Champions League - Group C
Man CityManchester City3MarseilleMarseille0

Manchester City 3-0 Marseille: Pep Guardiola praises Sergio Aguero's scoring instinct

By Simon StoneBBC Sport at Etihad
Sergio Aguero scores against Marseille
Sergio Aguero was making just his fifth appearance of the season

Pep Guardiola believes Sergio Aguero will never lose his scoring instinct after the veteran striker made a goalscoring return from injury against Marseille in the Champions League.

Aguero had missed the last three games with a knee injury but scored 10 minutes after coming off the bench to add to Ferran Torres' opener at the Etihad.

Alvaro Gonzalez then put into his own net as he tried to stop Raheem Sterling scoring to wrap up a comfortable win for City, who had already won Group C prior to Wednesday's game.

Aguero, 32, was making just his fifth appearance of an injury-hit season so far, but Guardiola praised the Argentina international's continued threat in front of goal.

"His instinct to score will always be there," said Guardiola.

"He had three or four training sessions and the reaction was good. He played for 25 minutes and scored a goal."

Guardiola, however, confirmed that Saturday's Manchester derby comes too soon for Aguero to make a return to City's starting line-up.

His strike moved him onto 41 Champions League goals and level with Neymar, who got a hat-trick earlier in the day, in the battle to be the competition's top South American goalscorer - with the obvious exception of Lionel Messi, who has 118.

Record-breaking City

Ferran Torres scores against Marseille
Ferran Torres' strike was the 1,000th Manchester City goal scored at the Etihad

The victory earned City a number of notable milestones.

A group points tally of 16 from six games is their biggest haul and matches the most achieved by any English club at this stage.

However, while Arsenal (2005-06) and Tottenham (2017-18) also managed the same tally, only Manchester United (2007-08) used it as a springboard to win the competition.

City also conceded only one goal in topping Group C, a feat last achieved by fierce rivals Manchester United among English clubs, in 2010-11.

"I am really happy for the way we played in all the games without exception," added Guardiola. "We scored goals, we conceded few.

"In general good in all the games, we are into the next round now and we'll see the incredible teams so it's an interesting draw. Hopefully we arrive in a good shape, good mood and we will see."

Before a trip to Old Trafford, Guardiola could not have asked for a more straightforward assignment against Marseille, although it was not without one negative.

The City boss has been one of the most vocal managers expressing concern about the physical demands expected of the players this season.

So he probably was not surprised to see defender Eric Garcia, whose contract expires at the end of the season, unable to continue after suffering what seemed to be a hip injury midway through the opening period.

Garcia's exit brought England defender John Stones into the fray.

From looking like he had no City future when he went two months without a Premier League appearance following the £65m arrival of Ruben Dias from Benfica, Stones has suddenly muscled his way back into Guardiola's plans.

And, in a first half devoid of any real goalmouth action, Stones slid in to deny Valere Germain a shooting chance in one of the few moments of danger around the City goal.

The lack of activity was bitterseet for USA keeper Zack Steffen, who was making his Champions League debut.

Steffen was only called upon once in the first half, to block a Pape Gueye effort from an acute angle that was probably going wide anyway.

He had even less to do in the second half, when he was reduced to the role of spectator, which is almost certain to be his role at the weekend, with Ederson due to return to the starting line-up.

Torres second only to Raul - the stats

  • Manchester City have progressed as group winners in each of their past four Champions League campaigns.
  • Marseille have lost eight consecutive Champions League away games for the first time - a run that stretches back to 2012.
  • Ferran Torres has scored four goals in five Champions League games for Manchester City, twice as many as he netted for Valencia in the competition (two goals in nine appearances).
  • Among Spanish players, only Raul (eight) scored more Champions League goals before turning 21 than Torres (six, level with Cesc Fabregas).
  • Manchester City's Ederson is the first goalkeeper to keep five or more clean sheets in the Champions League group stages for an English team since Pepe Reina for Liverpool in 2005-06.
  • Raheem Sterling has scored seven goals in all competitions this season, more than any other Manchester City player.

What next?

Manchester City face Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday, 12 December (17:30 GMT).

