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Manchester City vs Marseille at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium Referee : Halil Umut Meler
9th December 2020 8:00 PM (GMT)
  • 3 Manchester City

    • ‘48' Ferran Torres
    • ‘77' Sergio Agüero
    • ‘90' Álvaro González (OG)
  • 0 Marseille


Commentary By Neil Leigh


Good night from me ๐Ÿ’™

All in all another excellent night's work.

A fine 3-0 win, Sergio back in action and on the scoresheet, Ferran Torres scoring once again and Raheem Sterling bringing up 1000 goals at the Etihad.

Thanks as always for your company - and we'll see you again on Saturday for the small matter of the Manchester derby.

Til then take care.


More from Bernardo...๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

โ€œWhen you win it's always easy to go to the next game it's easier to win again and again, and we want to keep the momentum in a tough game against United on Saturday and we want to keep winning.โ€


Bernardo's verdict...

"Everyone knows he's [Sergio] important, one of the best players the club has ever had and a great goalscorer.

"He is also a great guy and personality to have around the team and its great to have him back."


Sweet 16 for City...1๏ธโƒฃ6๏ธโƒฃ

That's 16 points from our group stage.

The first time we have hit that figure - augurs really well.


Perfect end to the night

Torres fizzes the ball across, Mandanda saves but it rebounds off a defender into Sterling's path a yard out and it's thank you very much.

Raheem's seventh goal of the season and second in successive games.

Lovely, jubbly.


Positives aplenty

What you would call a real solid night's work.

The return of Sergio, a fine CL debut for Steffen and another Torres strike.

The only downside was the injury to Garcia.


King Kun!

Ake powered in a goalbound header from Sterling's corner, his effort was saved on the line but Sergio was there as he always is to force the ball home.

So easy, so deadly.

Welcome back Kun!!


Marseille break at pace through Thauvin but fortunately Rongier takes the wrong option and heads the ball away from danger.

A reminder that at just 1-0 we can't drop our guard.


The fast show

Foden just wide from Mahrez's inviting header after the Stockport midfielder instigated a sweeping counter attack.

City lightning quick on the break there.



Alvaro with a crucial block as City sweep forward and Mahrez looks to put in Bernardo.

The ball through was a fraction too hard though.


Warning note...

Balerdi drills a snap shot just wide from Payet's inviting ball after City failed to clear a corner.

Marseille will surely need to show more invention now.


Lethal Ferran

Superb work by Mahrez as he cuts inside from the right, Germain gets a touch and the ball lands at the feet of Torres who needs no second invitation to score again in the Champions League.

Great finish, great start to the second half.


'A matter of time'

Kevin Horlock: "It's a matter of time. There are definitely goals in it.

"It could be a good night for one of the youngsters to come on but stay concentrated and when one comes the others usually follow."


'Dominant City'


Paul Dickov: "We've been dominant in every single area. I think it will be a different second half as Marseille might have to come out.

"The chances City created especially in the first 20 minutes City had the better half."



Fine work by Steffen to deny Gueye after the Marseille man edged ahead of Laporte and thundered in a half volley.

The City keeper was big and brave to block the shot.



Marseille press again and this time an inviting ball falls to Sanson just outside the box but his shot bounces wide.

The visitors growing in confidence



Brilliant by Stones.

Thauvin found space on the right flank, evaded Ake and his cross was bound for Germain but Stones produced a superb block tackle to deny the Marseille man.

Crucial stop



Now Payet tries to lob Steffen from about 40 yards having seen the City keeper off his line.

The American safely gathers the effort though.


Tidy finish

Sanson probably played his through ball a fraction late but it as a tidy finish from the former West Ham who dinked the ball beyond Steffen into the corner of the net.

A let-off for City there



Walker does brilliantly to control Fernandinho's raking long ball and his wicked cross ball is deflected for a corner.

City can't capitalize on the set piece though.



First threat from Marseille.

A wicked ball in from Payet on the right flank and Germain misdirects his effort away from goal.

Timely warning that though.



A wonderful free kick from Gundogan and Laporte's header is so close to the target.

Looked like it was deflected by Alvaro but corner is given.

Superb ball from Ilkay.



