PSG vs Man City
The last set of Champions League group stage playoffs was played recently.
The marquee clash of the day would see PSG and Manchester City square off at the Parc des Princes.
The pair are favorites for Group A quality, and Tuesday’s result will undoubtedly play a key role in how they rank first.
The two teams would meet in last season’s Champions League semi-final, with City emerging victorious.
However, the French powerhouse has since had a fairly active summer window, which included the hiring of some big names like Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and Georginio Wijnaldum.
And, when all was said and done in Paris, the new look of PSG provides too much for Pep Guardiola and company.
The first goal of the day came after just eight minutes when a low cross from Kylian Mbappé had two deflections before Neymar found Idrissa Gueye, who crashed his effort into Ederson’s net scorer.
When you have Messi, Neymar and Mbappé in front …
But Idrissa Gueye gets the great goal!
– Football at BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 28, 2021
The City then had a great opportunity to equalize in the first half hour, but Bernardo Silva missed an open goal from a few meters.
And while Man City enjoyed most of the possession for the remainder of the game, a moment of magic from Lionel Messi at the end ensured PSG kept all three points.
Here are five things 101 learned from the game.
Verratti is fundamental for the success of PSG
The PSG squad is, of course, full of big box office names like Messi, Neymar, Mbappé and Ramos.
However, he is another star who is arguably even more important, or at least as important, for PSG to be successful in the Champions League.
That man in Marco Verratti, who had the nightmare of operating between Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva on Tuesday.
The Italian, however, was world-class in Paris, with his excellent close control in tight spaces, visionary passing and absolutely comprehensive work pace for PSG to escape the City press and begin their own attacks.
He’s unlikely to make headlines on Wednesday, but Verratti’s efforts shouldn’t go unnoticed.
A striker is needed in Man City
Is this something we just learned? Probably not. But it was again evident against PSG.
Raheem Sterling would be the man tasked with operating the role of the false nine on Tuesday.
And while he showed quality moments, Sterling didn’t have the best games overall.
This is not all Sterling’s fault, as he is not a natural forward and generally works best on the left.
But it was pretty clear in the first 45, especially that he’s not fit for that role. And with Gabriel Jesús now used as a winger and Ferran Torres still quite inexperienced, City probably need to bring in a suitable center forward sooner rather than later.
If they don’t, they could risk losing some important ties due to their lack of quality in the middle.
Carlos del Cerro hates Jack Grealish
Tuesday’s game was referred by Carlos del Cerro. And it seems that the home crowd had a great impact on the referees.
Jack Grealish is well known for fouling and while he can go down too easily at times, the Paris referee gave absolutely nothing to the extreme.
Achraf Hakimi did play a good game against City’s most recent signing, but Grealish saw at least some very clear fouls on him that Carlos del Cerro missed.
The ball also clearly, on one occasion, bounced offside by Hakimi tackling Grealish, but it was still delivered as a PSG pitch.
Overall a very skewed benchmark display towards PSG on Tuesday.
Messi is still the GOAT
With Mbappé and Neymar alongside him, Lionel Messi is no longer the only star of the show and is no longer obliged to win the game just for his team, as he was in his last years at Barcelona.
And, against Man City, Messi had a fairly uneventful game overall.
But, as always, it only took a moment of Messi magic to make a big impact on the game.
The 34-year-old started one of his typical careers from deep down before playing a one-two with Mbappé and putting an effort past Ederson, who was pinned on the spot.
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|3||Chelsea Football Club||6||10||13|
|6||Brighton and Hove Albion||6||3||13|
|7||West Ham United||6||5||eleven|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||5|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||5|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||5|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton and Hove Albion||4|
|Fernandes, Bruno||United manchester||4|
|Sarr, Ismael||Watford FC||4|
|Benrahma said||West Ham United||3|
|Gray, Demarai||Everton FC||3|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||United manchester||3|
|Lukaku, Romelu||Chelsea Football Club||3|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||3|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||3|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||3|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||3|
|Greenwood, Mason||United manchester||3|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||2|
|Saint-Maximin, Allan||Newcastle united||2|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester city||2|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||2|
|Player||Team||Red cards||Yellow cards|
|Pogba, Paul||United manchester||0||3|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||3|
|Cooper, Liam||Leeds United||0||3|
|Etebo, Oghenekaro||Watford FC||0||3|
|Jump, oliver||Tottenham Hotspur||0||3|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||0||1|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||0||2|
|Fernandes, Bruno||United manchester||0||2|
|Gallagher, Conor||crystal Palace||0||2|
|Alonso, Marcos||Chelsea Football Club||0||2|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||2|
|Ritchie, Matt||Newcastle united||0||2|
|Westwood, Ashley||FC Burnley||0||2|
|Gudmundsson, Johann||FC Burnley||0||2|
|Duffy, Shane||Brighton and Hove Albion||0||2|
|Norgaard, Christian||Brentford fc||0||2|
|Rudiger, Antonio||Chelsea Football Club||0||2|
|Tarkowski, James||FC Burnley||0||2|
|Pogba, Paul||United manchester||7|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||3|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||3|
|Saint-Maximin, Allan||Newcastle united||3|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester city||3|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea Football Club||3|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||2|
|Benrahma said||West Ham United||2|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||2|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||2|
|Toney, Ivan||Brentford fc||2|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||2|
|James, Reece||Chelsea Football Club||2|
|Gross, Pascal||Brighton and Hove Albion||2|
|King, Joshua||Watford FC||2|
|Pereira, Ricardo||Leicester City||2|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trento||Liverpool FC||2|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||2|
|Luiz, Douglas||Aston Villa||2|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||1|