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Marseille vs Manchester City at Stade Vélodrome

Stade Vélodrome Referee : Tobias Stieler
27th October 2020 8:00 PM (GMT)
  • 0 Marseille

  • 3 Manchester City

    • ‘18' Ferran Torres
    • ‘76' Ilkay Gündogan
    • ‘81' Raheem Sterling


Commentary By John Edwards



That's all from me tonight.

And what a night it was from City. It was a really impressive, mature, away performance.

Solid at the back and impressive going forward against a five-man defence, we've got plenty of positives to take into Saturday's lunchtime kick-off against Sheffield United.

Thanks for joining me this evening - you can check all the match reaction and stats below.

See you on Saturday! 


Torres congratulated

Pep Guardiola caught us all by surprise by deploying Ferran Torres through the middle of the forward line this evening and he was impressed with the goalscorer's performance in an unfamiliar role...

"Ferran is not a striker. I would congratulate him for making the effort to play in this position. He scored the goal. 

"It is not easy as a striker against five defenders. We donโ€™t have many options until Sergio and Gabriel come back, so we had an alternative playing Ferran in this position."


Guardiola - City calm in the right moments

A lot for the boss to enjoy tonight and he was pleased with how his players managed the game...

"Playing away in the Champions League is always tough. You have many examples last week and this week. Marseille are doing well in Ligue 1. 

"It was really good, especially the way we played offensively and defensively and with the details and the passion that we had. When a team is that defensive you become impatient and they can punish you. We were calm in the right moments and thatโ€™s why we were able to win the game."


Aymeric Laporte - Torres deserves his goal

We're delighted to have him back and the Frenchman is delighted to be back...

On the performance...

"We are very happy with the result. It has been tough, like always, but we worked hard and we have done it."

On returning from injury...

"I am happy to be back. I hope it is for a long time. I hope I can play the next games."

On Ferran Torres' start at City...

"He is a young guy. I think he can improve many things, but what he has done is great. He deserves it. He works hard every day."


Villas-Boas - City made us pay

The Marseille boss seems pretty happy with his players efforts, despite the defeat..

"It was a tough match to play and we paid for our mistakes.

"We didnโ€™t defend too deep and my players were exceptional. We were never going to play against City in a 3-4-3 or a midfield diamond. I think they are used to coming up against five at the back.

 โ€œThe second goal was a real blow for us as we were starting to turn things around. In the first half, we had trouble getting through the City press, and a bad pass led to them being 1-0 up." 


Pep reacts

A job well done for the boss, who has just conducted his post-match interview with BT Sport...

On the performance...

"We played well. We didn't concede much. We were patient, aggressive without the ball. I am so satisfied with the performance, because winning away is always difficult."

On Kevin De Bruyne...

"Kevin always plays good. He is something special. I am so happy he is back. He played really well again."

On a solid defence...

"We were so stable. Ruben and Aymeric were good. Kyle is in his best form since we he came here."

We'll have more from the boss' post-match press conference shortly.


Total control

Lots of praise on social media for how City controlled that game this evening and it couldn't be more true.

We were on the front foot from start to finish and rarely looked troubled. 

A really good performance throughout and we're now unbeaten in our  last 13 matches in the group stage. 

Lovely. ๐Ÿ‘


As it stands

We're top of Group C with six points after two games.

Porto beat Olympiacos 2-0 in the other fixture this evening, which means we have a three point cushion over the Portuguese outfit in second place.



A composed, controlled performance secures our first win on French soil.

Ferran Torres, Ilkay Gundogan and Rahem Sterling with the goals.

Tres bien! ๐Ÿ‘



That's it for Kevin De Bruyne.

It's been a good night's work for him and he's replaced by 18-year-old Academy graduate, Cole Palmer for his first Champions League appearance.

What a moment for him! 


GOOOAALLLL! Marseille 0-3 City

Vintage City!

Riyad Mahrez's through ball puts Kevin De Bruyne in down the right hand side and from there the Belgian does what he does best.

It's a perfect ball across the face of goal and Raheem Sterling is there to tap it home from close range.

It's checked by VAR, but the goal stands.



That goal prompts Pep Guardiola into a host of changes.

