Champions League - Group C
MarseilleMarseille0Man CityManchester City3

Marseille 0-3 Manchester City: Visitors ease to victory

By Gary RoseBBC Sport
Ferran Torres
Ferran Torres is the second Manchester City player to score in his first two Champions League games, after Mario Balotelli in 2011

Manchester City continued their perfect start to the Champions League group stage with a comfortable victory at Marseille.

The visitors dominated from the outset, with Ferran Torres opening the scoring after Kevin de Bruyne got in behind the Marseille defence and squared for a tap-in.

Oleksandr Zinchenko clipped the outside of a post with a neat strike from the edge of the box as City pushed to get a second before half-time.

Marseille rarely troubled Ederson in the City goal. Nemanja Radonjic's speculative effort from 30 yards was easily saved, while Florian Thauvin hit the outside of a post after the break, although Ederson had it covered.

As the hosts tired, City stepped up a gear and wrapped up the win in style as Ilkay Gundogan stabbed in from Raheem Sterling's knockdown before Sterling tapped home from another De Bruyne assist.

Victory means City are top of Group C with six points from two games and on course for qualification to the knockout stage.

Their next Champions League game is at home to Olympiakos on Tuesday, 3 November.

No strikers? No problem

City have been unfortunate with injuries to their strikers this season, with Sergio Aguero this week joining Gabriel Jesus on the sidelines.

City have not had both first-choice forwards available for any of their nine games in all competitions, and on only four occasions have they had one fit striker.

It prompted manager Pep Guardiola to experiment against Marseille with winger Torres handed a central attacking role on his first start in the Champions League for the club, with Phil Foden and Sterling on either side.

The experiment paid off, the trio providing an energy in attack that the five-man Marseille defence struggled to deal with, while De Bruyne was once again pulling the strings from just behind the front three.

Average position graphic
This graphic shows how high Manchester City pressed Marseille in the first half and were rewarded with the opener

After Torres' goal, it took a while for City to put the game to bed, with the two late goals adding the gloss that their performance deserved.

While the loss of City's two main strikers is a blow, this game not only highlighted that they can still score goals in their absence but also further underlined the importance of De Bruyne.

City became more effective when he came off the bench in the 1-1 draw against West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday, and he was again the heartbeat of the side as he finished this game with two assists.

'We are improving' - what they said

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: "Sometimes we are not good enough and sometimes the players of the opposing team are better than us. That is life.

"Today, with the social media, when you lose you are a complete disaster. The important thing is for the club to be stable and the players to know what we are doing, where we come from, where we are struggling and be calm.

"It is important to start the Champions League with two victories. We are close now to being in the last 16 but still we are just in the beginning, improving."

Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas: "It was a tough match to play and we paid for our mistakes, but we didn't defend too deep and my players were exceptional.

"The 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."

Torres strike makes history - the stats

  • Manchester City have won their opening two matches in the Champions League group stage for a third time in the past four seasons (also 2017-18 and 2019-20), while they are unbeaten in 13 matches in the group stage.
  • City's opening goal was their 600th under manager Pep Guardiola in all competitions. They have scored 117 more goals than any other Premier League side since Guardiola took charge in August 2016.
  • City's Ilkay Gundogan scored in consecutive Champions League appearances for the first time, with Tuesday's game his 54th appearance.
  • For a fifth time in their past six participations in the Champions League, Marseille have suffered defeat in their first two group games (2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2013-14 and 2020-21).
  • Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in 28 Champions League goals in 36 appearances under Guardiola (18 goals, 10 assists), more than any other City player since 2016-17.
  • Since his debut for City in September 2015, Kevin de Bruyne has assisted 88 goals in all competitions, 19 more than any other Premier League player in that time.
  • 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 next?

City travel to Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday (12:30 GMT).