Player of the match

TorresFerran Torres

with an average of 8.10

Manchester City

  1. Squad number21Player nameTorres
    Average rating

    8.10

  2. Squad number10Player nameAgüero
    Average rating

    8.02

  3. Squad number6Player nameAké
    Average rating

    7.31

  4. Squad number5Player nameStones
    Average rating

    7.31

  5. Squad number25Player nameFernandinho
    Average rating

    7.20

  6. Squad number7Player nameSterling
    Average rating

    7.16

  7. Squad number14Player nameLaporte
    Average rating

    7.12

  8. Squad number26Player nameMahrez
    Average rating

    7.07

  9. Squad number13Player nameSteffen
    Average rating

    6.89

  10. Squad number8Player nameGündogan
    Average rating

    6.84

  11. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva
    Average rating

    6.82

  12. Squad number2Player nameWalker
    Average rating

    6.79

  13. Squad number50Player nameGarcía
    Average rating

    6.14

  14. Squad number47Player nameFoden
    Average rating

    4.99

Marseille

  1. Squad number30Player nameMandanda
    Average rating

    6.05

  2. Squad number2Player nameH Sakai
    Average rating

    5.29

  3. Squad number23Player nameAké
    Average rating

    5.29

  4. Squad number26Player nameThauvin
    Average rating

    5.24

  5. Squad number3Player nameGonzález
    Average rating

    5.15

  6. Squad number4Player nameKamara
    Average rating

    5.13

  7. Squad number25Player nameNagatomo
    Average rating

    5.13

  8. Squad number22Player nameGueye
    Average rating

    5.11

  9. Squad number8Player nameSanson
    Average rating

    5.04

  10. Squad number10Player namePayet
    Average rating

    5.01

  11. Squad number5Player nameBalerdi
    Average rating

    5.01

  12. Squad number17Player nameCuisance
    Average rating

    4.96

  13. Squad number28Player nameGermain
    Average rating

    4.95

  14. Squad number6Player nameStrootman
    Average rating

    4.94

  15. Squad number9Player nameBenedetto
    Average rating

    4.88

  16. Squad number21Player nameRongier
    Average rating

    4.87

Line-ups

Man City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Steffen
  • 2Walker
  • 50GarcíaSubstituted forStonesat 28'minutes
  • 14Laporte
  • 6Aké
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 8GündoganSubstituted forSterlingat 45'minutes
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forAgüeroat 67'minutes
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 47Foden
  • 21Torres

Substitutes

  • 5Stones
  • 7Sterling
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 10Agüero
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 22Mendy
  • 27Cancelo
  • 33Carson
  • 61Nmecha
  • 69Doyle
  • 80Palmer
  • 82Bernabé

Marseille

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 30Mandanda
  • 2H Sakai
  • 3González
  • 5Balerdi
  • 25Nagatomo
  • 4KamaraSubstituted forRongierat 66'minutes
  • 26ThauvinSubstituted forAkéat 75'minutes
  • 8Sanson
  • 22GueyeBooked at 39minsSubstituted forStrootmanat 75'minutes
  • 28GermainSubstituted forBenedettoat 75'minutes
  • 10PayetSubstituted forCuisanceat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Strootman
  • 9Benedetto
  • 11de Lima
  • 15Caleta-Car
  • 16Pelé
  • 17Cuisance
  • 21Rongier
  • 23Aké
  • 24Khaoui
  • 32Perrin
  • 50Vanni
Referee:
Halil Umut Meler

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamMarseille
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home15
Away8
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home8
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester City 3, Marseille 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester City 3, Marseille 0.

  3. Post update

    Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Valentin Rongier (Marseille).

  5. Goal!

    Own Goal by Álvaro González, Marseille. Manchester City 3, Marseille 0.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Phil Foden (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

  7. Post update

    Ferran Torres (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Kevin Strootman (Marseille).

  9. Post update

    Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

  10. Post update

    Marley Aké (Marseille) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Phil Foden.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Álvaro González.

  13. Goal!

    Goal! Manchester City 2, Marseille 0. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner following a corner.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Nathan Aké (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Phil Foden with a cross.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Álvaro González.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Marseille. Darío Benedetto replaces Valère Germain.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Marseille. Marley Aké replaces Florian Thauvin.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Marseille. Kevin Strootman replaces Pape Gueye.

  19. Post update

    Offside, Marseille. Morgan Sanson tries a through ball, but Valère Germain is caught offside.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Marseille. Michaël Cuisance replaces Dimitri Payet.

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