man City!
And look at the ball from Ederson to start the move off ? pic.twitter.com/i843btxu4J
Killer finish— Sara ? (@SaraFCBi) May 4, 2021
Riyad Mahrez, ladies and gentlemen ??? pic.twitter.com/aWKrzp22oG
Wonder if ederson wants to come play pivot for us— TO. (@Broonoooooo) May 4, 2021
Ederson, at least in my lifetime, is the most technically proficient GK I've seen. The amount of value he brings with that is incredible, too.— UtdArena (@utdarena) May 4, 2021
The rest of the first half was a nail-biting affair for both managers. PSG went close with Marquinhos hitting the bar and Angel Di Maria curling an effort just wide.
Meanwhile, City looked extremely dangerous every time their opponents surrendered possession by overplaying - which happened quite a lot.
HT: Man City (0.47) 1-0 (0.51) PSG— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) May 4, 2021
“dont pass to icardi, on my mums life hes playing against us” pic.twitter.com/SuABQAosXC— leah ☬ (@leahh__21) May 4, 2021
PSG need to get Mbappe on at half time, Neymar has been shocking..— ✈️ (@Arrizabalager) May 4, 2021
John Stones’ first half vs. PSG by numbers:— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 4, 2021
100% long pass accuracy
95% pass accuracy
25 total touches
Rock solid. ? pic.twitter.com/wWB3prCpkr
The (rightly) overturned penalty was the turning point of this match.— James Robson (@jamesrobsonES) May 4, 2021
PSG started like a train - City like they were caught in the headlights.
Now it is perfectly set up for City to pick off an increasingly desperate PSG in the second half
A first Champions League final awaits
Ruben Dias is impressive, feels like for once Man City hit a home run investing a ton in a center back— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) May 4, 2021
L’equipe will only give Phil Foden a snide little 6/10 tomorrow morning.— Seb Stafford-Bloor (@SebSB) May 4, 2021
After the break, PSG tried turning up the pressure but were met with stubborn City resistance.
Kyle Walker, John Stones and Zinchenko all played their part but special praise was reserved for Ruben Dias; he was a man mountain.
Stones and Zinchenko celebrating that block like it was a goal. Absolutely love to see it ?— ManCityzens (@ManCityzenscom) May 4, 2021
That hug from John stones and pat on the back from Ruben Dias says it all about Zinchenko’s performance today. pic.twitter.com/sA4KDx4YWf— kdbkdbkdbkdbkdb (@kdbkdbkdbkdbkdb) May 4, 2021
Le match de Ruben Dias, masterclass— ????? ?????????? (@walidacherchour) May 4, 2021
City were rewarded for their stoic defending just after the hour mark when Mahrez grabbed his second of the game.
Phil Foden was the architect, laying it on a plate for the Algerian to tap home at the back post.
Of Man City's four goals across the two legs, Mahrez has scored three of them! ? pic.twitter.com/BypvP8SIY8— 90min (@90min_Football) May 4, 2021
Phil Foden was brought in to replace Sterling indeed.The guy is an absolute baller, when he gets enough game time the world will see how talented this kid actually is.#MCIPSG pic.twitter.com/qLarWFFdG7— Sir NIGHTS ❄️⚡️ (@mhyzta_morgan) May 4, 2021
North Africa will not be ready for a Mahrez v Benz final https://t.co/APzCKVu62W— R8 ?? (@Nabyllionaire) May 4, 2021
The goal pretty much ended PSG's hopes of reaching the final and Di Maria hammered the final nail in the coffin when he got himself sent off for a brainless stamp on Fernadinho.
HIs dismissal kick-started a bit of a free for all, with Zinchenko, De Bruyne and Verratti all going into the book soon after. We can't lie, it was pretty fun.
Fernandinho done it again. 6 fouls. No booking. And drawn a red on Di Maria. Incredible influence.— RG (@registability) May 4, 2021
Di Maria leaving a football scenario in Manchester earlier than expected? The story is old but it goes on.— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) May 4, 2021
Di Maria didn’t fancy it in the sun at Hull, so amazed he lasted that long tonight. Ruben Dias could be a more transformative defensive signing than Van Dijk. #UCL— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) May 4, 2021
How anybody can like Di Maria is beyond me— Aidan Walsh ? (@AidanWalshMUFC) May 4, 2021
Di Maria, one of the biggest cry babies in football history and a former Manchester United player sent off for lashing out I love this gameeee— Ryan (@bernardooooV3) May 4, 2021
The hacks, trips and kicks continued right up until full-time. When the final whistle was blown the joy on the City players' faces was quite something and Twitter was quick to offer their congratulations - while laughing at PSG of course.
One step closer to that missing piece ? pic.twitter.com/ZMjDf8ytoh— 90min (@90min_Football) May 4, 2021
22 years ago I was on a zero hours contract selling tickets for the play off final against Gillingham! Our job training consisted of selling tickets for a fictional Xmas Eve Champions League final against Juventus. I’m an absolutely ecstatic City fan tonight #mcfc— Mike Kane (@MikeKaneMP) May 4, 2021
Crazy thing is if City win the champions league they’ve basically done it without a striker!— Callum Bell (@CallumBell94) May 4, 2021
It’s celebration time for Pep’s Man City pic.twitter.com/Lvo0OIiTCm— The Pep (@GuardiolaTweets) May 4, 2021