Marseille 0-3 Manchester City: Champions League - as it happened

Last modified: 10: 18 PM GMT+0

Ferran Torres, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling got the goals as Manchester City showed signs of a return to their best against insipid hosts

Pep's post-match reaction

“We played really well,” he tells BT Sport. “We didn’t concede much, hardly anything. We were absolutely under control. We were patient, we were so aggressive without the ball ... we played really well. I am so satisfied for the performance, for the victory because winning away is always difficult but we did it.”

On Kevin De Bruyne: Kevin always plays good and does something special. I’m so happy he’s back after two weeks out injured and yeah, he played really well again.”

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 year’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 Marseille’s general gutlessness went unremarked upon. They set up to contain, went a goal behind and continued to try to soak up City’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 City’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 doesn’t quite spin a Marseille defneder and find himself through on goal after receiving a pass from Cancelo. His touch wasn’t quite good enough but we’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 Marseille’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. They’ve played very well tonight, even if it took them longer than Pep might have liked to make sure of all three points.

86 min: Marseille substitution: Pape Gueye on for Michael Cuisance.

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.

Sterling scores City’s third goal
Sterling scores City’s third goal Photograph: Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC/Getty Images


78 min: Marseille substitution: Dmitri Payet on for Florian Thauvin.

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.

Gundogan scores
Gundogan scores Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters


74 min: Manchester City corner, which De Bruyne takes quickly and short to Cancelo. Whatever they were planning doesn’t quite come off ... unless they were planning to get in each other’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 he’d played the ball up the inside right towards Sterling. “He could have killed him,” shouts Sterling at the referee, with more than a hint of hyperbole.

70 min: There’s a break as Marseille’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. It’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. It’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 it’s going wide and leaves it, then realises it might be on target and gets a wrist to it just before it’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. It’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 we’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. It’s cleared. Better from Marseille. Much better.

48 min: Florian Thauvin gets a cross from the right into the City penalty area but it’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. It’s irresponsible and dangerous, not to mention more than a little pointless when there are no crowds at games. Tonight’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. THey’ve given Marseille an absolute pasting, but the French side have defended well and ridden their luck at times. It’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 it’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 Zinchenko’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.

33 min: Playing a little higher up the pitch, Marseille are finally getting something resembling a foothold in the game. It’s not much of one - but it’s an improvement. They needed to do something.

31 min: Kevin De Bruyne ships a sore one when a defender treads on his instep as he runs forward at speed. Don’t panic, City fans - he’s OK. Moments later, Sterling goes on a jinking run into the Marseille penalty area, runs into traffic and pulls the ball back to his captain, who shoots over from a tight angle.

De Bruyne reacts after a strong challenge
De Bruyne reacts after a strong challenge Photograph: Álex Caparrós/Getty Images


28 min: Marseille beat the City press and advance down the field at speed with Rongier on the ball. It’s played across to the right flank, where Michael Cuisance ruins a very promising move with a dreadful cross.

27 min: There’s a break in play as Kevin De Bruyne kicks the ball out of play so Florian Thauvin can receive treatment after a clash with Ilkay Gundogan. The former Newcastle striker is fit to carry on and play resumes.

24 min: The game increasingly resembles a practice match, with shouts echoing around the empty stadium. We’re a little over halfway through the first half and Marseille already look a completely beaten docket.


21 min: Free-kick in the channel between penalty area and touchline for Manchester City, after a foul by Rongier. Kevin De Bruyne crosses for Aymeric Laporte and his whipped delivery is wonderful. Laporte gets a touch but Mandanda saves.

20 min: Valentin Rongier was the guilty party in the build-up to that goal, playing a rogue pass back to to Duje Caleta-Car, who didn’t help the cause by letting the ball run past his body. Spotting the opportunity, De Bruyne didn’t need a second invitation.

