Manchester City came from behind in the final half-hour to beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 and seal their status as winners of Group A in the UEFA Champions League.
Kylian Mbappe continued his impressive goalscoring form when he broke the deadlock in the 50th minute at the Etihad Stadium, but strikes from winger Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus were enough for Manchester City to claim a comeback win, securing the top spot in Group A with one match remaining.
Pep Guardiola’s side enjoyed the better of the chances in the opening period. PSG centre-half Presnel Kimpembe came to his team’s rescue early on, making an off-the-line clearance to stop Rodri’s goalbound header. The home side went close again on the half-hour mark when Ilkay Gundogan’s curled effort, unfortunately, hit the outside of the post after the ball dropped to him on the edge of the penalty area.
PSG took the lead early in the second half when Mbappe found himself unmarked at the far post, who fired it into the back of the net through City goalkeeper Ederson’s legs. However, Guardiola’s side showed incredible persistence and responded quickly. Sterling toe-poked in an equaliser at the far post on 62 minutes following City’s dominant spell.
Neymar then went close to restore PSG’s lead shortly afterwards when his weak-footed drive missed the target from inside the 18-yard box after he jinked past City shirts. It was Gabriel Jesus who scored the winner on Wednesday, with the Brazilian’s effort beating Keylor Navas after a delicately cushioned lay-off from Bernardo Silva as City exacted revenge for the 2-0 defeat in the reverse fixture at Parc des Princes.
Despite the result, PSG have earned a spot in the knockout stages after Club Brugge were thrashed 5-0 by the already-eliminated RB Leipzig. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both sets of players.
Other than picking the ball out of the net, Ederson had very little to do. However, he could have done better with Mbappe’s goal that slid between his legs.
Kyle Walker: 7/10
Walker kept Neymar in his back pocket but could not hold down Messi. His recovery pace was vital in putting off Mbappe clear on goal late in the first half. Made an important contribution in the build-up to Sterling’s goal, bursting into the penalty area at just the right time before making a spectacular cross back across the goal.
John Stones: 6/10
A shaky moment in the first half as he was caught on the ball, leading to Mbappe’s big chance, but he remained solid otherwise and moved the ball well with his accurate distribution.
Ruben Dias: 7/10
An imperious display from Ruben Dias, who put a great challenge to shut down Messi in the second half. He looked comfortable at the back and was barely troubled, which means Neymar, Messi, and Mbappe were all handled expertly.
Joao Cancelo: 7.5/10
The hosts’ biggest threat down the flank, with his passing and footwork constantly irking Hakimi. He made one of his magnificent passes with the outside of his boot, but Cancelo wasn’t as creative as he has been recently. His passing was superb, always seeking to open up spaces, and he was aggressive defensively.
Rodri impressively ran the show in the middle of the park as he attempted and completed the most accurate passes (88/92). He was unlucky to have a well-directed header cleared off the line before pulling off a splendid diagonal pass out of the blue for City’s equaliser.
Oleksandr Zinchenko: 6/10
Manchester City’s injury problems meant Zinchenko was handed a start in midfield. He did a decent enough job but struggled to create anything of relevance and looked a bit rusty after being deployed following a spell on the sidelines.
Ilkay Gundogan: 7.5/10
His movement and late runs from the middle of the park caused problems for PSG, as he was constantly looking to exploit gaps in the visitors’ backline. On the ball, as usual, the German was neat and tidy. He was a big part of the City midfield that absolutely dominated the game by making numerous killer runs, including one in the build-up to the game-winning goal. He struck the post with a curler in the first half.
Riyad Mahrez: 8/10
Mahrez warranted his selection by constantly demanding the ball with his right flank and asking Nuno Mendes all sorts of questions, particularly in the first half. He was, as usual, dangerous when he cut inside on his left foot. Nearly scored the game’s first goal early in the first half. His excellent cross to the far post was instrumental in City’s decisive goal.
Bernardo Silva: 7.5/10
Bernardo Silva did not misplace a single pass against PSG:
◉ 47 passes attempted
◉ 47 passes completed
◎ 2 chances created
◎ 1 assist
Including the one for Gabriel Jesus’ winner. 🤤 pic.twitter.com/gciVUegeKv
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 24, 2021
Playing in the false-nine position, Silva didn’t put a foot wrong and was, in fact, very bright throughout the game. His underlaps behind PSG’s defence were a constant menace. Pulled off a very technical layoff to set up Gabriel Jesus for the winner. He completed 100% of his passes (47/47), an exceptional achievement in such a high-profile game.