Player of the match

De BruyneKevin De Bruyne

with an average of 8.19

Marseille

  1. Squad number26Player nameThauvin
    Average rating

    5.64

  2. Squad number22Player nameGueye
    Average rating

    5.53

  3. Squad number30Player nameMandanda
    Average rating

    5.53

  4. Squad number15Player nameCaleta-Car
    Average rating

    5.52

  5. Squad number3Player nameGonzález
    Average rating

    5.51

  6. Squad number4Player nameKamara
    Average rating

    5.47

  7. Squad number5Player nameBalerdi
    Average rating

    5.46

  8. Squad number8Player nameSanson
    Average rating

    5.46

  9. Squad number7Player nameRadonjic
    Average rating

    5.44

  10. Squad number18Player nameAmavi
    Average rating

    5.43

  11. Squad number2Player nameH Sakai
    Average rating

    5.43

  12. Squad number21Player nameRongier
    Average rating

    5.36

  13. Squad number9Player nameBenedetto
    Average rating

    5.33

  14. Squad number17Player nameCuisance
    Average rating

    5.21

  15. Squad number10Player namePayet
    Average rating

    5.07

Manchester City

  1. Squad number17Player nameDe Bruyne
    Average rating

    8.19

  2. Squad number47Player nameFoden
    Average rating

    7.59

  3. Squad number7Player nameSterling
    Average rating

    7.38

  4. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias
    Average rating

    7.30

  5. Squad number21Player nameTorres
    Average rating

    7.25

  6. Squad number2Player nameWalker
    Average rating

    7.21

  7. Squad number8Player nameGündogan
    Average rating

    7.13

  8. Squad number14Player nameLaporte
    Average rating

    7.09

  9. Squad number31Player nameEderson
    Average rating

    6.82

  10. Squad number16Player nameRodri
    Average rating

    6.78

  11. Squad number26Player nameMahrez
    Average rating

    6.67

  12. Squad number80Player namePalmer
    Average rating

    6.63

  13. Squad number27Player nameJoão Cancelo
    Average rating

    6.61

  14. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva
    Average rating

    6.58

  15. Squad number11Player nameZinchenko
    Average rating

    6.50

  16. Squad number5Player nameStones
    Average rating

    6.32

Line-ups

Marseille

  • 30Mandanda
  • 2H Sakai
  • 5Balerdi
  • 3González
  • 15Caleta-CarBooked at 71mins
  • 18AmaviBooked at 62mins
  • 21RongierSubstituted forSansonat 64'minutes
  • 4Kamara
  • 17CuisanceSubstituted forGueyeat 85'minutes
  • 26ThauvinSubstituted forPayetat 78'minutes
  • 7RadonjicSubstituted forBenedettoat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Ngapandouetnbu
  • 6Strootman
  • 8Sanson
  • 9Benedetto
  • 10Payet
  • 11de Lima
  • 16Pelé
  • 22Gueye
  • 23Aké
  • 25Nagatomo
  • 28Germain

Man City

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 14LaporteBooked at 58minsSubstituted forStonesat 77'minutes
  • 11ZinchenkoSubstituted forCanceloat 68'minutes
  • 8GündoganSubstituted forBernardo Silvaat 78'minutes
  • 16Rodri
  • 17De BruyneSubstituted forPalmerat 82'minutes
  • 7Sterling
  • 21TorresSubstituted forMahrezat 77'minutes
  • 47Foden

Substitutes

  • 5Stones
  • 13Steffen
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 26Mahrez
  • 27Cancelo
  • 33Carson
  • 50García
  • 61Nmecha
  • 69Doyle
  • 78Harwood-Bellis
  • 80Palmer
  • 82Bernabé
Referee:
Tobias Stieler

Match Stats

Home TeamMarseilleAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home36%
Away64%
Shots
Home2
Away8
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home1
Away5
Fouls
Home5
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Marseille 0, Manchester City 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Marseille 0, Manchester City 3.

  3. Post update

    Foul by João Cancelo (Manchester City).

  4. Post update

    Hiroki Sakai (Marseille) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Rodrigo (Manchester City).

  6. Post update

    Darío Benedetto (Marseille) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Phil Foden tries a through ball, but Cole Palmer is caught offside.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Marseille. Pape Alassane Gueye replaces Michaël Cuisance.

  9. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Rodrigo tries a through ball, but Cole Palmer is caught offside.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Cole Palmer replaces Kevin De Bruyne.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Marseille 0, Manchester City 3. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Marseille. Dimitri Payet replaces Florian Thauvin.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Marseille. Darío Benedetto replaces Nemanja Radonjic.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Bernardo Silva replaces Ilkay Gündogan.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. John Stones replaces Aymeric Laporte.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Riyad Mahrez replaces Ferran Torres.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Marseille 0, Manchester City 2. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling with a headed pass.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Hiroki Sakai.

  19. Booking

    Duje Caleta-Car (Marseille) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne tries a through ball, but Raheem Sterling is caught offside.

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