For the first time this season, Barcelona conceded and eventually lost, succumbing to a strong PSG performance and a 3-2 result. Manchester City remain win-less in the group stage so far this season, finishing their home match with Roma in a 1-1 draw.

Barcelona seemed a bit lethargic throughout their visit to Paris, only awaken by conceding goals or when the time to try and save a point was running out. PSG opened the match with a goal from David Luiz in the 10th minute, but that only sparked a Barcelona reply through some beautiful passing, with Lionel Messi on the finishing end to make it 68 goals for him in the Champions League.

Of all people, it was Marco Veratti in the 26th minute that gave PSG the lead again. The smallest player on the pitch took advantage of confusion between Ter Stegen and Ivan Rakitic to head in a corner. Blaise Matuidi was on the finishing end of a counter attack early in the second half, and all Barcelona could do was a goal from Neymar to make things interesting in the end, while Munir El Haddadi and Sandro were the closest to equalize.


A foolish foul by Maicon in the fourth minute gave Manchester City, playing in something that wasn’t remotely close to a full house inside the Etihad, a chance to score from the penalty spot, easily converted by Maicon. But Roma played smart football, relying on speed up front and made it difficult for Manchester City to create chances close to the goal.

The plan worked perfectly, and in the 23rd minute, Radja Nainggolan set up a counter attack goal for the never ending Francesco Totti, becoming the oldest scorer in the history of the competition, past his 38th birthday. Roma didn’t risk Joe Hart too many times, but were never in real danger despite the pressure in the final minutes of the match.

It’s happening again to Manchester City. Another group of death, and not for the first time, a side they’re supposedly superior to seems smarter tactically than them. There are still alleged easy six points against CSKA and a home match with Bayern, but slowly, they’re losing control of their own fate in the competition.

Blaise Matuidi

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