Raheem Sterling: 7/10
Raheem Sterling’s last three games at the Etihad:
⚽️ vs. Club Brugge
⚽️ vs. Everton
⚽️ vs. PSG
Payback for that nutmeg. 😉 pic.twitter.com/p5ocZW6Cnm
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 24, 2021
A largely ineffective performance until he supplied the final touch to bring City level in the second half. He tried to run and cause problems but rarely troubled Achraf Hakimi. His shot at the end of the opening period summed up his frustration but ultimately made the difference with an instinctive finish.
Gabriel Jesus: 8/10
Jesus came on as a substitute replacing Zinchenko. The Brazilian forward provided more of a focal outlet upfront and looked lively, firing a couple of shots troubling Navas before eventually grabbing the all-important goal.
Keylor Navas: 7/10
On a day when PSG’s attack was hapless, Keylor Navas was called into action to make vital saves in the first half that kept his side in the game, which they could have lost much earlier if not to for his superb reflexes.
Achraf Hakimi: 5.5/10
Blocked a goal-bound effort from Mahrez early on. He was sometimes exposed and was out of position for both of the City goals. He failed to track Sterling for the opening goal and could have closed down Silva as he assisted for the second. He did not get much joy going forward and was ineffective offensively.
The PSG captain performed flawlessly in terms of blocking, clearing, and tackling. He was combative and vocal. He expertly passed out of the City’s intense press. He made an outstanding block before halftime and put in a typically aggressive defensive display, but he failed to mark Sterling for the equaliser.
Presnel Kimpembe: 8/10
Kimpembe was alert, sensed the danger proactively, and made a couple of key blocks, interceptions, and last-ditch challenges. The highlight was an early header off the line, and he also got a vital foot to the ball before Diaz could pounce at the back post.
Nuno Mendes: 6.5/10
The youngster was given the nod ahead of Juan Bernat and was one of the shining lights for PSG. Despite a few shaky moments up against Mahrez, he defended his flank courageously and contributed to PSG’s goal. He was forced to come off due to an injury. He also created a few openings and made progressive runs.
Leandro Paredes: 6.5/10
A tenacious performance at the base of midfield. He was one of PSG’s better midfielders who were outrun on the day. He thwarted a few of City’s counter-attacks and drew canny fouls to release the pressure. He completed a match-high six tackles but was a part of the midfield of lowered intensity that enabled City to pick apart PSG in the late stages of the game.
Idrissa Gueye: 6/10
He battled hard and covered a lot of ground but with no fruition as City controlled the first half and was subbed shortly after the hour mark. He exerted the majority of his energy tracking Mahrez and did not see much of the ball.
Ander Herrera: 6/10
He was handed the start over Marco Verratti, but he did not justify his selection. He was fortunate to escape with a clumsily lost ball mid-way through the first half, and City’s midfield steamrolled him. Though he was involved in the opening goal, PSG missed his quick passing and ground coverage after his departure due to injury.
Lionel Messi: 6/10
Messi was a bit anonymous in the first half, but he came alive after the interval and played a key role in PSG’s opening goal. Overall, he was starved of service as City dominated but was still able to execute a few fluid interplays and some slick passes.
Kylian Mbappe: 8/10
Kylian Mbappé’s last six games for club & country:
🅰️ vs. RB Leipzig
⚽️🅰️🅰️ vs. Bordeaux
⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️🅰️ vs. Kazakhstan
⚽️🅰️ vs. Finland
⚽️🅰️ vs. Nantes
⚽️ vs. Man City
Directly involved in 14 goals. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/PwLbK8XjBL
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 24, 2021
The most effective of PSG’s famed front three, he was rewarded with a goal shortly after the break. He could not have a consistent impact and should have done better with a clear-cut chance just before halftime. His finish for the goal was calm and precise.
A shadow of the player of his incredibly high quality, Neymar was very quiet but did create a few openings. His dribbling and sharp interplay were delightful, but those moments were few and far between as he largely struggled to get hold of the ball and lost possession a game-high nine times.
Danilo did not do anything bad, but he looked poor on the ball when compared to Ander Herrera.
Angel Di Maria: 5/10
A terrible substitution from Pochettino and did not make any sense. Di Maria came on for workhorse Idrissa Gueye. PSG were outrun with ease after this substitution. To Di Maria’s credit, he drove at Man City and tried to make things happen, but he was at fault for not helping out Hakimi as City scored the winning goal.
Thilo Kehrer: 3/10
He can’t defend his flank at all, and it was his fault that City’s winning goal came from his side.