Paris Saint-Germain suffered a potentially dangerous draw in the last 16 of the Champions League when Manchester City topped Group A with a 2-1 win over the star-studded French team on Wednesday.
Five minutes after the second half, Kylian Mbappe put PSG ahead against the game run in the alliance.
But City’s pressure eventually resulted in Rahim Sterling and Gabriel Jesus scoring goals for the English champions.
PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino had to answer questions in a pre-match press conference about whether he could move to Manchester permanently to fill a vacant management role at United.
“The players are well aware of our situation. We are living in a business where there are rumors, sometimes positive, sometimes negative,” Pochettino said, adding that speculation has affected his team.
Argentina’s first year in the French capital has been a long way from a simple journey, despite a top 11-point lead in Ligue 1.
The arrival of Lionel Messi to join Mbappe and Neymar to form a formidable three-way front has raised expectations that Pochettino will take on Paris’ first Champions League crown.
But now they could face holders like Chelsea, Bayern Munich or Liverpool in the last 16.
The blessings and curses of the three very talented forwards in Pochettino’s possession were evidenced by the fact that the visitors were overwhelmed at midfield.
“We have to make improvements,” Pochettino added. Things are better than a month ago and much better than two months ago. The team is slowly getting better. “
The city’s collective harmony was better than the clash of styles, but it lacked the clinical superiority offered by PSG’s Galacticos.
Presnel Kimpembe knocked Rodri’s goalbound header off the line before Achraf Hakimi set Riaz Mehriz’s shot to the top corner of the bar.
Despite the absence of Kevin de Bruyne, Jack Grellish and Phil Foden’s midfield trio, City were still creating opportunities on their own as Messi, Neymar and Mbabane provided little help in defending their teammates.
Alec Gundogan had the best of hosts before the break, but his curling effort backfired on the post.
Mbappe showed the hosts how to do it five minutes after the break as he drilled under Messi’s deflected cross below Anderson’s legs.
But the pattern of the game remained as City moved on and finally found their way.
“We were 1-0 down and we had to keep going,” said city boss Pep Guardiola. “A big compliment and congratulations to the players.”
Kyle Walker’s cross escaped Jesus, but in the previous post he just rolled kindly for sterling in his fourth goal of the season.
Pochettino increased his attacking trident by introducing Angel Di Maria in response and gave Neymar a great chance to regain PSG’s lead, beating only his international teammate Ederson for Brazil. Reached a wide area to give.
Moments later, another smart team move from City made a deserving winner.
Mehriz’s cross picked up Bernardo Silva at the back post, who quietly turned the ball back into Jesus’ way to get home.
“We have a lot of players who can help the team. Everyone wants to give good balls to other players,” Jesus said, bridging the gap between the two sides. “No one is selfish.”
Victory gave the city an invincible four-point lead at the top of the section with just one game.
But a 5-0 defeat to RB Leipzig’s Club Brugge means PSG are guaranteed second place.