Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Match Preview: PSG v Manchester City


Paris Saint-Germain are looking to kick-start their Group A campaign as they take on Manchester City, the side who eliminated them from the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League.

City won 2-1 in Paris and 2-0 in Manchester in last season's semi-final, making it three successive victories against their French opponents; indeed, City are unbeaten in their five matches with Paris (W3 D2).

While City kicked off Group A with an eventful 6-3 victory at home to Leipzig – their 50th UEFA Champions League win, group stage to final – Paris were held 1-1 at Club Brugge.


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 Idrissa 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.



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

A team coached by Thomas Tuchel were first in Group H last season, picking up 12 points to finish level with Leipzig but ahead 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.

Having lost at home to Bayern in the quarter-final second leg, Paris are without a win in their last four UEFA Champions League games (D1 L3) and have recorded one victory in their last six (D2 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.

Paris have lost only six of their last 61 European home games (W38 D17), although four of those have come in their last 11 matches at the Parc des Princes including the last two.

Paris have lost their last three home games against English visitors, having been beaten 3-1 by Manchester United in both the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg, a tie they lost on away goals (2-0 a), and 2-1 on Matchday 1 last season. A 2-1 defeat of Liverpool on 28 November 2018 is Paris's sole win in their last six home games against Premier League clubs.

Paris have now lost four of their 12 home fixtures against English visitors (W4 D4).

Paris have won seven of their 25 games against English opponents, home and away (D8 L10), managing only three victories in their last 12 matches (D3 L6).


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 had beaten 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, since Luis Díaz's 14th-minute opener for Porto on Matchday 1.

The record for the competition, set by Arsenal in 2005/06, is 995 minutes, with City now second in the alltime rankings having moved above Juventus (690 minutes).

City have already conceded the same number of goals in the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League as in their first ten 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.

Guardiola's team have won 12 of their last 17 away European matches (D3 L2), both defeats coming in England; the last away game they lost abroad was at Shakhtar Donetsk (1-2) on Matchday 6 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.

City's record against French clubs is W6 D3 L3, with 23 goals scored and 16 conceded.

A 3-0 win at Marseille on Matchday 2 last season ended City's four-game winless streak against French clubs (D1 L3). Last season's semi-final matches with Paris made it four successive victories against Ligue 1 opponents, with ten goals scored and only one conceded.

The victory at Marseille last season was City's first in France at the fourth attempt (D2 L1); they have now won two in a row.



Matchday 1 was Lionel Messi's 150th appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final. Only Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo (both 177 appearances) and Xavi Hernández (151) have played more matches in the competition proper.

Paris have taken maximum points from the first eight games in Ligue 1 this season, scoring 22 goals in the process. They have recorded only three clean sheets, however, in 2-0 wins at Reims on 29 August and at home to Montpellier on Saturday and a 4-0 home victory against Clermont on 11 September.

Idrissa Gueye scored his third goal of the season and Julian Draxler his second on Saturday, the latter finding the net seconds after replacing Ángel Di María.

Gueye has matched his goal total for his first 48 league appearances for Paris in his last five games.

On 19 September Paris were 2-1 victors at home to Lyon, substitute Mauro Icardi heading an added-time winner.

Achraf Hakimi scored twice at Metz on 19 September, his second goal coming five minutes into added time to seal another 2-1 win.

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

Matchday 1 scorer Ander Herrera has three goals in Ligue 1 this season; he managed one in each of his first two campaigns for Paris.

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 Lille.

Messi missed the wins against Metz and Montpellier after suffering a bruised knee against Lyon.

Summer signing Sergio Ramos has not yet played for Paris due to a calf injury.

Marco Verratti has been out since 5 September having picked up a knee injury on international duty.

Colin Dagba (ankle) is yet to play this season although he was an unused substitute on Saturday, while Layvin Kurzawa (adductors) has been out since 1 August.


Matchday 1 was Ederson's 50th appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final.

City opened 2021/22 with two 1-0 defeats. They 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 – and at Tottenham on the opening weekend of the Premier League season on 15 August. Parc des Princes, Paris

Defeat at Spurs made it five losses in seven games for City stretching back to the end of last season.

Pep Guardiola's side are unbeaten since (W6 D1), scoring 24 goals and conceding only four. They were 1-0 winners at Chelsea on Saturday.

That was Guardiola's 221st victory in all competitions as City manager, setting a new club record ahead of Les McDowall (220 wins).

City's 24 goals this season have been scored by 16 different players.

The one goal City have conceded in their first six games is their lowest total at that stage of a Premier League campaign.

On 21 September League Cup holders City kicked off their defence of a trophy they have won in each of the last four seasons by coming from behind to win 6-1 at home to third-tier Wycombe. Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden scored their first goals of the season; Cole Palmer's fourth appearance for City's senior side brought his first goal.

Academy graduates Conrad Egan-Riley, Luke Mbete, Finley Burns, Josh Wilson-Esbrand, Romeo Lavia and James McAtee all made their senior debuts against Wycombe.

City will visit West Ham in the League Cup last 16 in the week beginning 25 October.

John Stones has not played since England's 1-1 draw in Poland on 8 September due to a muscular injury although he was an unused substitute at Chelsea. Fellow centre-back Aymeric Laporte played 90 minutes at the weekend having not featured since City's 1-0 win at Leicester on 11 September due to a groin problem.

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