Commentary

Comedy of errors mars duel of giants

The most even of the four UEFA Champions League quarterfinals pits Paris St. Germain and Manchester City, two clubs backed by Gulf royal riches, PSG by Qatar Investment Authority and City by Abu Dhabi United Group. They have built PSG and City into two of the most ambitious clubs in Europe.

But for all the money the two clubs have splashed around, they've both looked anything like European title contenders on Wednesday night.

First, City coughed up its first-half lead on a horrendous giveaway by midfielder Fernando that Zlatan Ibrahimovic top-poked into the empty goal.

Then PSG allowed City to even the match at 2-2 late in the game when Serge Aurier, back in the team for the first time in two months after insulting his coach, Lauren Blanc, and teammates in a Periscope rant, failed to clear a ball that Fernandinho put away for the tying goal.

On top of that, two key PSG players, David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi, picked up foolish yellow cards that will keep them out of the second leg PSG now likely needs to win next week in Manchester.

City keeper Joe Hart, who had early in the first half stopped a Ibra penalty kick, wouldn't blame Fernando for the Ibra equalizer in the 41st minute.

"It was a terrible first goal for us to concede after being 1-0 up," he told BT Sport after the game. "I have given Fernando the ball and he obviously thought there was an option to pass inside, and the big man put his size 15s on it and in it went. We don't want that to mask over a good performance, we made mistakes tonight, they did and it was an exciting game."

Ten minutes later, Aurier, sprawled on the ground, could only deflect Bacary Sagna's low cross into Fernandinho's path, allowing the Brazilian to score an easy equalizer.

"It's not a good result," said Blanc. "I don't know if it has to do with nervousness but we made a lot of technical mistakes, especially for City's second goal -- and we all know the importance of away goals. Looking at the stats, we played the match we wanted to, but we made mistakes, in part due to City's quality."

Blanc remained positive that PSG could get a winning result in the second leg. After all, it did just at Stamford Bridge when it eliminated Chelsea in the round of 16 thanks to a 2-2 draw in the second leg.

"Zlatan went through a bit of everything tonight," Blanc added. "He missed a penalty, then had a huge chance ... and just when you thought it wasn't his night, he scores. It's not the first time we concede goals at home -- quite the opposite -- but we proved we can score away too. So if we manage to give the same performance, without committing the same mistakes, we can go through."

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