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PSG players say referee swore at them during Champions League semi-final loss

Two Paris Saint Germain players have claimed they were sworn at by the referee in their Champions League semi-final second leg loss to Manchester City.

A 2-0 win on the night and a 4-1 aggregate victory sent City through to their first ever Champions League final, coming at the expense of a PSG team that lost its cool and composure throughout the evening.

PSG’s Angel Di Maria was sent off in the second half of the tie as tempers flared between the two teams, and after the match, Ander Herrera and Marco Verratti both made allegations of verbal abuse from referee Björn Kuipers.

“The referee told me ‘f*** you’ twice,” Verratti said.

“If I do that, I get a 10-match ban. Of course, I talk a lot with the referee, but I never say ‘f*** you’.”

Herrera said he heard the Kuipers say something similar to teammate Leandro Paredes.

Angel Di Maria was sent off in the second half.(

AP: Dave Thompson

)

“We talk about respect with the referees. The referee tonight said ‘f***’ to Leandro Paredes,” Herrera said.

“If we say that, we get a three- or four-match ban.”

PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino said he did not hear either of the incidents, but suggested that “maybe UEFA will investigate the situation”.

Mahrez double-takes City to breakthrough final

An emotional Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola hailed a journey that has been “four or five” years in the making after seeing his side reach the final.

Riyad Mahrez’s early strike at the Etihad Stadium put City in a commanding position in the tie, before the Algerian added another in the second half to seal the victory.

Manchester City players, including Phil Foden and Kyle Walker, celebrate a Riyad Mahrez goal
City won 4-1 on aggregate to advance to their first ever Champions League final.(

AP: Dave Thompson

)

For all his domestic success at City, Guardiola has never been past the Champions League quarter-finals since arriving in England in 2016 before this season, but he can now start to dream of adding to his two European Cups won with Barcelona.

“What we have done the last four years has been incredible,” Guardiola said.

“The Champions League is the hardest and getting to the final was the hardest thing for us to achieve.

“I want to thank the former players who helped take us to another level — Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and David Silva. This is because of them, they helped take us to another level.

“I also want to thank the owner, the chairman and the staff at the club. This club is about all the people that work behind the scenes, the ground staff working at half-time.

“It’s not just about money. If you want to think that then you are wrong.”

ABC/Reuters


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