Ilkay Gundogan, Ferran Torres and Aymeric Laporte go off, with Riyad Mahrez, John Stones and Bernardo Silva replacing them.


YESSS! Marseille 0-2 City

There it is!

Ilkay Gundogan sweeps home from Raheem Sterling's knock down to give us the goal we have been waiting for.

Fantastic work from Phil Foden in the build-up, who sent the cross in for Sterling to steer into the German's path.




Chance for City after Kevin De Bruyne releases Raheem Sterling down the right flank.

The England man cuts it back to Ilkay Gundogan on the edge of the area, but his first time effort is comfortable for Steven Mandanda.

It was a brilliant ball from De Bryune, who got clattered by  Caleta-Car  in the process. The Marseille defender goes in the book for the foul and, thankfully, the Belgian is unharmed!



Marseille have certainly been more adventurous in this half.

They worked the ball into a promising position on the left then, with a good ball into the box that Ruben Dias had to deal with. 

A second goal would certainly ease the nerves when they get those chances!



*So nearly a second goal!

Kevin De Bruyne slides Raheem Sterling through on the right hand side, who gets a shot off, but Jordan Amavi make a brilliant saving block.

*All irrelevant, however, as Sterling was flagged offside...



Florian Thauvin has just fired a warning over the dangers of a 1-0 lead.

The former Newcastle midfielder cut inside before unleashing from 25-yards and it cracked the outside of Ederson's left-hand post.

The Brazilian had it covered, but we'll want to restrict any more opportunities like that.


Great play!

Brilliant from Phil Foden, who races to keep a ball in on the left and hurdles Leonardo Balerdi's challenge.

He's got plenty of time to pick his pass, but his cross is too close to Steve Mandanda and the keeper gathers it comfortably. 


Change in direction

New half, new Marseille?

The home side have just enjoyed a [very] brief spell of pressure. Aymeric Laporte is forced to head a cross clear before Hiroki Sakai's right-wing cross is cleared by Rodrigo and City eventually break...


In control

City's 68% of possession and Marseille's one shot on goal tells you everything you need to know about that half.

We're in complete control here. Just need a few more goals to show for it now.



Forty-two minutes in and Marseille have their first shot on goal.

 Nemanja Radonjiฤ‡ drives inside and fires through Rodrigo's legs from 25-yards. There's not much power behind it though and it's straight at Ederson, who gathers it comfortably.



Another Marseille error and it's so nearly another City goal!

Ferran Torres steals the ball off Alvaro's toes in the area and it falls for Oleksandr Zinchenko whose drive clips the outside of the right post.


End to end

Ruben Dias is called into action as the hosts have another crack at breaching City's defence. 

Nemanja Radonjiฤ‡ is the man on the ball, but Dias gets his body in and knocks it against the forward for for a goal kick.

City go straight up the other end with Raheem Sterling, who cuts it back for Kevin De Bruyne, but a rare miscue sees him send a cross/shot over the bar.


Defensive work

Marseille go from defence to attack with their best move of the match.

The French side beat City's press and it ends with a cross from the right, but it's straight at Ederson. 

Keeps him on his toes - he's been a spectator so far.


Expert delivery

Kevin De Bruyne whips a free-kick in from the right and it's a typically dangerous ball that Aymeric Laporte looks to capitalise on.

Alvaro gets there ahead of him though and he turns it into Steven Mandanda's grateful arms.


GOOAALLLL! Marseille 0-1 City

It's been coming!

City take the lead through Ferran Torres, who nets his second Champions League goal in as many games.

Marseille try to play out from the back, but it goes wrong with Valentin Rongier's loose pass, which rolls into Kevin De Bruyne's path.

It's a simple pass across goal from there, which Torres taps in from six-yards.

Great stuff! ๐Ÿ‘



City send two good balls into the box. Raheem Sterling goes first from the right and it makes it's way to Oleks Zinchenko on the opposite side.

The Ukrainian's cross causes more problems for Marseille, with Steven Mandanda tipping it away before his defenders clear in less than convincing fashion.

Just needed a touch from one of our boys!


On the volley

A perfectly weighted clipped ball over the top from Ilkay Gundogan releases Phil Foden on the edge of the area.

