We are not, we’re not really here. Except we are. We’re really here. We’re here in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
And against all odds, too. Against the word of myself who predicted a second Norman conquest, against the word of a handful of French journalists who predicted quite arrogantly that the Ligue 1 bullies would add City to their list of victims, and against the word of Paris Saint Germain manager Laurent Blanc who was relieved to avoid “ogres” Barcelona and Bayern Munich. But sat sniggering in his swamp three weeks ago was Manuel Pellegrini, carefully plotting PSG’s demise.
In truth, though, the French champions must shoulder a sizable chunk of the blame. Equipped with a £140m forward three – Zlatan Ibrahimović, Edinson Cavani and Ángel Di María – supposedly chock-a-block with ability, the fact that PSG’s two best chances came from free-kicks yesterday must humiliate Blanc. Not that this man, ex-Manchester United might I add, is afraid of humiliating himself. After the game the Frenchman remarked that City will be “guests” in this year’s semi-final draw, but if City are guests, then his side would have fit in as smoothly as Raoul Moat in Buckingham Palace on last night’s evidence. We may well be unfamiliar with this stage of the competition, but I expect us to be as courteous as the Mad Hatter on any visit to either Spain or Germany.
So we turn to the performance in last night’s 1-0 win and 3-2 aggregate victory. If Kevin De Bruyne was a pop star he’d be Enrique Iglesias because he was certainly our hero, baby, last night. The Belgian’s 76th minute whip into the bottom right hand corner was just another example of De Bruyne doing what needed to be done. As we fannied about outside the 18-yard-box in an incredibly irritating game of ‘you have it, no you have it’, Kevin said “f*** it” and shot. It’s about taking your chances at this level and Kevin always seems to do just that. He also won my mate £100 on a free bet, so cheers, I could be in for a free pint there.