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Man City 2-1 PSG: Comeback win secures top spot in Champions League Group A for Pep Guardiola’s side : Shivpurinews.in

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Manchester City sealed their passage into the Champions League last 16 as group winners after coming from a goal down to beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

City dominated the opening 45 minutes but could not find a breakthrough as Mauricio Pochettino, who was heavily linked with the vacant Manchester United job in the build-up to the game, saw his PSG side hold firm under a barrage of pressure from the hosts.

Pep Guardiola’s side were made to pay for their wastefulness early in the second half as Kylian Mbappe put the Ligue 1 leaders ahead against the run of play.

However, City stormed back, with goals from Raheem Sterling and substitute Gabriel Jesus completing the turnaround, to secure a place in the knockout phase with a game to spare.

The victory sees Guardiola’s men, who are aiming to win their first Champions League title, also top Group A with one game left to play, while PSG are also through despite the loss in Manchester because of Club Brugge’s 5-0 defeat at the hands of RB Leipzig.

Group A standings…

How dominant Man City came back to stun PSG…

Man City 2-1 PSG

Despite the absence of key attacking players in Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish, Manchester City started firmly on the front foot and created a number of clear-cut opportunities as they dominated most of the opening 45 minutes.

Rodri rose highest to head Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick goalwards but his powerful header was cleared off the line by Presnel Kimpembe.

Mahrez was heavily involved in the action for City in the first half and the visitors needed Achraf Hakimi to divert the Algerian’s curled effort over the crossbar.

Player ratings

Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (8), Dias (7), Stones (6), Cancelo (6), Rodrigo (7), Gundogan (7), Zinchenko (6), Mahrez (8), Bernardo (9), Sterling (8).

Subs: Jesus (7).

PSG: Navas (6), Hakimi (6), Marquinhos (7), Kimpembe (7), Mendes (6), Paredes (7), Herrera (6), Gueye (5), Messi (5), Mbappe (6), Neymar (6).

Subs: Danilo (6), Di Maria (5), Kehrer (6).

Man of the match: Bernardo Silva.

There was no let up from City as they continued to pin PSG back and they hit the post through Ilkay Gundogan, although the flag was raised for offside, and Keylor Navas produced a fine save low to his right to deny Mahrez.

The hosts were given a warning just before the break when John Stones was caught in possession in the centre circle. Neymar pounced before sliding the ball through for Mbappe, but the French striker’s early shot flew over Ederson’s crossbar.

Despite all City’s first-half dominance, they were caught out as PSG raced out of the traps at the start of the second half.

Team news…

  • Phil Foden was missing from the Manchester City squad. The England midfielder was replaced by Riyad Mahrez as Pep Guardiola made three changes for the Group A encounter from the side that brushed aside Everton on Sunday. Ruben Dias and Oleksandr Zinchenko were the other players to come in, with Aymeric Laporte and Cole Palmer making way.
  • World Cup-winner Kylian Mbappe proved his fitness to start for PSG, forming a formidable front trio with Neymar and Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi and Neymar were both heavily involved as the visitors attacked from deep before Messi’s deflected cross fell kindly for Mbappe, who fired through the legs of Ederson to give PSG the lead against the run of play.

The goal did not knock City off course, though. They responded brilliantly to the setback and equalised 13 minutes later when Sterling stretched to convert Kyle Walker’s cutback from close range.

The turnaround was complete 14 minutes from time when Bernardo Silva produced an exquisite touch to play Mahrez’s cross into the path of Jesus, who finished into the far corner to secure City’s place in the last 16.

That was a statement performance from Man City. PSG may have punished them for not converting their first-half dominance into goals, but they stuck at it, continued to play at a really high level and got their deserved reward in the end.

Sky Sports’ Peter Smith

‘A big statement from Man City’

Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus
Image:
Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus celebrate City’s second goal

Clinton Morrison on Soccer Special:

“Man City have landed a big psychological blow on PSG.