He brings it down and takes an early shot on the half volley but it's straight at Steve Mandanda in the Marseille goal.

Getting his eye in!



Kevin De Bruyne's low shot is blocked from close range by Boubacar Kamara after a brilliant run from Raheem Sterling.

His drop of the shoulder and some dazzling footwork completely bamboozled two Marseille defenders. ๐Ÿ‘Œ


Early signs

Another corner for City after Boubacar Kamara turns Phil Foden's behind.

We're very much on the front foot here, with the home side happy to try and contain us, it seems.


Torres leads the line

I thought it might be Raheem Sterling who adopted the central role in the forward line, but it is Ferran Torres who leads the line. 

Sterling on the right at the moment, with Phil Foden on the left.



City take the knee, whilst Marseille line-up together round the centre circle and then it's time...

Ferran Torres gets us under way - COME ON, CITY! ๐Ÿ™Œ



It's nearly time! 

Here's a reminder of how both teams line-up this evening...

CITY: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne (C), Torres, Foden, Sterling. 

MARSEILLE: Mandanda (c), Sakai, Balerdi, Alvaro, Caleta-Car, Amavi, Rongier, Kamara, Cuisance, Thauvin, Radonjic. 


Pep's view

Much of Pep's pre-match press conference focused on injuries and Sergio Aguero, but he was asked about tonight's opponents, too.

Here's what he had to say:

"They are a historical team in France. They are well organised, defend the space. We have to find a way to control the game and not concede in the set pieces. They have one of the best takers in Europe, they are strong there."


Stat pack ๐Ÿ“ˆ

Some good omens here...

๐Ÿ”น City have scored 38 goals in our last 14 Champions League matches; over the last two seasons, our record is W14 D3 L3 with 54 goals scored and 22 conceded.

๐Ÿ”น Guardiola's men have won seven of our last 11 away European matches (D2 L2) with both defeats coming in England; the last away game we lost abroad was at Shakhtar (1-2) on Matchday 6 of 2017/18.

๐Ÿ”น Marseille are without a win in nine European matches, losing eight, since a 2-0 victory at home to Salzburg in the 2017/18 Europa League semi-final first leg. They went on to lose the second leg 2-1 but still progressed to the Final, where they were beaten 3-0 by Atletico Madrid in Lyon.

๐Ÿ”น Marseille are without a win in their last six matches against English clubs (D2 L4), since a 1-0 home victory against Chelsea in December 2010. Most recently they lost home (1-2) and away (0-2) against Arsenal in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage. 

๐Ÿ”นBenjamin Mendy was a Marseille player between 2013 and 2016, making 101 appearances in all competitions.


Villas-Boas' praise

"Pep Guardiola is able to create surprises, and the problem with City is that they have several dynamics and they can adapt.

"For us, however, this is not a game for experimenting. We are preparing in our usual way. We have watched City a lot, as we would for every game.

"They are in a pretty tough patch with a lot of Premier League games. However, they are experienced, they are one of the best teams in the world."


Loving the prediction detail!


Double act

So, Rodrigo and Ilkay Gundogan start alongside each other in midfield again and you'd expect them to sit a little deeper whilst Kevin De Bruyne pushes forward. 

Here's what Pep Guardiola said about the pair of them at his pre-match press conference:

"Sometimes I use a double, sometimes just one. It depends how we want to play and press. Gundogan can play attacking or holding. Rodri as well. Rodri more as a holding. They are so smart and intelligent. Gundogan has the quality in the small spaces and incredible vision. Rodri has more control over the transitions."


Opposition watch

Andre Villas-Boas has made five changes to the team that started in the 1-0 defeat to Olympiacos on Matchday One. 

Striker Dario Benedetto and Dimtri Payet - Marseille's top scorers last season - both drop to the bench.

The home side start with three centre-halves in what looks like a 3-5-2 / 5-3-2 depending on where you class your wing backs as playing.


Marseille line-up

Three former Premier League players in the home side's starting XI in the form of Steve Mandanda (ex-Crystal Palace), Jordan Amavi (ex-Aston Villa) and Florian Thauvin (ex-Newcaste United). Former West Ham playmaker, Dimitri Payet, is on the bench.

