Striker Gabriel Jesus scored a late winner as Manchester City came from behind to beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday, with both sides advancing through to the last 16 of the competition.
Kylian Mbappe continued his impressive form in front of goal when opened the scoring at the Etihad Stadium on 50 minutes, but goals from winger Raheem Sterling and Jesus were enough to claim a comeback victory for City, who secured top spot in Group A with one match to play.
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Despite Wednesday’s result, PSG have secured a place in the knockout rounds after Club Brugge suffered a heavy loss to the already-eliminated RB Leipzig.
City, who were without Kevin De Bruyne due the midfielder testing positive for COVID-19, enjoyed the better of the chances in the first half. PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe came to his side’s rescue early on, clearing the ball off the line from a Rodri header at the back post. The hosts went close again just after half-hour mark when Ilkay Gundogan hit the woodwork after the ball dropped to him on the edge of the box.
PSG broke the deadlock early in the second half as Mbappe sat unmarked at the far post when he received a superb cut back from Lionel Messi, slotting it home between the legs of goalkeeper Ederson.
However, Pep Guardiola’s side hit back soon after. Sterling poked in an equalizer at the far post on 62 minutes following a period of sustained pressure.
“It is a good lesson. When you are losing you have to continue. We knew a draw was a good result for us, but we won,” said Guardiola.
“Always I believe with their forwards, the further they are from our goal the safer we are. Look at the action of Neymar when he missed the shot. They found that from nothing. We have to defend as a team. I thought we were brilliant today,” he added.
Neymar went close to grabbing a winner shortly after when he missed the target from inside the 18-yard box, but it was Jesus that turned hero on Wednesday, using one touch to score from a delicate Bernardo Silva layoff as City avenged their 2-0 defeat in the reverse fixture in Paris earlier in the competition.
“We have a lot of players who can help the team,” Jesus said. “Everyone wants to give good balls to other players. Nobody is selfish.”
PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino has been subject to interest from Manchester United over the vacant manager’s role, sources have told ESPN, but he focused on his PSG side in his postmatch interview, saying he was pleased to advance to the next stages of the competition.
“The important thing is to qualify,” he told BT sport. “We beat City in Parc des Princes, we lost here. The difference is the draw against Leipzig and [that is] why we finish second.”
“After 0-0 in the first half, we score and I think we were calm as we were controlling it really well. You have to give credit to Manchester City, they are a very good team.”
Asked again afterward about the Manchester United speculation, Pochettino added: “The players know very well our situation … They know their situation. We are living in a business where rumors are there.”