Marseille 0-3 Man City: Ferran Torres, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling score in easy win

Match report and ratings as Manchester City move three points clear at the top of their Champions League group with a dominant victory in France

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Tuesday 27 October 2020 22:28, UK

Manchester City maintained their 100 per cent start to their Champions League campaign with a dominant 3-0 win at Marseille.

Summer-signing Ferran Torres gave City the lead from close range after some slack Marseille passing (18), before Oleksandr Zinchenko hit the outside of the post with a low effort.

Marseille waited to up the ante in the second half, but City doubled their lead before the hosts could truly threaten, as Ilkay Gundogan swept home from 10 yards following Raheem Sterling’s header across goal (76).

Sterling then turned scorer, tapping home the third from a trademark Kevin De Bruyne delivery (81), meaning City top Group C by three points following Porto’s win over Olympiakos, while Marseille are bottom, and without a Champions League win in 11.

Player ratings

Marseille: Mandanda (6), Sakai (5), Alvaro (4), Kamara (5), Amavi (5), Balerdi (4), Radonjic (5), Caleta-Car (4), Cuisance (5), Rongier (4), Thauvin (5)

Subs: Sanson (5), Benedetto (NA), Payet (NA), Gueye (NA)

Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (7), Dias (7), Laporte (7), Zinchenko (7), Gundogan (7), Rodri (6), De Bruyne (8), Foden (6), Torres (7), Sterling (7)

Subs: Cancelo (6), Mahrez (NA), Stones (NA), Bernardo (NA), Palmer (NA)

Man of the match: Kevin De Bruyne

How City put Marseille to bed with ease

Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas set his side up with a five-man defence for the first time this season, leaving Dimitri Payet on the bench, and their conservative approach was evident as they showed City too much respect in the first half.

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After a few early half chances, City took the lead through Torres, slotting home at close range from De Bruyne’s centre after Valentin Rongier’s loose pass ran across Duje Caleta-Car and into the Belgian’s path on the right of the box.

It was Torres’ second goal in two Champions League games for City, and De Bruyne’s 87th assist in all competitions for the club, 18 more than any other Premier League player since his debut in September 2015.

  • How Marseille and Man City lined up | Match stats
  • Champions League news | Fixtures | Tables

Zinchenko came close to a second after some more sloppy Marseille defending; Leonardo Balerdi gave the ball away in the box, but the left-back’s low effort from 15 yards hit the outside of Steve Mandanda’s right-hand post.

Florian Thauvin hit the outside of the post with a speculative long-range effort in the second half, but in truth Ederson had it covered, and that was as close as the hosts came as an intense City got their second before the French side could make for a nervy ending.

Phil Foden did well on the left before lifting a cross for Sterling at the back post, and his header back across goal brushed off Torres and fell perfectly for Gundogan to convert under Mandanda.

And it was soon 3-0 as the brilliant De Bruyne was found behind the defence on the right by sub Riyad Mahrez, and Sterling converted his low centre from close range.

Team news

Aymeric Laporte returned to the Man City starting XI, starting alongside Dias in defence. De Bruyne was also back in the side, with a front three of Foden, Torres and Sterling.

It was five changes from the previous Champions League victory over Porto, with Mahrez also dropping to the bench.

For Marseille, Dimitri Payet was on the bench, and there were some familiar names in former Premier League players Jordan Amavi and Florian Thauvin starting for Andre Villas-Boas’ side.

This was City’s most dominant and disciplined performance of an inconsistent season so far, but Pep Guardiola’s side may not have it easier in this year’s competition as they chase that elusive Champions League.

What the manager said…

City boss Pep Guardiola on BT Sport: “We played really well, we didn’t concede much, we were under control, patient, aggressive without the ball, I am so satisified for the performance, the victory, because winning away is difficult and we did it.

“Kevin [De Bruyne] always plays good. There’s always something special, I am so happy he’s back from two weeks injured. He played relaly well again. Ruben [Dias] and Aymeric [Laporte] were good, Kyle [Walker] is in the best form since we’ve been together in Manchester.

“We have to accept criticism. Part of the criticism is right. It’s part of our job. Champions League now is in a good position. I am pretty sure we’re going to do a good season.”

Opta stats

  • Manchester City have won their opening two matches in the Champions League group stage for a third time in the last four seasons (also 2017/18 and 2019/20), while City are unbeaten in their last 13 matches in the group stage (W10 D3).
  • Marseille suffered their 11th consecutive Champions League defeat – in European Cup/Champions League history only Jeunesse Esch (16 between 1973 and 1987) and Anderlecht (12 between 2003 and 2005) have lost more consecutive games in the competition’s history.
  • Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in 28 Champions League goals in 36 appearances under Pep Guardiola (18 goals, 10 assists), more than any other Man City player since 2016/17.
  • Man City’s Ferran Torres became the youngest Spanish player to score in three consecutive appearances in the Champions League, aged 20 years and 241 days.

What’s next?

City now go to Sheffield United on Saturday at 12.30pm in the Premier League, before hosting Olympiakos in the Champions League on Tuesday evening at 8pm.

Marseille host Lens on Friday at 8pm in Ligue 1, and then go to Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday at 8pm.

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