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City claw through - and other bad Lyon puns

City’s roller-coaster 90 minutes at Lyon demands the lion’s share of headlines this morning with the injury-hit Blues reaffirming their big cat status in the Champions League with a hard-fought 2-2 draw.

But if you think those puns are bad, we’ll begin with Martin Blackburn’s report of the game in The Sun.

He writes: “Sergio Aguero finally managed to tame Lyon and put Manchester City in the knock-out round.

“But what a formidable opponent the French team have been on two occasions this season - leaving the English champions quivering both times.

READ: When is the Round of 16 Champions League draw?

READ: Lyon 2 City 2: Match report

“Ivorian striker Maxwel Cornet looked certain to scoop the headlines by twice giving the home side the lead.

“But Aymeric Laporte and then Aguero showed this City side have character to go with their flair by hitting back in double quick time.

“It means they have qualified for the last 16 for a sixth consecutive season. And a draw against Hoffenheim in a fortnight will guarantee top spot.”

Yet no matter how far they go in the competition this year, they are unlikely to face a stiffer test than Lyon have twice given them.

We did warn you.

 

Highlights

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Highlights: Lyon 2-2 City

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ESPN’s Jonathan Smith focuses on Pep Guardiola’s post-match comments that City will learn from difficult games such as Lyon that will stand the Blues in greater stead in the latter stages of the competition.

He writes: “Manchester City's struggles to overcome Lyon could help them when they reach the Champions League knockout stages, according to Pep Guardiola.

The Premier League champions twice came from behind with goals from Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Aguero to rescue a 2-2 draw in France to secure a place in the last 16 in February.

City lost to the Ligue 1 side in their Group F opener and the City boss believes the games could give them some experience of how difficult it is to be successful in Europe.

"Maybe we need to live a [difficult] moment in the competition," he told a news conference. "The last two seasons when I'm here we qualified quite comfortably. Maybe you have to suffer in the group stage to realise and make a step forward."

The MEN’s Simon Bajkowski picks up on the Pep’s assertion that with qualification secured, the champions can now focus on domestic competition until February.

He reports: “Pep Guardiola congratulated his players on a job well done after twice coming from behind to draw 2-2 with Lyon.

“The French team, who had pulled off a shock victory at the Etihad in the opening game of the group, harried the Blues all evening in front of a lively crowd totally close to 60,000 and were left frustrated that they could not hold on for the victory.

“It was a jolt to the system for City, who have been used to steamrollering opponents domestically.

“But while a point was not enough to secure top spot, it does confirm Champions League qualification for the Blues, booking their place in December's draw for the last-16.

“As far as the manager was concerned, mission accomplished.

‘Personally, qualifying for the last 16 is the happiest day between August and December because we can now play the Premier League and the cups and prepare ourselves for February,’ he said.”

 

 

WATCHING BRIEF: Aymeric Laporte keeps tabs on the Lyon attack

Interviews

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Laporte: Qualifying for last-16 was crucial

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And the Blues have impressed one of European football’s greats.

PSG veteran Gianluigi Buffon believes City are one of three teams in with a real chance of landing the Champions League this season.

The Metro (via the Mirror) write: “Buffon believes Juventus, Manchester City and Barcelona are the three favourites to win the Champions League this season.

“Italian champions Juve booked their place in the knockout stages of the competition on Tuesday evening after beating Valencia. Reigning Premier League champions City have also progressed after coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Lyon.

“Barcelona, meanwhile, can secure their passage to the knockouts as group leaders when they face PSV on Wednesday night.

“PSG goalkeeper Buffon believes Liverpool and Real Madrid could also lift the title but says Juventus, Manchester City and Barcelona are the favourites. He told the Daily Mirror: ‘This season, I see the favourites for the Champions League as Barcelona, Juventus, and Manchester City.

‘Liverpool as well have a big chance and you can never forget about Real Madrid.’

Moving on to transfer gossip and Sports Mole (via the Mail) suggest City have made known their interest in a Portuguese youngster – but face competition from Barca.

The report reads: “Manchester City reportedly face competition from Barcelona for the signing of Portugal Under-21s international Stephen Eustaquio.

"The 21-year-old currently plies his trade in Primeira Liga for Chaves and is said to have a £13.3m release clause inserted in his contract.

“Eustaquio has also been linked with the likes of Real Betis and Sporting Lisbon after impressing during his nine league appearances for Chaves this term.

£According to the Daily Mail, it is City who have made the first move for the youngster as they have already tabled an initial bid.

“Barca are expected to come forward with an offer of their own, however, and it may then be down to Eustaquio to decide his next career move.”

Finally, the Blues now know their Carabao Cup quarter-final opponents.

Leicester City will host Pep’s men on 18 December and Foxes boss Claude Puel is hoping for payback after last season’s exit in the same competition at the hands of City.

 

BERNARDO BRILLIANCE: City's goalscorer celebrates his second goal of the season.

Highlights

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Leicester 1-1 City (3-4 on pens): Long highlights

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Leicester Mercury write: “Claude Puel declared ‘bring on Manchester City’ after his Leicester City side set up a Carabao Cup quarter final clash with the Premier League champions with a penalty shoot-out victory over Southampton.

“For the second consecutive round, City fought out a goalless stalemate and had goalkeeper Danny Ward to thank for some superb saves, including the crucial penalty stop to deny Manolo Gabbiadini, to help his side advance.

“Southampton also had a goal ruled out after a VAR review as City rode their luck at times, but it is now Puel’s men who will face Pep Guardiola’s at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday, December 18.

‘Of course, at the end it is fantastic feeling,’ said Puel.

‘It is fantastic for the team and I hope we can continue. It will be another tough game against Manchester City and we have bad memories of last season, because we deserved a better result against them.

‘With the support of our fans I hope we can find a solution.’

And that’s all for today…

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