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Marseille 0-3 Manchester City: Visitors ease to victory

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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.

What next?

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

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Marseille

  1. Squad number30Player nameMandanda

  2. Squad number2Player nameH Sakai

  3. Squad number5Player nameBalerdi

  4. Squad number3Player nameGonzález

  5. Squad number15Player nameCaleta-Car

  6. Squad number18Player nameAmavi

  7. Squad number21Player nameRongier

  8. Squad number4Player nameKamara

  9. Squad number17Player nameCuisance

  10. Squad number26Player nameThauvin

  11. Squad number7Player nameRadonjic

  1. Squad number8Player nameSanson

  2. Squad number9Player nameBenedetto

  3. Squad number10Player namePayet

  4. Squad number22Player nameGueye

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

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