Manchester City’s winner Gabriel Jesus, fresh from scoring a goal, certainly would not intend to take a dig at Paris Saint-Germain.
Even though the striker’s remarks after City’s 2-1 win on Wednesday – as both teams progressed into the Champions League – cut the heart of the contrasts in his performance.
“We have a lot of players who can help the team. He said, ‘Everyone wants to give good balls to other players. No one is selfish.”
PSG had 11 of their players on the field at the Etihad Stadium – with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe leading the attack – but it didn’t always seem like there was a whole team out there.
“He has a lot of quality,” said City manager Pep Guardiola. “We try to keep the players off target.”
It was the less glamorous Brazilian attacker on the scoresheet rather than Neymar in the cold of Manchester. Brought off the bench in the second half to give City the No. 9, Gabriel Jesus completed City’s return with a scuffed shot after being bullied by Bernardo Silva.
“We attack well in the spaces and quality from Bernardo,” said Guardiola. “When you talk about the right technique, that is it. The right pace and doing it at the right time to give your teammate the best chance of scoring a goal.”
City finished top of Group A and met the runners-up in Round 16 in February.
Silva said, “It was a little disappointing in the first half, because it looked like we were controlling the game, we thought we were putting high pressure, winning the ball, taking possession but it felt like That we’re not scoring again.” ,
The clash of the competition’s richest teams, who have yet to win European football’s top prize, came to full force in the 50th minute when Mbappe put PSG ahead after an interchange between Messi and Neymar.
But City’s attacking dominance that defined the first half saw Raheem Sterling’s left foot equalize in the cross from Kyle Walker before the winner came on in the 76th.
“After the goal we got at the beginning of the second half, the team got a good response,” said Silva.
PSG are also certain to go as runners-up, with Leipzig beating Club Brugge 5–0.
All four English teams will now be in the knockout stage, with City joining defending champions Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Who will be in charge of United in February – or next season – there was an intrigue linked to a vacancy in Manchester’s red half created by the firing of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino at the Etihad Stadium.
Pochettino, who reached the 2019 Champions League final with Tottenham before reaching the final, was hesitant to make his future for PSG.
“The players know our position very well. “They know their position. We are living in a business where there are rumours.”
The Champions League is the trophy that Pochettino owes to Qatari ownership. Just as Guardiola is trying to reward with so much investment from Abu Dhabi.
This encouraged Guardiola as his team beat PSG – just like the previous season – after losing 2-0 in a group game in Paris in September.
“He has a lot of quality defensively with low passes and everything,” Guardiola said. “We had a good game but the most important thing is that today we did it again and against a top side.”