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Manchester City vs Lyon at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium Referee : Daniele Orsato
19th September 2018 8:00 PM (BST)
  • 1 Manchester City

    • ‘67' Bernardo Silva
  • 2 Lyon

    • ‘26' Maxwel Cornet
    • ‘43' Nabil Fekir


Commentary By Rob Pollard


Arteta reaction

“It could have been better. We started slowly, and we were inconsistent in the way we wanted to play.

“We lost too many duels. We gave the ball away in difficult circumstances and they scored twice, but after that, the reaction from the lads was superb.

“We tweaked a few things to control situations better and we created chances, but at this level, it wasn’t enough.

“We were very aware of Lyon’s strengths and weaknesses. They were well prepared.

“We weren’t prepared to be 2-0 down at the break, but you have to react.

“There is zero margin for errors in the Champions League – you make a mistake and you are punished. If you don’t win duels, play simple balls, you will suffer - today was an example of that.

"Sometimes a new competition you have to get on track. The start wasn’t good. We didn’t feel the flow around the team.

“We missed the right pass and didn’t find consistency. We felt under threat every time we lost the ball, that can bring the confidence lower. We were ready for the game, keen to start to Champions League because the way we ended it last season really hurt.

“The players are not perfect, sometimes they have bad days, sometimes better. I can’t fault the effort."



"We have to focus on a poor first half when we weren't at our best. We didn't play with our usual intensity. We were not good enough tonight. It is what it is. We have to go after the next game.

"We are not favourites. We have a god team and will try to do better than last season."



"Really disappointing. To concede two goals like we did is very frustrating,. We came in at half-time a bit deflated. We picked ourselves up and played a better second half but it was frustrating.

"It is the first game. Still early days. We put pressure on ourselves. There is no outside pressure. We know our strengths and weaknesses. We go again in the next game. There are still a lot to play and we should be po


Sterling burst forward and sparked an attack, which ends with Jesus going down inside the box after a challenge from Rafael. Ref waves play on. Nothing given. 


A loose ball from Fernandinho started the move, and Delph got caught out at the back post when Fekir crossed which allowed Cornet the chance to score. Poor goal to concede. 


Fernandinho there...whenever Lyon play a long ball, he drops back and becomes the third center-half. Wins the header brilliantly. What an intelligent player he is.


Gundogan's corner causes Lopes all sorts of problems in the Lyon goal. Laporte almost gets on the end of it at the back post. City revving up nicely. 



This is Lyon's 15th Champions League appearance, more than any other French club. They reached the knockout stages of the competition every season from 2003/04 to 2011/12 but haven't managed it ever since, failing to exit the group stages in



"It's important to perform at the same level we have over the last few weeks and win the game. The Champions League is completely different."


Arteta speaks

Pep Guardiola, of course, will not be on the touchline this evening - he serves a one-match ban. 

But Mikel Arteta, speaking moments ago, says preparations have been exactly the same as usual. 

"It's been exactly the same as always. The only difference is Pep is not allowed to be with us today."


Maine Man

Bernardo Silva, whose time at City started somewhat slowly, is developing into one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe.

His technical quality has never been in doubt - it’s arguable he has the best first touch in the game - the difference this season is his influence on matches. Whereas before he produced fleeting moments of individual brilliance, he is now dominating matches and becoming one of the main architects of City best attacking moments.

His performance against Fulham on Saturday was mesmerising, and few could argue he’s been City’s best and most influential player so far this season.

“It is almost impossible to be more pleased as a manager with him," Pep Guardiola said on Saturday, just weeks after describing his Community Shield display as “a masterpiece”.

Playing centrally, which he has for most of this season, appears to suit him – it’s where he spent his formative footballing years – and he is likely to be vital in unlocking Lyon’s defence on Wednesday.


Aymeric Laporte

The French defender has started every game this season and looks more assured with each passing week.  

He is strong in the air, reads the game brilliantly and is one of the finest passers in the Premier League. Few can ping a long-range, cross-field pass with quite the accuracy he does. 

His beautiful left-foot brings balance to City's backline and his emergence has been one of the season's big bonuses thus far. 


Team news is IN!

