Big Match Feature: Man City v PSG

football24 November 2021 07:36

The top two in Group A meet in north-west England as Manchester City take on Paris Saint-Germain holding a one point advantage over the French side in the section. Catch the action live on SuperSport with live streaming on DStv.

* Get DStv or Showmax Pro to watch all the action live.

Goals from Idrissa Gueye (8) and Lionel Messi (74) – the latter's first strike for Paris – gave the French side a 2-0 win at the Parc des Princes on Matchday 2 and a measure of revenge for last season's semi-final, when City won 2-1 in Paris and 2-0 in Manchester.

The English club, however, have scored 15 goals in winning their other three Group A games, beating Leipzig 6-3 at home and Club Brugge away (5-1) and home (4-1) to climb ahead of Paris, who were held 2-2 at Leipzig last time out. That was their second successive away draw, after their Matchday 1 visit to Club Brugge (1-1), with their other game bringing a 3-2 home win against Leipzig on Matchday 3.

City will go through if they avoid defeat by Paris or if Club Brugge fail to beat Leipzig in the other Matchday 5 game. City will be confirmed in first place if they win. Paris will go through if they win, or if they draw and Club Brugge do not beat Leipzig, or even if they lose to City and the Belgian side also lose.


City reached their first UEFA Champions League final last season with a 4-1 aggregate success against Paris, who struck first in the semi-final first leg at the Parc des Princes on 28 April through Marquinhos (15). Kevin De Bruyne levelled four minutes past the hour before Riyad Mahrez gave City the advantage, Paris ending with ten men after Gueye was sent off for a foul on Ilkay Gündogan.

Two more Mahrez goals (11, 63) made sure of City's aggregate win in Manchester on 4 May, and again Paris ended a man short as Ángel Di María was dismissed after tangling with Fernandinho.

City's first UEFA Champions League semi-final was secured with a win against Paris in the 2015/16 quarter-finals. The first leg at the Parc des Princes finished 2-2, De Bruyne's 38th-minute opener for City overturned by goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic (41) and Adrien Rabiot (59) before Fernandinho's equaliser 18 minutes from time.

De Bruyne got the only goal in the 76th minute in Manchester as Manuel Pellegrini's side prevailed against a Paris side coached by Laurent Blanc.

De Bruyne and Fernandinho played in both games for City, as did Di María for Paris. Layvin Kurzawa was an unused Paris substitute in both matches, with Marquinhos on the bench in France before playing 90 minutes in England, where Presnel Kimpembe was an unused replacement.

Paul Le Guen's Paris earned a goalless draw against a Manchester City side managed by Mark Hughes at the City of Manchester Stadium in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage – City's first match against a French club. City finished first in Group A with Paris third, both sides progressing to the round of 32. Both eventually lost in the quarter-finals, City going down 4-3 on aggregate to Hamburg while Paris were beaten 3-0 over two legs by Dynamo Kyiv.



In 2020/21 City ended a run of three successive quarter-final eliminations by going all the way to the UEFA Champions League final only to lose 1-0 to Chelsea at Porto's Estádio do Dragão on 29 May.

City beat Borussia Mönchengladbach (2-0 a, 2-0 h), Borussia Dortmund (2-1 h, 2-1 a) and Paris en route to the final. They had finished first in Group C with 16 points, keeping five clean sheets and conceding only one goal – equalling the UEFA Champions League group stage record.

The goal scored by Dortmund's Marco Reus in the 84th minute of last season's quarter-final first leg ended City's run without conceding a UEFA Champions League goal at 790 minutes, second in the all-time ranking behind Arsenal in 2005/06 (995 minutes).

City have already conceded six goals in the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League, two more than in their 13 games in last season's competition.

Champions of England for the seventh time in 2020/21, their third title in four seasons, City also claimed the English League Cup for the fourth season in a row and the eighth overall, equalling Liverpool's competition record.

This is the Cityzens' 11th UEFA Champions League campaign; they have been involved in the group stage every season since 2011/12 and have reached the round of 16 in eight successive campaigns.

Pep Guardiola's team are unbeaten in 16 home European matches (W15 D1) since a 2-1 loss against Lyon on Matchday 1 in 2018/19, winning their last nine including last season's round of 16 second leg against Mönchengladbach in Budapest.

