Kyle Walker has explained how he and his Manchester City teammates avoided putting themselves under pressure ahead of the Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain. Read more about Man City vs PSG here.
After a brilliant performance in Paris last week, City went into the second leg with a 2-1 aggregate advantage, and Walker helped his side finish the job in Manchester on Tuesday evening.
Riyad Mahrez scored twice on either side of halftime to secure City’s place in the Champions League final later this month.
Walker clarified how, after struggling in the knockout stages of European competition in previous seasons, the team altered their strategy somewhat to ensure their advancement this time.
In an interview with BT Sport, the City and England right-back said, “I don’t think it’s over-anxious, I think we were putting so much pressure on ourselves. We return to Anfield, and we gave everything away in the first leg; we did all we could to get it back, but it wasn’t good enough. Then we went to Tottenham – well, people miss penalties and it didn’t go our way, so we probably missed it in the first leg, chasing it, coming back here, conceding two easy goals, and it’s game on.
Last year, in different conditions, it was just one leg and it was a proper cup game, and to actually go over there and get a well-earned win, and then defeat them 2-0 here, is full credit to this squad.”
Walker was then asked about City’s defensive performance, especially in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium. Here the back four made some vital blocks in the game.
The 30-year-old said, “Obviously, we knew we had to put in a decent shift against top-tier players like that. John (Stones), Ruben (Dias), and Oleks (Zinchenko) all made key blocks at critical times. Considering the amount of talent they have upfront, I upfront handled the game well. It’s a squad sport. We go rejoice a goal and high five. But the most important thing for us as defenders is holding clean sheets.”
Riyad Mahrez’s two goals against PSG secured a 4-1 aggregate victory. City will face Chelsea or Real Madrid in the final on May 29 in Istanbul.