Former Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez laid down a marker on the big stage as he fired Manchester City to their first Champions League final.
Mahrez scored twice as Pep Guardiola’s men clinched victory over Paris Saint-German at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Algerian winger got both goals as the second leg of the semi-final tie finished 2-0 on the night to give Man City a 4-1 aggregate win.
Mahrez was also on target in the first leg against PSG, as well as in the previous round as the Premier League champions-elect saw off Borussia Dortmund.
Man City will now face either Chelsea or Real Madrid in the final in Istanbul on May 29.
Mahrez claimed PSG “lost their nerve” during the second half of Tuesday’s showdown.
The visitors had Angel di Maria sent off shortly after the second goal went in and a spate of bookings followed in the closing stages.
“It was a very good game. We didn’t start good again, I don’t think we had a very good first half but then we scored the goal,” Mahrez told BT Sport.
“Then we were more comfortable after the goal and in the second half, we played very good and we could have scored more. They lost their nerves and then they started kicking us, they had a red card and then it was more comfortable for us.
“I don’t think it was the game-plan but obviously they had to come at us. Maybe sometimes we were a bit deeper and when they lost the ball, we’re good on the counter as well. That’s how the two goals came and we’re happy.
“Of course. We know he’s capable to put the ball to the other goal and it’s something we work on all the time, today it was good.
“When you play a semi-final of the Champions League, you have to be solid. Everyone has to contribute defensively and that’s what we did. We were very solid today, we didn’t concede much and that’s why we’re in the final.
“It’s good, we have another game on Saturday and we have to win to be champions then we will focus on the Champions League.”
Guardiola hailed Mahrez after the match, saying: “Riyad is an extraordinary player – big talent, huge quality, especially in the big games he is always ready.
“We know his quality quite well. He is a fantastic player.
“The players in these stages are judged how they behave in the biggest scenarios, the big tests.
“He loves it and enjoys it. He made a good goal, the first one with right foot and the finish for the second. Three goals over the tie, he deserves big compliments.”
It has been some journey for Mahrez, who was snapped up by Leicester from French side Le Havre for around £400,000 in 2014.
He went on to win the Premier League with the Foxes and reach the last eight of the Champions League the following season.
Mahrez left the King Power Stadium to join Man City in 2018 for a fee of £60million.
Despite his departure, plenty of Leicester fans are happy to see him doing well, it would seem.