Scintillating Manchester City secure top spot
In a thrilling clash in UEFA Champions League (UCL) Group A, Manchester City defeated Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 2-1, confirming the ‘Cityzens’ as the group winners with one game to spare.
The match began as a tactical chess-match, with both superstar-laden teams feeling eachother out through the first 20 minutes, as may have been expected. The best half of the match would fall to City midfielder İlkay Gündoğan, who side-footed a deflected cross off of the post from a dangerous area around the 30 minute mark, and that chance would spark a long spell of pressure and control from the Premier League champions. Yet, last ditch defending from PSG, and some narrow misses from the City forwards would see Pep Guardiola’s men unable to capitalize on their dominance, and the two teams headed into the dressing room all square at HT.
Within five minutes of the start of the second interval, the Parisians would make City pay for their lack of ruthlessness. After some fantastic combination play, a Leo Messi cross would find Kyllian Mbappe all alone at the back post, and the Frenchman sent the ball between Ederson’s legs and into the back of the net to give the visitors the lead. The home side would pull themselves level only twelve minutes later when a Kyle Walker cross from the byline would dribble through to Raheem Sterling on the back-post, and the forward managed to poke the ball home from point blank range. ‘The Blues’ would complete the turnaround fifteen minutes form FT when Riyad Mahrez’s cross found Bernardo Silva at the back post, and the Portugal international picked out Gabriel Jesus in the box who side-footed the ball home, sending the Etihad Stadium into raptures.
Despite Mauricio Pochettino’s squad being rife with world class talent, the defeat in Manchester may not come as a surprise, as PSG came into the clash having only won 20% of their previous matches against Manchester City, their second worst win percentage against any club in European competitions.