GOAL! Marseille 0-1 Man City (Torres 18)

City lead and it’s been in the post for Marseille. A wayward pass just outside the Marseille penalty area is pounced on by Kevin De Bruyne. His low cross from the right is fired home from six yards out by Ferran Torres. .

Torres beats Mandanda to put Man City ahead
Torres beats Mandanda to put Man City ahead Photograph: Dave Winter/BPI/REX/Shutterstock
Torres thanks De Bruyne for the assist
Torres thanks De Bruyne for the assist Photograph: Dave Winter/BPI/REX/Shutterstock


15 min: Ilkay Gundogan takes a pass down the right from Sterling and drills a low cross into the Marseille penalty area. It travels all the way across the face of goal but there’s nobody on hand to convert. Moments later, a cross comes in from the left, but again there’s no-one there to head home. You’d have put the farm on Sergio Aguero scoring either, but he’s at home kicking his heels.

13 min: City continue to press and probe with Marseille defending with two tight banks of four lined out just in front of their own penalty area. Some precision passing will be required from City, an area of their game that’s been a bit off in recent games. Phil Foden tries his luck with a low diagonal effort, but Mandanda saves easily at his near post.

12 min: City gallop down the left flank on the counter with Phil Foden on the ball. He plays it inside to Kevin De Bruyne, who is up in support, but the Belgian’s first touch is uncharacteristically leaden and allows Marseille to clear their lines.

11 min: Manchester City are yet to force a save out of Steve Mandanda, but are completely dominating Marseille here.

9 min: Raheem Sterling has a debate with the linesman, telling him “the first one’s a foul”. The first what? I don’t know. Next: Cat Stevens turns up and tells referee Tobias Stieler that The First Cut Is The Deepest.

Sterling in action with Marseille’s Amavi
Sterling in action with Marseille’s Amavi Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters


6 min: Oleg Zinchenko and Phil Foden combine down the left and the England international crosses. The ball’s put out for another corner. Nothing comes of this one either.

5 min: Mandanda is forced to hack a back-pass out of play under pressure and Manchester City continue to keep their hosts under pressure. Marseille are strugling to get the ball out of their own half. They’ve set up very defensively.

3 min: City win another corner. Kevin De Bruyne sends the ball into the penalty and Ruben Dias heads high over the crossbar.

2 min: Manchester city go on the attack ealry doors following a crisp passing move. The ball’s played forward towards Kevin De Bruyne, whose volley takes a deflection and goes over the bar for a corner. Nothing comes from the set-piece, as the ref blows for an infringement and awards Marseille a free-kick. The ball’s played back to Steve Mandanda, their goalkeeper.

Marseille v Manchester City is go ...

1 min: Manchester City get the ball rolling, their players wearing all black. Their hosts are a vision in white with light blue trim.

Josep Guardiola and Marseille’s coach Andre Villas Boas watch the game
Josep Guardiola and Marseille’s coach Andre Villas Boas watch the game Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images


Not long now: Tobias Stieler leads his team of match officials out on to the pitch, followed by the players of Marseille. Manchester City follow, led by Kevin De Bruyne. A number of Champions League matches tonight have fans in the stand but this is not one of them. The Stade Velodrome’s 67,000 seats are empty.

In other unrelated news: Cristiano Ronaldo has been ruled out of tomorrow’s Champions clash between Juventus and Barcelona after testing positive for covid ... again. The Portuguese has not played since testing positive for the virus after his country’s scoreless draw with France during the most recent international break and will presumably have to spend another period in quarantine. At least he’s fond of himself, eh? It may not prove too much of an ordeal.

Marseille v Manchester City
Marseille’s players warm up. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA

Big news from Spain ...

It’s being reported that Barcelona president Josep María Bartomeu will formally resign from his role later this evening.

Those teams: Aymeric Laporte is back on the pitch for Manchester City for the first time since their draw against Leeds United at the start of the month, while Kevin De Bruyne makes his first start for the side since the same game. For Marseille, Dmitri Payer is in the match-day squad but starts on the bench.

