Match report: Marseille 0-3 Manchester City
Jamie Jackson was at the Stade Velodrome to see Manchester City canter to victory over Marseille and make it two wins out of two in this yearâ€™s Champions League.
A thought: While City will be rightly lauded for their performance tonight, it would be a gross dereliction of journalistic duty if Marseilleâ€™s general gutlessness went unremarked upon. They set up to contain, went a goal behind and continued to try to soak up Cityâ€™s pressure in the hope of nicking a point late in the game. As home team tactics go, they were fairly unambitious, but Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas would argue that his side risked an absolute hiding if they tried taking the game to their visitors. As it was, they …. well, shipped an absolute hiding. The score flatters their performance.
Elsewhere in Group C: Porto have beaten Olympiacos in Portugal, a state of affairs that means City top the group with six points from two games. Porto are in second place on three points, ahead of Olympiacos on goal difference. Marseill whip them in, having failed to take a point from their opening two games.
Full-time: Marseille 0-3 Manchester City
Peep! Peep! Peeep! Manchester Cityâ€™s class shows in the end as they run out comfortable winners against their French hosts. Ferran Torres, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling got the goals on a night when Manchester City put in what was almost certainly their finest performance of the season thus far.
90+2 min: Even in added time with a three-goal lead, Pep is urging his team to maintain their high levels of intensity.
90 min: Sterling almost but doesnâ€™t quite spin a Marseille defneder and find himself through on goal after receiving a pass from Cancelo. His touch wasnâ€™t quite good enough but weâ€™ll give him that one – the delivery came at extremely high velocity.
87 min: City press on, hoping to add to their three-goal tally, while Marseilleâ€™s players have the air about them of men who just wish the referee would blow the final whistle. On the touchline, Pep Guardiola is exhorting his team to keep pressing. Theyâ€™ve played very well tonight, even if it took them longer than Pep might have liked to make sure of all three points.
82 min: Manchester City substitution: Kevin De Bruyne off, 18-year-old Mancunian Cole Palmer on for his Champions League debut in what is only his fourth senior appearance for City.
GOAL! Marseille 0-3 Manchester City (Sterling 81)
Mahrez and De Bruyne link up beautifully down the right and the Belgian curls a delightful cross for Sterling to poke home from close range. That was City at their best – like a knife through butter.
78 min: Manchester City triple substitution: Laporte, Torres and Gundogan are replaced by John Stones, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez.
GOAL! Marseille 0-2 Manchester City (Gundogan 76)
City double their lead. Phil Foden gallops down the left flank and sends in a cross. Raheem Sterling leaps and heads the ball downwards and Ilkay Gundogan smashes the ball home from close range.
74 min: Manchester City corner, which De Bruyne takes quickly and short to Cancelo. Whatever they were planning doesnâ€™t quite come off … unless they were planning to get in each otherâ€™s way and eventually win a throw-in deep in Marseille territory, in which case that particular training ground move was a roaring success.
71 min: Another lightning fast City counter-attack ends with Ilkay Gundogan firing a Sterling pull-back straight at Mandanda. Referee Tobias Stiegler halts play to book Duje Caleta-Car for a late lunge on Kevin De Bruyne after heâ€™d played the ball up the inside right towards Sterling. â€œHe could have killed him,â€ shouts Sterling at the referee, with more than a hint of hyperbole.
70 min: Thereâ€™s a break as Marseilleâ€™s Japanese right-back Hiokai Sakal goes down injured and requires treatment. Play resumes after about a minute.
68 min: Manchester City substitution: Zinchenko off, Joao Cancelo on.
65 min: Sansom plays the ball wide to Amavi, who squares the ball into the Manchester City penalty area. Itâ€™s hacked clear. At the risk of stating the obvious, Manchester City could really do with another goal to settle any jitters. The later the game goes on, the more Marseille will fancy their chances of nicking an equaliser.
64 min: Marseille substitution: Valentin Rongier off, Morgan Sanson on. FYI: teams in the Champions League are allowed five substitutions each.