Silva puts in Mahrez after a poor pass from Mandanda but the keeper stones with a fine save.

Think we may have been flagged for offside again though.



Foden finds Torres in space on the left side of the box but the Spaniard can't quite wriggle free of the Marseille back line. He just got the ball wedged under his feet.




Nice ball from Walker arrows in to Torres in the middle of the box who looks to lay off to Bernardo but the touch is just short.

Nice intentions though.


Dickov: "Pep is so focused"


Paul Dickov: "He's shown that from day one when we ran away with 100 points, he never let off. The one thing that impresses me is that they always look at what's in front of them and not too far ahead. 

"There are going to be players tonight that don't make the squad on Saturday (for the Manchester derby) which is a scary thought so they will want to win."


'Unbelievable Sterling'

Kevin Horlock: "We create chances and Raheem is setting them up and scoring. I have got a lot of respect for him.

"He's got such a strong mentality and he's a top top player that gets into great positions. He's an unbelievable person and unbelievable player."


The clean machine

City have kept a clean sheet in four consecutive Champions League matches since conceding one goal at home to Porto in October.

The last side to record five or more consecutive shutouts in the competition was Juventus in 2016-17 (Porto are also on a run of four consecutive clean sheets in the competition).


Horlock on Nathan Ake


Kevin Horlock: "Tonight is a big night for him (Ake). Iโ€™m hoping he can put a good performance in and we can see what Pep wants to do with him."


Pep's pre-match thoughts...๐Ÿ‘‡

"As a guy he's (Zack Steffen) is' a good keeper and its a good chance to show what he can do. It's his Champions League debut and hopefully will not be the last.

"We have to try to win the game. For the competition itself it's a joy to be already qualified,  but the players have to show commitment."


'A big night for Steffen'

Paul Dickov: "Making his Champions League debut is fantastic. Heโ€™s really highly rated and it's a fantastic night for him and there is a lot of experience for him in the back four."


All change

So nine changes from the side that beat Fulham on Saturday... but such is the strength of our squad it's a side packed with quality.

Looking forward to seeing how the lads go.


Power play ๐Ÿ’ฅ

I was lucky enough to be at the Etihad to cover Saturday's league win over Fulham.

Seeing the lads up close was both a privilege and a timely reminder that, along with our incredible quality, City's work rate is absolutely phenomenal.

The few times we lost possession to a man the players were intent of working to regain the ball as quickly as possible.

A facet of our play that sometimes gets overlooked.


Sweet 16?...1๏ธโƒฃ6๏ธโƒฃ

Should City beat Marseille, it means will will finish the group with 16 points, the joint most of any English side in a single group stage, along with Arsenal in 2005-06 (finalists), Manchester United in 2007-08 (winners), and Tottenham Hotspur in 2017-18 (last 16).


The mean machine...๐Ÿ“ˆ

City have conceded only one goal in the Champions League this season (the joint fewest alongside Chelsea). The last side to concede as few by the end of the group stages was Barcelona in 2017-18 (one), while the last English side was Manchester United in 2010-11 (also one).


Pep's praise for Marseille

"The quality is there. Unfortunately he could not get the results in the Champions League. To start with zero points from two games is difficult but the quality is there with Payet and Thauvin.

The French league is tough. It will be an interesting game. It is important for them to try and qualify for Europa League but for us too."


The boss on Sergio...

"We will decide tomorrow. Sergio may be on the bench," Pep Guardiola revealed at Tuesday's press conference.

"He will train today and we will see the reaction tomorrow. The good thing is he has been part of the group for the last three or four days. The niggles he has had in the in past are not there."


Finishing touch... โฌ‡๏ธ

Thanks to our superb form so far in Europe, both our place in the last 16 and top spot in Group C are already guaranteed.

Now the task in hand is all about maintaining momentum in the midst of a hectic December schedule

City were impressive 3-0 winners away to Marseille in October and another win tonight would be the perfect tonic ahead of Sunday's first Manchester derby of the season.

Plenty of huge incentives for Pep Guardiola and his players then.


Ear we go...


If youโ€™re unable to watch the game, or prefer a City focused approach to your match commentary, Alistair Mann will be describing the action as it unfolds alongside former City midfielder Michael Brown on CITY+.

