Lionel Messi got his first goal for Paris Saint-Germain, and his new club got their first win within the Champions League group stage on Tuesday, beating fellow contender Manchester City 2-0 on Matchday 2. After a poor opener during a 1-1 draw at Club Brugge, and with Messi yet to record an assist or goal for his new team, it appeared like only a matter of your time before they got their statement performance and Messi got off the mark.
With Idrissa Gueye grabbing a fine winner eight minutes in, PSG was during a comfortable position for much of the primary half, but it appeared as they might squander it. it is a surprise that the early goal remained the winner as City seemed destined to attain. within the last half, City grew into the competition and threatened time and time again, especially down the proper, but Gianluigi Donnarumma intensify big with numerous saves from tight angles.
And just when it felt like an equalizer might be coming, Messi got free down the proper, combined with Kylian Mbappe, and finished expertly, without settling the ball, into the upper right corner. Take a look: it had been a deserved result for a clinical PSG, who have resorted to late winners as lately. Despite being out-shot 18-6 and not winning the battle of possession, the hosts managed to largely contain the town attackers, get a touch of luck once they needed it, and obtain a touch of revenge for last season’s semifinals. Maybe that’s what is going to open the floodgates for Messi and PSG. With all eyes on him and even more pressure, Messi had his best performance for the club and looked comfortable. He was everywhere, getting inside, pushing out wide, he often needed only one touch to play a player into space, and he showed City what they’re missing by failing to land him.
He ended up playing 90 minutes, completed almost 90 percent of his passes and 93.8 percent within the final third, had only one shot on goal but took it with serious class. His celebration showed just what it meant to him, and it felt sort of a potential turning point for a PSG that had been inconsistent thus far this season. this is often a confidence booster for both the club and him, and now the key getting to be|are”> are going to be to stay it rolling as it’s only going to get tougher from here. While PSG walks off with the win, the numbers tell a more complicated story. City finished with 2.81 expected goals (xG) compared to PSG’s 0.46.
The city had 3 times as many shots as PSG. But, don’t let those numbers fool you, because Guardiola’s team didn’t come all that on the brink of scoring apart from a crazy few seconds within the half. After a Raheem Sterling header hit the crossbar, Bernardo Silva had essentially two quite open looks right ahead of an open goal. the primary hit the crossbar from like three yards out, and therefore the second went wide. Those two chances combined for an xG of 1.59, quite half City’s total xG. If you add in Sterling’s header and therefore the 0.29 xG, that is 1.88 of their total xG that came in only a 10-second span.
It goes without saying just what a wasted opportunity that was. It’s hard to even understand how that did not enter because it seemed easier to miss than to form. Silva couldn’t believe it, and there was no recovery from that as PSG would kill the sport of late. A game of inches. Leave it up to Pep Guardiola trying to be cute and playing Raheem Sterling as his false nine. He did it with Phil Foden last weekend, but a minimum of he had a striker in there in Gabriel Jesus who got the winner at Chelsea. But during this one, with an attacking trio of Sterling, Jack Grealish, and Riyad Mahrez, they never felt like consistent threats. Gabriel Jesus came on and played just 12 minutes when the sport was over, and it had been another example of trying to let pace and technical ability take over a team that has pace, technical ability and actual centrally-playing attackers in PSG.
City hasn’t scored in three of their last nine games leading back to last season. In their previous 23 matches, that they had scored in 21 of them. That striker they have won’t get on their roster, but too often as lately we have seen this team go from goal-scoring machine to only silent. It’s early, but do they really have enough in attack, centrally, to win this thing against the large boys? From the loss to Lyon two seasons ago to the loss in last year’s final and now this, Guardiola has more work to try to do than he might imagine.