63 min: Amavi is booked and City have a free-kick on the right. Itâ€™s well worked until the ball drops nicely in the Marseille penalty area for Zinchenko, who completely miskicks it and sends it arrowing towards the far touchline.
60 min: Laporte is booked for a foul on Michael Cuisance, then Sterling has a good effort blocked by Amavi after being put in by Kevin De Bruyne. Ah, it turns out Sterling was offside.
55 min: Thauvin tries a left-footed shot from distance. Ederson thinks itâ€™s going wide and leaves it, then realises it might be on target and gets a wrist to it just before itâ€™s about to hit the post. A corner for Marseille but nothing comes of it.
52 min: Excellent play from Phil Foden, who takes the ball down the left touchline, hurdles a tackle and then sends a cross into the penalty area from the byline. Itâ€™s too close to Mandanda, who grabs it at the near post.
50 min: Kevin De Bruyne plays the ball wide to Raheem Sterling on the right touchline but overhits it and it rolls out for a throw-in. Two misplaced passes from the Belgian in five minutes – did we ever think weâ€™d see the day?
49 min: Marseille enjoy a period of sustained pressure and now their right-back Hiokai Sakal drills a cross into the City box. Itâ€™s cleared. Better from Marseille. Much better.
48 min: Florian Thauvin gets a cross from the right into the City penalty area but itâ€™s headed clear by Aymeric Laporte.
46 min: Kevin De Bruyne gives the ball away just inside the Marseille half. This is not a drill – Kevin De Bruyne has given the ball away with a misplaced pass.
Second half: Marseille 0-1 Manchester City
46 min: Play resumes with no changes in personnel on either side.
Gabriele Marcotti is reporting that Lazio are down to 12 senior players for their trip to Bruges tomorrow after a glut of covid positives and have had to bring six youth team players to make up the numbers.
Is it just me or does anyone else think playing the Champions League during a pandemic is a really, really bad idea. Itâ€™s irresponsible and dangerous, not to mention more than a little pointless when there are no crowds at games. Tonightâ€™s match between Marseille and City could scarcely be more flat in a stadium that is fabled as a cauldron.
Elsewhere in Group C: Porto lead Olympiakos by the only goal of the game in their encounter in Portugal. Fabio Vieira with the goal there after 11 minutes.
Half-time: Marseille 0-1 Manchester City
The teams go in for the break with City leading by the only goal of the game, scored by Ferran Torres. THeyâ€™ve given Marseille an absolute pasting, but the French side have defended well and ridden their luck at times. Itâ€™s difficult to envisage the game ending without several more City goals unless Andre Villas-Boas can pull something special out of the bag in the next 15 minutes.
45 min: City corner. De Bruyne swings the ball into the penalty area but itâ€™s cleared at the near post by Boubacar Kamara.
44 min: Manchester City continue to pile the on-pitch hurt on Marseille but have yet to make their almost total domination count for much on the scoreboard. Marseille will be absolutely thrilled to go in just a goal down.
41 min: Marseille finally get a shot on goal, with Nemanja Radonjic firing low and hard from outside the penalty area. His effort is straight at Ederson and the Manchester City goalkeeper gathers comfortable. The Brazilian has had a very quiet evening thus far.
39 min: City lose the ball in midfield, immediately win it back again and advance up the field at speed with Gundogan leading the charge. He overhits his cross, which goes out for a Marseille throw-in on the other side of the pitch.
38 min: De Bruyne tries to play Ferran Torres in behind the Marseille defence but his through ball is intercepted and cleared.
37 min: Replays show that Zinchenko effort scraped the paintwork of the post as it fizzed past. Mandanda was beaten but Zinchenkoâ€™s cross-hairs were misaligned. .
35 min: City continue to toy with their hosts, who are obdurate at the back but looking very vulnerable. Zinchenko pounces on a mistake by Leonardo Balerdi and drags a low left-footed effort wide of the right upright from inside the penalty area.