Wednesday, January 26

Manchester City-PSG: A “final” for qualification and first place

This trip to the Manchester City lawn looks like a final for PSG. But before thinking about that next May in Saint Petersburg, where the two clubs aim to lift their first Champions League, this shock, this Wednesday in the north of England, is a final for first place in group A .

Two months ago at the Parc des Princes, the Parisians had marked the spirits with a prestigious success thanks in particular to the first goal of Lionel Messi in his new colors (2-0). This victory had strengthened their status as the favorite of the competition. But it has since crumbled somewhat due to the disappointing performances in the game both in Ligue 1 and on the European scene, like their last two outings against RB Leipzig.

While the capital club is heckled by the uncertainty surrounding the future of Mauricio Pochettino, the time has come to strike a new big blow to clinch the qualification for the round of 16 and regain the head of the group before the last day and the reception of Bruges. Marquinhos’ teammates will be sure to leave the Etihad Stadium with their ticket in their pocket if they win or if Brugge does not get a better result than them against Leipzig.

But more than qualification, the vice-champion of France is aiming for first place, which allows to be seeded in the draw. He knows his importance perfectly, especially since the last time he finished in second place (2016-2017), he was eliminated in the round of 16 by FC Barcelona. Parisians therefore know what remains for them to do. “The first place in the group is our goal. We have a chance to be first. We will try to play a great game and give the maximum ”, assured Marco Verratti.

And they can count on their attacking trio led by Neymar, much more dashing in recent weeks, Lionel Messi, who opened his goal counter in Ligue 1, and especially Kylian Mbappé in a state of grace with seven goals scored in his last four matches. For the first time since his signing last July, Sergio Ramos appears in a practically complete group, when the Citizens, executioners of PSG in the semifinals last season, are deprived of their master to play Kevin De Bruyne (Covid 19). In Paris to take the opportunity to hope to continue dreaming bigger.

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