Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Manchester City: Messi's First PSG Goal Punishes Wasteful City
PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates after scoring their sides second goal during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City at Parc des Princes on September 28, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola’s side went into the game top of Group A, with PSG looking to take that spot with a victory.

The host took the lead through Idrissa Gueye on six minutes following a nice turn of pace from Kylian Mbappe. The Blues responded well, but failed to make any of their dominance count and went into the break a goal down.

Chance after chance went begging for City, and the one and only Lionel Messi made them pay. Combining well with Mbappe, the Argentine doubled the lead and scored his first PSG goal with a sweet finish.

Story of the game

Pep Guardiola made two changes to the side who produced a near-perfect performance against Chelsea at the weekend, with Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling replacing Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden.

Under the lights at the Parc des Princes, Paris Saint-Germain fielded their formidable trio of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi, but it was an unlikely source who got them off to a flying start.

After a calm first five minutes, there was no surprise Mbappe’s electric pace brought the game to life. Skipping away from his man, the winger bought himself some time to pick out Idrissa Gueye, who rifled the hosts into a one-goal lead.

In a first half that ebbed and flowed, it’s hard to believe Manchester City didn’t equalise on 25 minutes. Kevin De Bruyne’s delightful ball was headed onto the crossbar by Raheem Sterling, before Bernardo Silva proceeded to miss – twice – from five yards.

Things almost went from bad to worse for City when De Bruyne’s challenge on Gueye was looked at by VAR, but they adjudged the yellow card shown by Carlos del Cerro Grande was sufficient.

There was still time for Ruben Dias to test the palms of Gianluigi Donnarumma from a corner before a frantic first half came to a close.

City picked up where they left off in the second half, with Joao Cancelo slipping a slick ball through to Sterling who dragged his effort well wide of the PSG goal.  De Bruyne also went close, forcing a smart save from Donnarumma.

City’s probing and pressing almost cost them on the break, with a quick PSG counter ending with Neymar skipping past Walker before hitting the side netting.

Guardiola sent Phil Foden on to try and unlock a solid PSG defence and he almost made an instant impact. The 21-year-old's low drive was just out the reach of the onrushing Sterling.

Then the moment the Parisians have been waiting for – Lionel Messi’s first PSG goal.

Hitting City on the break, Messi drove forward and through the City midfield. Keeping close control, the Argentine played a neat one-two with Mbappe before slotting past a helpless Ederson.

There was time for Mahrez to go close from a free-kick, but close seemed the word of the night for City. Fast and inventive in the build up, but wasteful with the chances they did create.

With that win, PSG leapfrog City into 1st place in Group A, with the Blues slipping into 3rd courtesy of Club Brugge's 2-1 win over RB Leipzig.

Starting XI’s

Paris Saint Germain: Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Nuno Mendes; Ander Herrera, Verratti, Gueye; Messi, Mbappé, Neymar.

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva, Mahrez, Sterling, Grealish.

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