“It was a proper football game and City deserved their victory. In the first half they were outstanding. They created so many chances and they were the better team. You didn’t really see the PSG front three in the first half.

“However, in the second half we saw what they can do with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. They scored a really good team goal.

“But then Man City just turned it up again. It was a really positive performance from Man City and Pep Guardiola will be happy to get the three points that seals top spot in the group.

“It’s a big statement from City against a superstar PSG team!”

What the managers said…

Man City boss Pep Guardiola: “It was a good game. The sense of danger when they have the ball in the final third is terrible, but, again, we did a good performance. It was unfortunate in the first half the chances we had we couldn’t convert and, from nothing, they have the quality to do it. After the goal we suffer for five-10 minutes but, after that, with our people – thank you to how they supported us – it was a lovely night for us.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes their 2-1 comeback home win over Paris Saint-Germain was a ‘really top performance’ as City qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League

“Always I believe with these type of players [(Messi, Mbappe, Neymar, Di Maria], as far as they are from our goal, we are safer. The much closer they are, they found the space. The action where Neymar was in front of the ‘keeper and missed it, so they found from nothing… they are too good up front! We had to defend as a team. If you believe one guy is going to solve the quality they have, it’s impossible. We were there with good composure at the end. I don’t know the stats, but I think we were brilliant again today, and that’s good for us.”

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino: “Yes, disappointed but at the same time, City, in the first half, they played well, and they forced us to play deeper. They were very aggressive. Being honest, I think we need to give the credit to Man City.

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Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino refuses to ‘talk about the rumours’ regarding speculation linking him with the vacant Manchester United managerial job

“But second half, it’s true after 0-0 in the first half, we scored, we were calm because we were controlling them very well. The circumstances of the game changed a little bit and we conceded two goals. Man City is a very good team.

“The objective was to qualify and then to be first. But we beat Man City in the Parc de Princes, we lost here. The difference here is the draw against Brugge and Leipzig, that is why we finished second, not because of the two games we played against Man City.”

Man of the match – Bernardo Silva

The quality from Bernardo, how he set the ball, when you talk about the technique, that is the right tempo, do it in the right moment and you give to your mate the best condition to score a goal. And it was a good finish from Gabriel.

Pep Guardiola on Bernardo Silva’s assist

Riyad Mahrez was a thorn in the side of PSG for most of the night and he can count himself unlucky that he has not got the nod for man of the match.

However, it was very difficult to ignore Bernardo Silva, who was at the heart of Man City’s dominant display.

He made 47 passes and 47 of them found their intended target, the best of which was his cushioned lay-off to pick out Gabriel Jesus for City’s winner.

A masterful display from the Portugal international, who now has to be one of the first names on Guardiola’s teamsheet.

Opta stats: City’s group stage dominance continues…

Man City's Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring against PSG
Image:
Man City’s Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring against PSG

Manchester City’s victory ensures they will finish top of their Champions League group for the fifth consecutive season – just the second English side to do so in the current format of the competition after Manchester United between 2006-07 and 2010-11.

This is the first time Paris Saint-Germain have opened the scoring in the second half but gone on to lose a Champions League game.

Raheem Sterling scored his 23rd Champions League goal, with Wayne Rooney (30) and Paul Scholes (24) the only Englishmen to net more in the competition than the Man City star.

PSG’s Kylian Mbappe became the second youngest outfield player to reach 50 Champions League appearances in this match (after Cesc Fabregas). He has been involved in 48 goals in his 50 appearances in the competition so far (29 goals, 19 assists).

Gabriel Jesus both scored and assisted in a Champions League game for just the second time (34th appearance), previously doing so in August 2020 against Real Madrid.

Riyad Mahrez was involved in eight of Manchester City’s 16 shots against PSG, with the Algerian creating three chances and having five attempts himself.

What’s next?

Man City resume their Premier League campaign at home to West Ham on Sunday; kick-off 2pm. Guardiola’s side are away to RB Leipzig in their final Champions League group game on Tuesday December 7 (kick-off 5.45pm).

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