City's record against French clubs is W6 D3 L4; at home it is W4 D1 L1.

A 3-0 victory at Marseille on Matchday 2 last season ended City's four-game winless streak against French clubs (D1 L3). They won the next three too, including both legs of the semi-final against Paris, before losing at the Parc des Princes on Matchday 2 this season.


Runners-up to Bayern München in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League final, losing 1-0 in Lisbon, Paris again reached the latter stages of last season's competition.

A team coached by Tuchel were first in Group H last season, picking up 12 points to finish level with Leipzig but above them on head-to-head record with Manchester United third and Istanbul Basaksehir fourth. Paris won four of their group games, losing at home to United and in Leipzig.

With Mauricio Pochettino having replaced Tuchel as coach, Paris got the better of Barcelona (4-1 a, 1-1 h) and Bayern (3-2 a, 0-1 h) in the knockout stages before losing to City in the semi-finals.

Having lost at home to Bayern in the quarter-final second leg before being held 1-1 at Club Brugge in their first game this season, Paris were without a win in four UEFA Champions League games (D1 L3) before beating City 2-0 on Matchday 2. The Matchday 3 win against Leipzig is one of only three in their last nine (D3 L3).

This is the French side's tenth successive UEFA Champions League campaign and 14th in total, two behind Lyon's national record.

Although Paris missed out on the Ligue 1 title for only the second time in nine years in 2020/21, finishing second a point behind LOSC Lille, they did win the French Cup for the record 14th time overall and the sixth time in seven seasons.

The French side have been victorious in ten of their last 20 away UEFA Champions League fixtures (D4 L6). A 2-1 loss at Leipzig on Matchday 3 last term was the only one in their last ten on the road in the group stage (W5 D4).

Paris have won three of their 13 games in England (D4 L6), including two in a row, both in Manchester, before last season's defeat at City. They recorded a 2-0 victory at Manchester United in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg, a tie they lost on away goals (1-3 h) before last season's 3-1 win at Old Trafford.

Paris have won eight of their 26 games against English opponents, home and away (D8 L10), although the Matchday 2 win against City was only their fourth in their last 13 matches (D3 L6).



City have lost only two of their last 17 games in all competitions (W12 D3), the defeat at Paris on Matchday 2 and a 2-0 loss at home to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on 30 October.

They were 3-0 victors at home to Everton on Sunday, Raheem Sterling scoring for the first time in the Premier League since 21 August on his 300th appearance in the competition and Rodri also getting his second league goal of the season, and his first since 28 August. Bernardo Silva was also on target, making it three goals in his last five league appearances.

Pep Guardiola's side have failed to score in six of their 19 games in 2021/22, as many as in their previous 65 matches.

City have kept nine clean sheets in their 19 games in all competitions this season. They have conceded only six Premier League goals in their 12 matches, their second lowest total at this stage after the five they let in in 2018/19.

City, who have won the League Cup in each of the last four seasons, were eliminated from this season's competition in the last 16 at West Ham on 27 October, losing 5-3 on penalties after a goalless draw. Phil Foden missed City's first kick, the only player not to convert from the spot.

It was the first League Cup tie City had lost since a 1-0 defeat at neighbours Manchester United, also in the last 16, on 26 October 2016.

City lost to Leicester City in the FA Community Shield at Wembley on 7 August – the seventh time they had been beaten in the match, on their 13th appearance.

A 1-0 win at Chelsea on 25 September was Guardiola's 221st victory in all competitions as City manager, setting a new club record ahead of Les McDowall (220 wins, 1950–63).

City's 46 goals this season have been scored by 18 different players.

On 11 November Ilkay Gündogan opened the scoring from the penalty spot as Germany won 9-0 at home to Liechtenstein in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying; he then scored twice, including another penalty, in a 4-1 victory in Armenia three days later.

The following day, Gabriel Jesus started as Brazil beat Colombia 1-0 to book their place in next year's finals.

Sterling and Foden both provided assists as England beat Albania 5-0 on 12 November; three days later Foden set up another goal as England won 10-0 in San Marino to qualify for the tournament, John Stones appearing as a late substitute.

Kevin De Bruyne scored for Belgium in their 1-1 draw against Wales in Cardiff on 16 November; three days earlier he had helped his country clinch their World Cup qualification with a 3-1 win in Brussels against Estonia.

