PSG vs Manchester City 2-0: Messi Seals Parisians Win

Lionel Messi scored his first goal for Paris Saint-Germain as he sealed a 2-0 victory against Manchester City on Tuesday night at the Parc des Princes, with Idrissa Gueye scoring the first, in a solid performance by the Parisians.

PSG got revenge over City for their 2-1 defeat at the Parc des Princes back in April in last seasons Champions League semi-final. Mauricio Pochettino’s side were able to get the win largely due to an impressive defensive performance, making the most out of their opportunities when they got them.

Gianluigi Donnarumma made his first appearance in the Champions League in what turned out to be a great performance for the Euro 2020 player of the tournament, whilst Marco Verratti made his return to the starting lineup after missing the last five matches due to injury.

The big news surrounding Paris heading into the match was whether Messi would be starting since he missed the last two Ligue 1 matches due to injury. However, the Argentinian started on the right flank in a deadly front three alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

Pep Guardiola made two changes from the victory over Chelsea at the weekend with Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden dropping to the bench for Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez. City looked to start as they finished at Stamford Bridge, with them having more possession than PSG throughout the match, but it did not end in the same fashion as it did last Saturday.

PSG took the lead after just eight minutes after Gueye was able to finish superbly past Ederson into the top right corner. Mbappe combined well down the right flank with Achraf Hakimi, who performed well at right-back, before City failed to clear Mbappe’s cross which fell to Gueye who made no mistake with the finish. Aymeric Laporte was largely at fault for the goal with the defender dropping too deep and giving Mbappe too much space.

Gueye was fantastic throughout the night, playing in a box-to-box role, intercepting and challenging the City midfield all game and offering much needed support to either full-back. Verratti also put in a brilliant performance for PSG, sitting in a deeper role behind midfield counterparts Gueye and Ander Herrera, making a series of good challenges and dictating the tempo.

Guardiola’s side created more chances than PSG throughout the night and were constantly probing the opposition defence, forcing center-backs Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe into making five clearances a piece in the first half, but the hosts defended well with a well-disciplined structure throughout the 90 minutes.

Mahrez performed well down the right flank and caused Nuno Mendes many problems, particularly in the first half, as he constantly looked to threaten the PSG defence but they held strong throughout the night.

City came close to an equaliser when Kevin De Bruyne’s cross on the outside of his right foot found the head of an unchallenged Raheem Sterling but it crashed against the bar with Bernardo Silva’s follow up also hitting the woodwork when he really should have scored to draw the scores level.

The Premier League champions continued to push after the break as they looked to equalise but the PSG defence held well, forcing them into taking long shots and looking for balls into the channels. De Bruyne and Joao Cancelo played some nice balls in behind a few times but Donnarumma was there to cover as he put in a very solid performance.

Messi was quiet for the majority of the evening but the little Argentinian only needed a brief moment to make his mark when he scored his first PSG goal and 121st Champions League goal in classic Leo Messi style. After cutting in from the right, Messi played a one-two with Mbappe before curling a beautiful shot from the edge of the area past Ederson.

Pochettinho demonstrated a different side to his galactico PSG side in what was a robust display of discipline and well-structured defending, whilst his side took their chances on the counter.

City will be disappointed to leave Paris without a point as they created significantly more chances over the course of the match but they were limited in what they could create, failing to get in behind the PSG defence for the majority of the match.

PSG have sent out a strong message here as they edge closer to a maiden UEFA Champions League trophy.



September 28, 2021 – UEFA Champions League 2021-22 Round 2

SCORERS: 8′ Gueye, 74′ Messi (pen.)

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes; Verratti (78′ Wijnaldum), Gueye (90′ Danilo), Herrera; Messi, Mbappe, Neymar (Letellier, Navas, Dagba, Diallo, Kehrer, Kurzawa, Ebimbe, Paredes, Draxler, Icardi) Coach: Pochettinho
MANCHESTER CITY (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Sterling (78′ Jesus), Grealish (68′ Foden) (Carson, Steffen, Ake, Stones, Wilson-Esbrand, Fernandinho, McAtee, Torres) Coach: Guardiola

REFEREE: Del Cerro Grande (Spain)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Cancelo, De Bruyne (M), Verratti (P); Added Time: 1st Half 4′, 2nd Half 5′