XI: Mandanda (c), Sakai, Balerdi, Alvaro, Caleta-Car, Amavi, Rongier, Kamara, Cuisance, Thauvin, Radonjic.

SUBS: Pele,  Ngapandouetnbu, Nagatomo, Strootman, Sanson, Gueye, Payet, Luis Henrique, Benedetto, Ake, Germain.


Positives ๐Ÿ‘

City fans everywhere will be smiling at the sight of Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte's names on the team sheet and it's great to have Oleksandr Zinchenko back starting a game!

It looks like the usual 4-3-3 for City, with Raheem Sterling leading the line up front, but with Phil Foden and Ferran Torres alongside him, they could all interchange.

A strong team in the circumstances!



Aymeric Laporte returns and Oleksandr Zinchenko gets his first start of the season as Pep Guardiola makes five changes to the team that started against West Ham.

Kevin De Bruyne is also back in from the start, along with Phil Foden and Ferran Torres.

CITY: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne (C), Torres, Foden, Sterling.

SUBS: Steffen, Carson, Stones, Silva, Mahrez, Cancelo, Garcia, Nmecha, Doyle, Harwood-Bellis, Palmer, Bernabe.



Tonight's game falls just three days after our 1-1 draw with West Ham United and it's another quick turn around for us, with a trip to Sheffield United coming up on Saturday.

The games are coming thick and fast and Riyad Mahrez admits he is feeling the effect of the hectic schedule.

โ€œThe start to the season was not normal. We have to adapt. We are professionals. It is like this for everyone.

โ€œWe play every three days, everyone is tired, so we have to adapt and try and give our best.โ€


Early team news ๐Ÿ“‹

We'll find out our starting XI in just under 30 minutes time, but here is what we know already:

๐Ÿ”น Aymeric Laporte is fit again and has travelled to France.

๐Ÿ”น Sergio Aguero, Nathan Ake, Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy all miss out due to injury.


Lay of the land

It is fourth versus first in Group C this evening, in what is our first ever meeting with Marseille.

Weโ€™re top of the table after our 3-1 win over Porto, whilst they are bottom of the group following a 1-0 defeat to Olympiacos. 

Domestically, the hosts sit fourth in Ligue 1 after eight games and are unbeaten in their last five league games, whilst it is also worth noting they beat last yearโ€™s runners-up, PSG, 1-0 back in September.

No doubt weโ€™ll need to be at our best if weโ€™re to take all three points!


Get involved ๐Ÿ“ฑ

Now as much as Richard Dunne and Joleon Lescott will be giving us the benefit of their expertise on We're Not Really Here this evening, we also want to hear your thoughts.

Are you feeling confident? Who would you start? How would you approach it?

Get in touch on Twitter using the hashtag #WNRH!


We're Not Really Here ๐Ÿ’™

Another game means another live matchday show and tonight weโ€™re joined by a dream defensive duo.

Richard Dunne and Joleon Lescott (who together would have been a strikerโ€™s nightmare) are the guests on Weโ€™re Not Really Here, with Kyle Walker and Natalie Paweleck in the presenting chairs.

Theyโ€™ll be discussing all things City before kick-off and providing analysis at half-time and full-time and the good news? You donโ€™t have to move an inch to tune in!

The pre-match show will be available to watch at the top of this page from 19:00 (UK) and during the game there will be live commentary and footage of fans around the world.


Greetings! ๐Ÿ‘‹

Good evening!

And welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester Cityโ€™s Champions League group stage game against Marseille.

The Stade Velodrome is the venue for tonightโ€™s encounter, where City will look to make it two wins out of two in Group C. 

Kick-off is at 20:00 (UK) and I will be with your from here on out to bring you all the pre-match build-up, in game updates and post-match reactions. 

Can we get back to winning ways? Letโ€™s hope so!


Other games that day

  • Borussia Mönchengladbach2
    Real Madrid2
  • Liverpool2
    FC Midtjylland0
  • Atalanta2
  • FC Porto2
  • Atlético de Madrid3
    FC Red Bull Salzburg2
  • Lokomotiv Moscow1
    FC Bayern München2
  • Shakhtar Donetsk0

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 FC Porto 2 0 3
3 Olympiakos 2 -1 3
4 Marseille 2 -4 0
Link To Full Table