Marseille v Manchester City
Raheem Sterling of Manchester City, Bernardo Silva and Ederson enjoy a pre-match stroll. Photograph: Dave Winter/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

Marseille v Manchester City line-ups

Marseille: Mandanda, Sakai, Alvaro, Kamara, Amavi, Balerdi, Radonjic, Caleta-Car, Cuisance, Rongier, Thauvin

Subs: Ngapandouetnbu, Pele, Strootman, Sanson, Benedetto, Payet, Luis Henrique, Gueye, Ake, Nagatomo, Germain

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne, Foden, Torres, Sterling

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Stones, Bernardo, Mahrez, Cancelo, Garcia, Nmecha, Doyle, Harwood-Bellis, Palmer, Bernabe

A word from Pep Guardiola

Asked about his team’s injury problems, the Manchester City manager said they were not at any more or less a disadvantage than other big clubs. “We are not an exception compared to the other teams competing in Europe,” he said. “We’re on the same schedule. Now it is recovery, preparation, recovery and preparation. We don’t have time to train much.

“We have 47 per cent more muscular injuries than the same period last season. It’s not just about City, it’s about everywhere. If people can reflect on this, protect the guys, it will improve. If they don’t, it will increase. We will arrive in a few months in January and I guess it will be the same. It has increased a lot because it is normal. We have to protect the players as much as possible. The strongest will survive, the others will fall down.”

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola addresses the ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate during last night’s press conference. Photograph: Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC/Getty Images

A word from Andre Villas-Boas

Speaking to France 24, the Marseille manager was quick to praise Manchester City and talk up their chances of win Europe’s top competition. “They are a machine ready to win the Champions League,” he said. “They may not be at their best level, their coach admitted that. That’s why I allow myself to say that, but they are still at a higher level than us and remain the favourites. Pep is able to create surprises and the problem with City is that they have several dynamics and they can adapt. For us, however, this is not a game for experimenting.”

Andre Villas Boas
Marseille’s Portuguese coach Andre Villas Boas attends to his duties during his side’s defeat at the hands of Olympiakos last week. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

Tonight’s German match officials

  • Referee: Tobias Stieler
  • Assistant referees: Mike Pickel and Christian Gittelmann
  • Fourth official: Florian Badstubner
  • VAR: Sascha Stegemann
Tobias Stieler
German referee Tobias Stieler is tasked with maintaining order tonight. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Early Marseille team news

Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas, formerly of the Tottenham and Chelsea parishes, has no injury concerns ahead of tonight’s game and will almost certainly welcome Dmitri Payet back into his line-up after the French international sat out his team’s weekend win over Lorient on the Naughty Step.

Dmitri Payer
Dmitri Payet (pictured above, right, during his days as a West Ham maverick) is expected to start up front for Marseille. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Early Manchester City team news

Following their less than convincing start to the Premier League season, Manchester City have been dealt a blow with the news their striker Sergio Aguero will be out for at least two weeks with a muscle injury that forced him off at half-time in his side’s draw with West Ham.

The 32-year-old joins Fernadinho, Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy on the sidelines. Central defender Aymeric Laporte is fit again, while Nathan Ake is nearing a return. Kevin De Bruyne looks a likely starter following his return off the bench at the London Stadium, while Raheem Sterling may play as a false nine in the absence of Aguero and Jesus.

Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling looks enthused by the prospect of playing as a false nine against Marseille. Photograph: Oli Scarff/PA

Group C: Marseille v Manchester City

The Stade Velodrome is the venue for the first ever meeting of Marseille and Manchester City in the second round of group games. City got off to a winning start with a come-from-behind win over Porto last week, while their hosts suffered a reverse to the Greek side Olympiakos in Athens.

In these early stages of the tournament, defeat need not be a disaster but the French side will be eager to get at least one point on the board after a run of games that has seen them win just two of their past seven at home and in Europe. Kick-off in France is at 8pm (GMT) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.


Barry Glendenning

The GuardianTramp

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