Subscribers can tune in and listen along from 19.50 (UK).



Of course, matchday means the latest edition of our must-watch We're Not  Really Here show.

Kevin Horlock, Paul Dickov and Steven McInerney (Esteemed Kompany)  are the guests on Weโ€™re Not Really Here, with host Kyle Walker (the presenter not the player!)

Theyโ€™ll be discussing all things City before kick-off and providing analysis at half-time and full-time.

The pre-match show will be available to watch at the top of this page from 19.00 (UK).


Greetings! ๐Ÿ‘‹

A very good evening!

And a warm welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester Cityโ€™s final Champions League group stage game as we play host to Marseille.

Top spot and a place in the last 16 is already assured but with professional pride - and the small matter of Saturday's Manchester derby looming - there is no lack of incentive for City tonight.

Kick-off is at 20.00 (UK) and I will be with you here throughout the night to bring you all the pre-match build-up, in game updates and post-match reaction. 

Should be a cracker - can't wait.



Last time v Marseille

City eased to three points at the Stade Vรฉlodrome on Matchday 2, Ferran Torres opening the scoring in the 18th minute before goals in the closing stages from ฤฐlkay GรผndoฤŸan (76) and Raheem Sterling (81) made sure of the victory. 


We're Not Really Here

Join us right here at 7pm tonight for our We're Not Really Here live matchday show. 

Paul Dickov, Kevin Horlock and Steven McInerney (Esteemed Kompany) are our guests.

They will be joined by CityTV presenter Kyle Walker and provide expert analysis and opinion ahead of our final Champions League Group C clash.

Weโ€™re Not Really Here provides a City focused perspective to your pre-match build-up and begins one hour before kick-off at 19:00 (UK).

You can also listen to live commentary via City+ with Alistair Mann and Michael Brown providing coverage and opinion.

Bring it on! 


Pep on tonight's game

โ€œEveryone is fit. Tomorrow we will decide [on the team].

We will decide tomorrow [whether Aguero is involved]. Maybe he will be on the bench.

โ€œTomorrow we will see his reaction to his body, not just his knee.

"But the important thing is in the last three, four days he was part of the group and the niggles he had in the recent past disappeared.

โ€œHe will be back [playing regularly] when he can train regularly over weeks and weeks and has minutes, minutes, minutes.

"We know Sergio well. He is working incredibly hard to come back. That is the most important thing.

โ€œHe needs a little time but we must be patient. We want him back but if the knee responds well he will be back, for sure."


Team news

Pep Guardiola has a fully fit squad to select from - and Sergio Aguero could make the bench after training this week without feeling a reaction to his recent knee problems. 


State of play

City are already assured of first place in Group C, while Marseille are still in the hunt for the section's UEFA Europa League qualifying slot having ended their record run of UEFA Champions League defeats last time out. 

City have 13 points, three ahead of Porto, with whom we drew 0-0 on Matchday 5 to make sure of topping Group C.  

On the same night Marseille produced a 2-1 comeback victory at home to Olympiacos, joining them on three points; however, with the Greek side having the head-to-head advantage, OM need to better their result on Matchday 6, when Olympiacos play host to Porto, to finish third. 


Tonight's officials

Referee: Halil Umut Meler (TUR)

Assistant referees: Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR), Cevdet Komurcuoglu (TUR)

Video Assistant Referee: Sascha Stegemann (GER)

Fourth official: Arda KardeลŸler (TUR)

Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Ali Palabฤฑyฤฑk (TUR)

UEFA Delegate: Paul Daniel Zaharia (ROU)

UEFA Referee observer: Vรญtor Melo Pereira (POR)

Other games that day

  • FC Midtjylland1
  • Ajax0
  • FC Bayern München2
    Lokomotiv Moscow0
  • Internazionale0
    Shakhtar Donetsk0
  • Olympiakos0
    FC Porto2
  • Real Madrid2
    Borussia Mönchengladbach0
  • FC Red Bull Salzburg0
    Atlético de Madrid2
  • Paris Saint-Germain5
    Istanbul Basaksehir1

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 FC Porto 6 +7 13
3 Olympiakos 6 -8 3
4 Marseille 6 -11 3
Link To Full Table