PSG are determined to get their first win of the Champions League campaign as they host Man City in their big group game at the Parc des Princes. They did just that with a compelling 2-0 win – in which Lionel Messi also scored his first goal for the Ligue 1 giants!
Energized by the crowd, PSG started the game in emphatic fashion – taking the lead in the 8th minute – when Idrissa Gueye smartly finished off a nice move inside the box. City came roaring back in hunt for an equalizer, but the Ligue 1 side were somehow able to keep them at bay and go into the break with the lead.
The hosts continued to frustrate City and when PSG needed a goal – their messiah responded. Lionel Messi got his first PSG goal in the 74th minute – finishing off a superb counter-attack with a delightful top corner finish to make it 2-0!
The Citizens tried to get back after that – but it was a case of too little, too late for them after that. This result really spices up Group A, as PSG are tied on 4 points alongside Club Brugge right now – with City third with 3 points! Still a lot to play for, but PSG’s chances of winning the group has definitely been boosted with this win.
Here are your PSG player ratings vs Manchester City.
PSG Player Ratings vs Manchester City
Mauricio Pochettino (7.5) –
Pochettino gets one over Pep once again! Perhaps learning from last season’s loss, but he set up his side to pounce on City’s weakness. He made his side sit back & frustrate the Citizens and pounce on the counter-attack. While the risk nearly fell flat as the Citizens had many big scoring chances, but eventually his side saw off the pressure.
While Poch still has much to do to get the best out of Messi-Neymar-Mbappe, there were early signs of how good they can be together with their impressive attacking work today. A commendable performance from PSG today and Pochettino’s impressive set-up was a big reason behind that.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (9.0) –
Donnarumma is making his UCL debut for PSG today. Makes a solid save to deny Cancelo’s powered attempt in the 32nd. Also denies De Bruyne with a sharp save in the 37th. Frustrates City even more with another reflex save to deny Ruben Dias in the 44th.
Stands strongly to deny De Bruyne from close range in the 54th. Donnarumma had a ‘you shall not pass’ kind of attitude today. He made 7 saves – including some really difficult ones. An extremely memorable UCL debut for him – as his clutch saves kept PSG in the running to win the game.
Achraf Hakimi (7.5) –
Hakimi played his role in the opener, as it was his clever pass that allowed Mbappe to go into the box and cause chaos. The right-back is troubling City with his forward movement & nicely linking up with his teammates. Hakimi proved he’s much more than just an attacking full-back, nullifying Jack Grealish’s threat & making a number of clutch defensive challenges to help them get the clean sheet.
Marquinhos (8.0) –
The PSG captain had a very good first half, marshaling his troops to maintain a solid backline & coming up with clutch challenges to frustrate City. Marquinhos made 13 (!) clearances in the game, thwarting away nearly everything City threw into the box and frustrating Raheem Sterling with his sharp defending.
Presnel Kimpembe (7.0) –
The French centre-back’s risk-taking nature nearly caused disaster in the 29th as he lost possession inside the box, but fortunate to see the ball cleared away. Then lost the battle with Dias to allow him a crack at goal late in the first half. Kimpembe improved in the second half, maintaining a strong partnership with Marquinhos and digging his heels in to get the clean sheet.
Nuno Mendes (7.5) –
PSG’s transfer deadline day signing doesn’t seem fazed by the occasion at all and did a pretty good job neutralizing Riyad Mahrez’s threat. The young full-back was a lively figure on the left wing and didn’t crumble under the pressure, helping maintain a strong defensive shape in order to frustrate the City side.
Marco Veratti (7.0) –
Veratti is back from injury & looks like the most composed PSG midfielder. Helping move the ball forward really well with his smart passes. Maintained his composure even as the pressure mounted & showed impressive resilience against City’s midfielders, while helping create counter-attacking chances with his clever distribution.
Ander Herrera (6.5) –
The energetic midfielder is aiming to disrupt City’s attacking moves with his crunching tackles, but struggling to stop the visitors from creating chances. But Herrera didn’t flutter after a shaky start, keeping up the intensity in midfield & making it difficult for City to create through the middle.
Idrissa Gueye (8.0) –
Despite being more on the defensive side, Gueye cleverly moved into the box before producing a nice finish for the opener. After that, Gueye was almost everywhere on the pitch and covered a lot of ground. Won 7 duels, 3 tackles and moved the ball forward quickly to keep his midfield from being overflooded. A really hard-working effort from the ex-Everton man.
Lionel Messi (8.0) –
Messi passes a late fitness test to be ready to face his former mentor’s side. Getting very involved in helping link-up moves & beat City’s press. It takes time, but Messi finally gets his first PSG goal, and what a beauty it was – as he played a brilliant one-two with Mbappe before slotting a fantastic shot into the top corner.
Seems to be slowly, but surely, discovering his magic at PSG and gave an early glimpse of how deadly his partnership with Neymar & Mbappe can be with some excellent link-up play today.
Neymar (7.0) –
Just before Gueye’s goal, Neymar fluffed an easy shot in an open range – but was lucky to see his teammate make up for his error. Blasted a shot into the stands in the 34th after having a go from outside the box. Bombed forward on a clever counter-attack in the 65th and impressively moved inside the box – but his scuffed shot only hit the side-netting.
Despite his questionable finishing, Neymar carried the ball forward brilliantly & continuously troubled the defenders with his dribbling. Seems to be rediscovering his sweet chemistry with Messi.
Kylian Mbappe (7.5) –
The pacey Mbappe troubled City from the get-go and made a brilliant cut-back to set up the opener. Seems to be having fun with his slick dribbles to easily go past defenders. Set up Messi’s strike with a brilliant back-heel flick from just outside the box. The Frenchman was too hot to handle with his forward movement & acted as an impressive shadow striker to let others shine.
Gini Wijnaldum (6.0) –
Wijnaldum ensured that City weren’t able to create many clear-cut chances towards the end and helped his side stroll to a win.
Danilo Pereira (N/R) –
Helped his side get the job done eventually.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Messi was excellent and did score a brilliant debut goal for PSG. But I have to give this one to Donnarumma. Without his clutch saves, PSG wasn’t winning this. So the new PSG keeper is today’s MOTM.