Starting Eleven

31. Ederson

2. Kyle Walker

5. John Stones

7. Raheem Sterling

8. Ilkay Gündogan

14. Aymeric Laporte

18. Fabian Delph

20. Bernardo Silva

21. David Silva (C)

25. Fernandinho

33. Gabriel Jesus



49. Aro Muric

4. Vincent Kompany

10. Sergio Agüero

19. Leroy Sané

26. Riyad Mahrez

30. Nicolas Otamendi

47. Phil Foden


Lyon manager Bruno Génésio on City...

When we look at this team, we can see that it is a team that is capable to do anything. We can see new things.

"As I said before: I think that Pep is a coach who is capable to create new things, he has the creative power to invent things that few people are able to think of.

"We observed him a lot, but even if we analysed him we know that it is going to be very tough. It is also highly satisfying, in these moments you can see great men and great players.

"We will be there to play our football as well. I think that against that kind of teams you also have to play with your strengths, not just adapt to the opponent’s strengths.”


Flexible Blues

Arteta on City making changes for this season: "We are always adapting and evolving the way we play. A lot depends on players available.

"We have to change system. We can’t be predictable. Teams have the technology to work you out. We have to innovate and do things opponents don’t expect us to do.

"You have to get to important moments with players available, attention to detail, be lucky, have players hitting top form at right time. In this competition, if you make a mistake, you are out."


Mikel Arteta believes Manchester City have assembled the best squad in world football.

With Pep Guardiola serving a one-match touchline suspension, the former Arsenal and Everton player will take charge of City tomorrow as we get our Champions League campaign under way against Lyon.

And he says the Club has put together a “phenomenal” side capable of winning Europe’s elite prize.

“For me, we have the best players in the world,” Arteta said. “I look at them and think they are the best.

"I know their qualities and their weaknesses - they are absolutely fantastic. It’s incredible.

"What is being created is phenomenal.

“That’s the aim [to win the Champions League]. We have a young squad, they have gained experience and we feel better prepared than in the previous two years.

"We are preparing every single detail and learning from the past because we believe we can do better.

"Tomorrow starts a new competition.”


Good evening, Blues. I'm in position here at the Etihad. The pitch looks splendid, the weather is ideal. Perfect night for Champions League football. 


Young Blues


Aymeric Laporte:

“We want to go as far as possible. With our team we are capable of achieving a lot. We want to make sure we get as far as possible.

“I don’t think I can compare us to Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico (Madrid). All teams have top players and we are still a top, solid team.

“We are still in a development phase and that is what we want to carry on doing.

“We've studied Lyon, and I’m well acquainted with them as I’m French.

“We know a lot already and know their players. We will see how things turn out.”


Stand-in boss

Mikel Arteta will take charge of the Blues tonight, in the suspended Pep Guardiola's absence.

The Spaniard believes City have a squad with more than enough quality to lift the Champions League.

“For me, we have the best players in the world,” he said. “I look at them and think they are the best.

"I know their qualities and their weaknesses - they are absolutely fantastic. It’s incredible. 

"What is being created is phenomenal. It’s the aim [to win the Champions League]. We have a young squad, they have gained experience and we feel better prepared than in the previous two years.

"We are preparing every single detail and learning from the past because we believe we can do better."


Team news

Sergio Aguero trained on Tuesday afernoon at the City Football Academy, in preparation for tonight's clash.

Aguero came off during the 3-0 win over Fulham on Saturday after hurting his ankle but looked fit and raring to go in a session led by manager Pep Guardiola.

However, Benjamin Mendy, who missed the win over Fulham with a knee problem, did not train and remains doubtful for the game against the Ligue 1 side. 


Matchday morning

A very good morning, Blues! It's matchday...

A double helping of City v Lyon, as our Blues kick-off the 2018/19 Champions League and UEFA Youth League!

Come on, City!

Other games that day

  • Benfica0
    FC Bayern München2
  • Valencia CF0
  • Viktoria Plzen2
    CSKA Moscow2
  • Real Madrid3
  • Young Boys0
    Manchester United3
  • Ajax3
    AEK Athens0
  • Shakhtar Donetsk2
    TSG 1899 Hoffenheim2