- Tom Cayless
Scintillating City dominate PSG to finish top – Manchester City 2-1 Paris Saint-Germain Review
In a top of the group clash, Pep Guardiola's Manchester City beat Mauricio Pochettino's PSG 2-1 – a scoreline that flattered the visitors.
Looking for revenge after their defeat in Paris earlier in the campaign, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling finished off PSG and simultaneously helped City guarantee top-spot in group A.
Just like at the weekend, both Jack Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne were missing. The former out through injury and the latter with COVID-19 related issues. Phil Foden was also absent with an issue not deemed to be too serious.
With Raheem Sterling impressing at the weekend, and Ruben Dias coming back into the team, Guardiola still had a strong squad to select from – here is the side he picked:
When the teamsheet was released, many supporters were unsure how Oleksandr Zinchenko and Joao Cancelo would lineup, the Ukrainian started in midfield and the Portugal international at left-back.
City started off excellently, something that was a common theme throughout the whole game. The hosts had the first big chance just four minutes after the opening whistle. Riyad Mahrez whipped in an inviting, but deep, free-kick from the right-hand side. Rodri rose highest and connected greatly, heading to the far post but it was smartly read by PSG defender Presenel Kimpembe - he headed away off the line.
The Premier League Champions continued to trap the visitors inside their own half and moved the ball with menace. In the 27th minute, Guardiola's side created another great opportunity. Rodri played a sublime switch ball over to Mahrez, the Algerian touched down with immense flair and slotted Ilkay Gundogan behind the PSG defence. The City captain then backheeled it back towards Mahrez, who skipped past a tackle and shot towards the far post from close-range. Just as it looked like City were going to take the lead, Archaf Hakimi headed over what was a certain goal.
Five minutes later, City hit the post. Cancelo crossed a dangerous ball into the box, which Nuno Mendes struggled to deal with. The ball fell to Gundogan, in yards of space, his effort was smashed against the post.
As the half-time whistle loomed, the infamous PSG front three proved their threat. They'd created nothing all half but caught John Stones in possession on the halfway line – Neymar played Kylian Mbappe through and his wrapped shot went high over Ederson's goal.
Just after half-time, Les Parisiens broke the dead-lock. After a quiet first-half, Lionel Messi played a one-two with Ander Herrera before crossing to an unmarked Mbappe, at the back-post. The 22-year-old smashed through Ederson's legs from close-range to make it 1-0. Typical City.
Nevertheless, not long after, City got their deserved equaliser. Rodri played a wonderful chipped ball over the PSG defence to Walker, he volleyed the ball into the box and Sterling was there at the back post to prod it into the PSG net.
14 minutes from the end, City grabbed the winner. After a brilliant piece of play by Gundogan, Mahrez crossed superbly towards the far-post where Silva was there to lay it back off to Gabriel Jesus – he side-footed the ball past Keylor Navas into the bottom right corner.
City held on in the remaining encounters, but not in a defensive manner. In typical Guardiola fashion, they continued to play forward and starved PSG of any significant efforts on goal.
A top-draw performance from The Blues.
Ederson (5) Walker (6) Dias (7) Stones (6) Cancelo (8) Rodri (8) Gundogan (8) Silva (8) Zinchenko (6) Sterling (8) Mahrez (8)
Substitutes: Jesus (8)
After such an impressive performance at the weekend, City were once again brilliant. When the PSG goal went in, it would have been easy for Guardiola's players to crumble – but they never. They carried on how they were all first half and got their rewards - unlike in Paris previously.
A great psychological boost for City, they now know they can beat Europe's elite this season and if they continue to perform to that level Pep might win the trophy that has evaded City.
Written by: @TomCayless_
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