Sterling on target as Man City roar back to down PSG and pass Messi test
Goals by Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus secured top spot in Group A as Manchester City came from behind to beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1.
Pep Guardiola’s side scored twice after Kylian Mbappe had given PSG the lead against the run of play. They are now through to the last-16 of the Champions League as group winners.
Both sides looked certainties to qualify for the knockout stage before the game, with City topping the group on nine points. The Parisians were just one point behind and City knew that a victory would guarantee them top spot.
Pep Guardiola made three changes to the side that beat Everton at the weekend. Ruben Dias, Riyad Mahrez and Oleksandr Zinchenko returned to the starting line-up
Kevin De Bruyne is isolating with Covid while Jack Grealish and Phil Foden missed out through injury. PSG chief Mauricio Pochettino started his big guns, with Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe up front.
But it was the hosts who made the brighter start and they could have been ahead in just the sixth minute. Neymar’s shove on Riyad Mahrez put the Citizens in a great position.
And Rodri’s header from the resulting free-kick was headed off the line by Presnel Kimpembe. Mahrez’s follow up flew into the side netting and the Algerian then claimed a penalty on 13 minutes.
However, the referee felt there was nothing wrong with Nuno Mendes’ tackle. City continued to dominate, with Mahrez at the heart of most of their attacks.
But PSG were always dangerous, with Mbappe showing breathtaking skill at times. Mendes tested Ederson as the half-hour approached by the City keeper was up to the task.
The visitors’ defence looked panicky at times and City could easily have gone ahead on 33 minutes. Joao Cancelo’s cross eventually fell to Ilkay Gundogan but the German’s shot struck the outside of the post.
Guardiola’s side were in total control during the first 45 minutes but were given a warning as Mbappe curled a shot just wide one minute before the break.
PSG silence Etihad crowd
City were fastest out of the traps on the resumption but it was the Ligue 1 giants who took the lead. Messi and Ander Herrera played a one-two on the edge of the box.
The Argentinian’s cross then fell nicely for Mbappe whose shot who flew through Ederson’s legs and into the net. The goal boosted PSG who began to play with the freedom that eluded them in the first period.
Guardiola responded by bringing Jesus on for Zinchenko. And City were back on level terms on 63 minutes through Sterling.
Rodri’s superb ball over the top found Walker and his cross deflected off Jesus to the waiting England star. Sterling couldn’t miss.
The game continued to ebb and flow before Neymar wasted a gilt-edged chance to put PSG back in front.
The Brazilian rounded John Stones and was one-on-one with Ederson. But his finish left a lot to be desired as the ball flew two yards wide of the post from close range.
84. Super sub! 🙌
🔵 2-1 🔴 #ManCity pic.twitter.com/fJEetXVW6O
— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 24, 2021
And the Citizens made him pay as Jesus put the home side 2-1 up on 76 minutes. Gundogan, Mahrez and Bernardo Silva were involved in the build up before the South American did the rest.
There were a few nervy moments towards the end but City’s defence held firm for a famous victory.
Source: All The News – TEAMtalk
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