In the framework of Date 5 of the UEFA Champions League, Manchester City beat Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in a changing and vibrant duel that allowed Pep Guardiola’s team to secure Group leadership A. For their part, Mauricio Pochettino’s men were in second place and despite the defeat they qualified for the eighth.
The initial moments of the duel were even. Both teams sought to take possession of the ball and when they did not have it they bet on high pressure. Although the best actions were for the locals, the offensive trident of the French team was also on the lookout for a chance to face Ederson, whose first important intervention was at 26 minutes, after an individual action by Nuno on the side. left that closed with a weak shot.
For their part, City had theirs. Five minutes later Kimpembe headed Rodri off the line and at 17, Riyad Mahrez managed to carve a hole on the right and with his left foot he drew a shot at the far post that was destined for a goal, but found Hakimi’s forehead, who sent the shot to the corner.
But the process of the game was broken after 25 minutes. When Neymar, Messi and Mbappé stopped jointly pressing the departure of the Manchester team, perhaps due to fatigue, and that allowed Guardiola’s team to leave quickly from behind and arrive with spaces in the middle of the court, where the central.
From there, the celestial cast put together the best plays, with moving and unpredictable midfielders for their markers and with Sterling and Mahrez as weapons of lateral imbalance, fundamental in every action. It was thus that at 31 minutes Joao Cancelo threw a cross from the left that Nuno, in his attempt to clear, left alive in the area and served for the entry in speed of İlkay Gündogan. The German opened his right foot and placed his shot against a stick, with such bad luck for him that it hit the pipe.
Immediately, it was Navas who had to appear to cover a low shot to be placed by Mahrez, who was destined for a goal. At that point, the match was already a Manchester City monologue that dominated the ball and the chances.
For its part, PSG, who suffered the last 20 minutes of the first half, had the clearest in a high recovery that Neymar transferred to leave Mbappé free in the area, but the Frenchman fired his shot over the crossbar.
In addition, when the teams were still accommodating, the Parisian team was able to string together a great collective play with Neymar and Messi on the left, which allowed the Argentine to enter the area with spaces and launch a low pass that was diverted on the way, it crossed the entire area and fell to Mbappé. The Frenchman, who was alone on the right, received, settled and defined between Ederson’s legs for 1 to 0.
When it seemed that Manchester City was drowning in its game, Guardiola sent Gabriel Jesus to the court for Zinchenko, to add air weight, the tie came. It was a great collective play by the locals that broke the rhythm when Rodri, standing as a left pointer, crossed the ball to knock Kyle Walker into space. The winger jumped to lower that ball to the center of the area, first and in the air, Jesus could not connect it and Sterling appeared at the far post to push it. Thus, at 63 minutes, the match was 1 to 1.
Pochettino then put Danilo Pereira and Ángel Di María, by Herrera and Gueye, to give some freshness to his team that had stayed, after the great initial start.
With 15 remaining to go, the second came from City with the same formula. Again a cross passed to the far post, but this time from right to left, found Bernardo Silva free and he, like Walker did before, brought it down for Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian, who had previously screwed up the ball, this time did not forgive and from the right sentenced it 2-1.
With this victory, Manchester City was the leader in their area and PSG in second place, both already qualified for the round of 16 because RB Leipzig beat Bruges 5-0 in Germany. The last day will be played on December 7.