Match Report

City edged out in Paris

PACE TO BERN: The playmaker drives forward with the ball.
Champions League
Champions League
Tue 28 Sep
Idrissa Gueye 

Lionel Messi 

View highlights
A goal in each half for Paris Saint-Germain condemned City to a 2-0 defeat in the French capital.

Idrissa Gueye and Lionel Messi secured victory for the hosts who were forced to defend for large periods of the game.

City struck the bar twice in five seconds in the first period and had that gone in it would have likely been a different story.

Overall, City’s stats were far better than PSG’s – but the goals column is all that counts in games of fine margins such as this.

It is our first defeat to PSG in six meetings.


What happened?

With the backdrop of a capacity and partisan Parc des Princes, the battle between two of European football's ’newer powerhouses' locked horns once again.

Paris Saint-Germain, packed with sparkling individual talent waiting to gel; City, the essence of a collective unit – both with their eyes on a first Champions League success.

It took the hosts just nine minutes to draw first blood, with Lionel Messi skipping down the right, feeding the overlapping Kylian Mbappe who got in behind the City defence and his cross eventually found its way to Idrissa Gueye who emphatically thumped a shot into the top right corner to make it 1-0.

City had looked composed an unruffled up to that point – and responded by taking the game to the Parisians.

Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish were causing plenty of headaches on either flank and as the half-chances started to tot up, a golden chance to level was passed up as Raheem Sterling headed against the bar and the loose ball fell to Bernardo who somehow hit the loose ball up and onto the bar again.

It was an astonishing let-off for the hosts.

Both sides came close once more before the half-time break – Ander Herrera seeing a powerful shot palmed over by Ederson and Ruben Dias seeing a header pushed away by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

TV replays suggested Aymeric Laporte and Dias were unlucky not to win penalties after being wrestled to the ground as corner came in – VAR anybody?

When the whistle blew for the first 45, the home side were relieved to have reached that point without conceding to a largely dominant City.

Within 10 minutes of the restart, both Sterling and De Bruyne could have equalised as City slipped in passes behind the PSG defence.

But for all the possession and game management, City allowed Verratti too much time to bring the ball out of defence and it eventually led to Lionel Messi being given space and time to play a one-two and secure victory.

There was no way back for City after that, but it wasn’t for the want of trying – on another night a performance like this could have resulted in victory rather than defeat.



For all PSG’s style, swagger and occasional showboating, there were times the French Galacticos were clinging on at the back.

City pinned PSG back for large periods and the hosts’ over-worked defence had to rely on a combination of the woodwork, good goalkeeping and one or two desperate clearances.

A mixture of experience and confidence has given the Blues a polished look on the biggest stages with the game management superb.

Credit, though, to PSG who defended well with Verratti outstanding.

Two very good goals settled this match, but PSG are one of the competition's favourites...

The return at the Etihad should be some spectacle.

Star man: Joao Cancelo

Another impressive performance in defence and attack from the Portuguese.

How we lined up…

City: Ederson, Walker, Cancelo, Dias (c), Laporte, Rodrigo, Bernardo, De Bruyne, Sterling (Jesus 78), Grealish (Foden 68), Mahrez

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Stones, Ake, Torres, Fernandinho, McAtee, Wilson-Esbrand

PSG: Donnarumma, Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes, Herrera, Verratti (Wijnaldum 78), Gueye, Mbappe, Neymar, Messi

What it means

City drop to third in Group A with two games played.

Club Brugge - who beat RB Leipzig 2-1 - and PSG both have four points, City three and RB Leipzig zero with the Blues’ next two games back-to-back meetings with the Belgians.

What’s next?

City’s epic eight days concludes with a trip to Anfield on Sunday to face Liverpool.

Kick-off is 16:30pm (UK).


Pep reaction

“I think we made a really good game, quite similar to Stamford Bridge.

“Maybe we were a little less aggressive in our first actions for the quality of the players that we have, but in general it was a fantastic game. We did everything, I didn't see the stats but I think we created enough chances to score.

“Donnarumma was fantastic. The quality of the players they have, we minimised for our game Neymar and Messi being in contact with the ball and did not let Mbappe run in behind but at the end 2-0, last ten minutes we were more desperate with less control.

“The quality they have everyone knows it, but I think we did a really good game with personality, but we should’ve scored goals and we didn’t do it and that's why we lost the game.”

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