PSG took the lead on the only shot between the three clubs on a disappointing night for their stars, without showing an iota of ambition to conquer the final leadership of the group, which remains in the Etihad.
First City and then PSG. This is how qualifying was and that is how it will end when Matchday 6 concludes in two weeks. The team above the individualities, as the most used aphorism in football says.
Manchester’s choral game It was much more solid and powerful, stable and reliable, than the inexhaustible inspiration that comes from the talent of Messi, Neymar and Mbappé, especially if they are scattered like last night. Mbappé put PSG ahead in the only decent shot between the three sticks, but the French eleven succumbed. Due to his lack of ambition and the constant and supportive deployment of City translated into goals for Sterling y Gabriel Jesus, regular substitutes.
Team against footballers
The appointment at the top of the group was somewhat decaffeinated by the lack of drama of the party, non-existent in the middle part with the clear victory at that time of Leipzig in Bruges (0-4, 0-5 final) which ranked the two Etihad contenders. That cushion of safety that could have unleashed the ambition to obtain the first place – it was only shown by City, which was already in the lead – did not operate any consequence in the second half.
The profile of both teams, so different, was clearly observed. City is a team with all the letters, especially last night when the most unique personalities were missing, such as De Bruyne, Grealish, including Foden, absent from the call. Zinchenko played inside left until shortly after the 0-1, when the presence of a forward like Gabriel Jesús was imposed. Someone to finish with decision.
✅ Confirmed round of 16 contenders so far…
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) November 24, 2021
Only three matter
PSG is a group that defends and cedes the attack to three extraordinary forwards who combine with each other when they get the ball. There were also casualties in the French ranks, but the three stars played, and enough. It does not matter if the goalkeeper is Donnarumma or Navas, that in the middle is Verratti or Herrera; even one day it will not matter whether the center-back is Kimpembe or Sergio Ramos, who finally seems ready to make his debut, as long as the trident has joined in the field.
PSG scored after City had failed to take advantage of dhe clear chances, deflected by Achraf and the post, from Mahrez and Gundogan. The City game plan did not change with the setback of the goal against. As if it were already planned, or entered into the script considered by Guardiola. Offensive projection that involved eight players, play on the wings and the presence of spikers in the area. With that and clear ideas, it was enough.
Manchester City: Ederson (5); Walker (6), Stones (4), Ruben Dias (5), Cancelo (6); Gundogan (6), Rodri (7), Zinchenko (4); Mahrez (5), Bernando Silva (7), Sterling (7).
Technician: Pep Guardiola (7).
Changes: Gabriel Jesús (7) for Zinchenko (d. 54).
PSG: Navas (6); Achraf (6), Marquinhos (7), Kimpembe (6), Nuno Mendes (5); Walls (5), Herrera (5), Gueye (4); Messi (5), Mbappé (6), Neymar (5).
Technician: Mauricio Pochettino (4).
Changes: Danilo (4) for Herrera (d. 61); Di María (5) for Gueye (d. 67); Kehrer (5) by Neves (m. 67).
Goals: 0-1 (m. 50), Mbappé; 1-1 (m. 63), Sterling; 2-1 (m. 77), Gabriel Jesús.
Referee: Daniele Orsato (6), Italian.
Cards: Rodri, Cancelo, Gabriel Jesus.