Man City cruises to win at Marseille

Marseille - Man City
Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images
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Marseille – Man City: Kevin De Bruyne returned to the lineup and set up two goals as Manchester City collected an impressive 3-0 win at Marseille in the UEFA Champions League group stage play on Tuesday.

Ferran Torres scored and set up Ilkay Gundogan for another, with Raheem Sterling rounding out the goals for City.

[ UCL: Full lineups, stats, box scores ]

Torres and Gundogan also scored in City’s 3-1 group-opening defeat of Porto, as City’s six points put them three ahead of Porto and Olympiacos in Group C.

Pep Guardiola’s men head to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United on Saturday before Olympiacos visits the Etihad Stadium on Nov. 3.

Marseille – Man City saw some quality goals but ultimately served as a


Three things we learned from Marseille – Man City

1. KDB + Laporte = Man City win: Both Aymeric Laporte and Kevin De Bruyne returned to the Starting XI with performances that reminded anyone willing to recall that they are the most indispensable players to Pep Guardiola’s unit (as we learned during long-term injuries to the former last season and KDB two seasons ago).

Rodri and Sergio Aguero aren’t too far behind, but KDB was ready to go from Moment No. 1 and the composed Laporte was unsurprisingly quite at home on French soil. Even better, he looked good next to Ruben Dias.

Look at KDB’s smart and paced run from his own half to the final third on the third goal. A smart player with the technique to match.

2. Torres up top: Another Sergio Aguero saw Guardiola turn to Ferran Torres at center forward, allowing Raheem Sterling to stay on the wing. While Torres won’t be compared to Fernando Torres any time soon, the wide man responded with a goal in his second-straight UCL outing. Something to watch moving forward.

3. Marseille disappoints (at least in entertainment): There’s no question that we expected a stiffer challenge from Marseille than Porto, but the French hosts showed a ton of respect to their Premier League visitors. The bench saw Kevin Strootman, Valere Germain, Dimitri Payet, and Morgan Sanson as something like a 5-3-2 greeted them.

Too bad, even if it worked for a while. Andre Villas-Boas’ defense-first formation meant Marseille tried to hit on the counter. At 36 percent possession but both of its shots on target entering the final 15 minutes, it was simply a lack of finish that cost OM. By the time they went down 2-0 and inserted Payet, Pape Gueye, and Dario Benedetto, it was not going to happen for them.

Man of the Match

It’s KDB.