On 16 November, Oleksandr Zinchenko opened the scoring as Ukraine beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0 to secure a World Cup play-off place.

Cole Palmer set up one of England's goals in a 3-1 home win against the Czech Republic in 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying on 11 November. He was replaced late on due to injury but played 87 minutes for City on Sunday, his first Premier League start.

Ferran Torres has not played since suffering a fractured foot in Spain's 2-1 defeat by France in the UEFA Nations League final on 10 October.

Jack Grealish and Sterling both missed England's win against San Marino with knocks; the former also sat out City's win against Everton, a game De Bruyne missed through illness.

Rúben Dias was named Defender of the Season for the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League on 26 August.

Dias, Foden, De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Sterling are all on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or, with the winner to be announced on 29 November.


Matchday 3 was Lionel Messi's 152nd appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, taking him ahead of former Barcelona team-mate Xavi Hernández. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (180 appearances) and Iker Casillas (177) have played more matches in the competition proper.

Idrissa Gueye's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th, a mark Kylian Mbappé reached on Matchday 4.

Messi has scored three times in three UEFA Champions League appearances for Paris and opened his Ligue 1 account at the sixth attempt on Saturday in a 3-1 home win against Nantes.

A Dennis Appiah own goal and Messi's strike in the final ten minutes gave Paris the points at the weekend despite the dismissal of goalkeeper Keylor Navas midway through the second half, when they were leading 1-0.

Mbappé opened the scoring against Nantes, making it seven goals in his last four appearances for Paris and France.

Paris have won 12 of their 14 Ligue 1 matches this season and recorded a 3-2 victory at at Bordeaux on 6 November, a game in which they had led 3-0 thanks to two goals from Neymar and one from Mbappé.

Neymar's goals were his first from open play this season.

Paris have picked up ten Ligue 1 points with goals after the 80th minute this season.

Paris have been top of Ligue 1 since the third round of fixtures.

Mauricio Pochettino's side have kept only four clean sheets in their 14 league games this season.

Paris's eight-game winning start to the new Ligue 1 season, in which they scored 22 goals, was ended by a 2-0 loss at Rennes on 3 October.

Pochettino's team joined Olympique Lillois (1936/37), Monaco (1960/61) and Thomas Tuchel's Paris (2018/19) in winning their first eight games in a Ligue 1 campaign.

Paris's run of eight successive French Super Cup wins ended on 1 August as they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Ligue 1 champions LOSC.

Marquinhos and Neymar were in the Brazil side that beat Colombia 1-0 in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying on 11 November to reach the finals.

Mbappé became the first France player to score four goals in a game since Just Fontaine in 1958 during an 8-0 win against Kazakhstan on 13 November, a win that also sealed Les Bleus' place in next year's World Cup.

Mbappé has scored and assisted in the last four games for his country; he has struck seven goals himself and provided four assists.

Neymar missed Brazil's 0-0 draw against Argentina on 16 November with an adductor injury; a similar problem had ruled him out on Matchday 3. He started for Paris on Saturday but was withdrawn after Navas's red card.

Marco Verratti returned to play 75 minutes against Nantes, his first appearance since sustaining a hip injury in a 0-0 draw at Marseille on 24 October.

Presnel Kimpembe has not played since suffering a hamstring injury on Matchday 4.

Recalled to the Germany squad after an absence of a year, Julian Draxler suffered a muscular injury in training on 9 November and is expected to be out for several weeks.

Rafinha has been sidelined with a hip injury.

Summer signing Sergio Ramos has not yet played for Paris due to a calf injury, although he is back in training.

Layvin Kurzawa (adductors) has been out since 1 August.

Leandro Paredes started against Nantes, his first appearance for Paris since 25 September due to a thigh injury although he did play the first 45 minutes for Argentina against Brazil.

Juan Bernat, who is not in Paris's UEFA Champions League squad, came on as a second-half substitute in a 2-1 home win against Angers on 15 October, his first appearance since suffering a cruciate ligament injury on 16 September 2020. He has started the last three league games.

Gianluigi Donnarumma missed Paris's weekend win with gastroenteritis.

Donnarumma, Messi, Mbappé and Neymar are on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or, with the winner to be announced on 29 November.