Marco Verratti has applauded Manchester City as Pep Guardiola’s side progressed into the Champions League final on Tuesday night, with PSG losing 4-1 on aggregate over the two legs – and City fans have applauded the Italian ace.
Having beaten PSG away 2-1, City knew that simply avoiding defeat would be enough to see them progress into the final – where they will face either Chelsea or Real Madrid. Even a 1-0 loss would have been enough, on away goals.
But they did way more than that. Riyad Mahrez scored two goals but that was far from the story of the match – as City produced a stunning defensive display that saw them keep a clean sheet and eventually win 2-0 at the Etihad.
Ruben Dias won man of the match and little surprise. The Portugal international enjoyed his best night in a City shirt, throwing his body in front of anything and everything to protect his goal – a real Vincent Kompany-like display.
The entire defence was excellent, including John Stones, as they kept the likes of Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi out. The latter hardly had a sniff, and eventually, Di Maria became so frustrated that he was sent off.
The Argentine kicked out at veteran Fernandinho as tempers frayed, a symbol for the last 15 minutes. PSG lost their head and Mauricio Pochettino did little to stop it – Verratti himself was lucky not to see red for a number of fouls.
However, the Italian had impressed throughout and was probably his side’s best player. Quoted by Manchester Evening News after the game, Verratti paid tribute to Guardiola’s side – stating they deserve to be in the final.
“City deserve this too because they’ve been working with the same coach for six or seven years and this will be their first final. But we have to praise our run because in two years we’ve reached the final and the semis,” Verratti said.
With City looking at a midfielder this summer to replace Fernandinho – who is out of contract this summer – they could do a lot worse than look at PSG’s number six. TalkSPORT claim he earns £250,000 a week at PSG.
According to WhoScored, Verratti clocked up more passes than any of his teammates with 87 – and a whopping 81 of those were successful. He produced two key passes, second only to Neymar. Defensively, he also impressed.
Verratti was joint first when it came to making tackles – clocking up four, level with Presnel Kimpembe. He also enjoyed more successful dribbles than any of the PSG players, even Neymar. That is something City should consider.
Indeed, plenty of City fans took to Twitter following his complimentary verdict on Guardiola’s side qualifying for the final and many believe he would be a top signing for the Premier League leaders in the coming months.
Quality players imagine him under pep https://t.co/s8cTGLp9SU
— Jay Biz (@Jaybiz_15) May 4, 2021
Always rated Verratti https://t.co/qnvelNfVmb
— HS. (@ClinicalSergio) May 4, 2021
Come join us at City mate you’re unreal!
— James (@JMC_OfficiaI) May 4, 2021
Top player, very mature comment
— D’ACCOUNTANT (@OG_umaru) May 4, 2021
Would deffo have him
— Irfan (@Irfxnta) May 4, 2021
warra player warra reaction
— 1️⃣7️⃣ (@_dabruynekev) May 4, 2021