Man City 1 Lyon 2 Champions League group F

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Lyon players celebrate at the final whistle following their 2-1 win at Manchester City

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Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Man City 1 Lyon 2 Champions League group F

It was men against boys as Man Utd eased to victory in Switzerland

One-Minute Read

Thursday, September 20, 2018 – 8:49am

Manchester City 1 Lyon 2

Manchester City’s miserable Champions League record got even worse as they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Lyon.

It was the stuff of nightmares for Mikel Arteta, City’s assistant coach, who was acting as manager for the evening with Pep Guardiola in the stands serving a touchline suspension for his dismissal in last season’s quarter-final defeat to Liverpool.

Arteta could only look in agony as City were comprehensively outplayed by their French visitors, who along with Shakhtar Donetsk and Hoffenheim, were supposed to be cannon fodder for the English champions in group F. 

Champions League hoodoo

But the Sky Blues who turned up at the Etihad last night are not the same side who have dominated the Premier League for the past 15 months.

There’s clearly something about the Champions League that affects City, unsettles them, makes them susceptible to defeats against teams who, in the EPL, they would hammer.

So it was with Lyon, currently seventh in Ligue 1 with two wins from their first five matches. How can a team that is incapable of beating Reims and Caen on the road come to the Etihad and boss the English champions?

Because that’s what Lyon did for the first hour last night. They went one up on 26 minutes through Maxwel Cornet and Nabil Fekir then made it 2-0 just before the break, seizing on a defensive mistake to drill the ball past Ederson.

Memphis Depay should have added a third for the visitors on the hour mark when the former Manchester United man’s shot beat Ederson but not the post.

Game of two halves

Seven minutes later City had a goal back through Bernardo Silva but it wasn’t the start of the fightback many assumed.

Lyon hung on for a famous victory as City became the first English side to suffer four consecutive Champions League matches in the competition’s history.

“We saw two very different halves,” said Arterta. “We conceded many counter-attacks and at this level you get punished. In the second half we dominated and played in the opponent’s half and created many chances.”

Admitting it was a “disappointing” night, the Spaniard added: “I still believed we could do it. We reacted really well. On another day we could have come back. If you give cheap goals away it is difficult… we are usually strong at home. Now you have to go and win away from home.”

Young Boys 0 Manchester United 3

There was no such slip-up from Manchester United in their Champions League group H opener. Although they started slowly in Switzerland against Young Boys, the Red Devils had Paul Pogba to thank for calming their nerves with two goals late on in the first-half. Anthony Martial added a third midway through the second period as United strolled to a 3-0 victory.

Pogba praised by Mourinho

“Job done,” was how Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho described the result: “Not phenomenal but good enough. They were intense, compact and had self-esteem. Then after the first goal the game was under control. We tried to score the goals that gave us the stability for the second half.”

Pogba was undoubtedly United’s man-of-the-match, scoring twice and providing an assist for Martial’s goal as he looked every inch the World Cup winner.

“He felt tired in the last part of the game but it was a good performance,” reflected Mourinho. “Solid, class and gave the team the pace we needed at times. He controlled the tempo and of course it was a very good goal.”

Champions League results and fixtures

Matchday one results

Group A

  • Club Brugge 0 Borussia Dortmund 1 
  • Monaco 1 Atletico Madrid 2

Group B

  • Barcelona 4 PSV Eindhoven 0 
  • Inter Milan 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Group C

  • Red Star Belgrade 0 Napoli 0 
  • Liverpool 3 Paris Saint Germain 2

Group D

  • FC Schalke 04 1 FC Porto 1 
  • Galatasaray 3 Lokomotiv Moscow 0

Group E

  • Ajax 3 AEK Athens 0 
  • Benfica 0 Bayern Munich 2

Group F

  • Shakhtar Donetsk 2 1899 Hoffenheim 2 
  • Manchester City 1 Lyon 2

Group G

  • Real Madrid 3 Roma 0 
  • Viktoria Plzen 2 CSKA Moscow 2

Group H

  • Valencia 0 Juventus 2 
  • Young Boys 0 Manchester United 3 

Matchday two group fixtures

Tuesday 2 October

Group E

  • AEK Athens vs. Benfica (8pm) 
  • Bayern Munich vs. Ajax (8pm)

Group F

  • 1899 Hoffenheim vs. Manchester City (5.55pm) 
  • Lyon vs. Shakhtar Donetsk (8pm)

Group G

  • CSKA Moscow vs. Real Madrid (8pm) 
  • Roma vs. Viktoria Plzen (8pm)

Group H

  • Juventus vs. Young Boys (5.55pm) 
  • Manchester United vs. Valencia (8pm)
Wednesday 3 October

Group A

  • Atlético Madrid vs. Club Brugge (8pm) 
  • Borussia Dortmund vs. Monaco (8pm)

Group B

  • PSV Eindhoven vs. Inter Milan (8pm) 
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Barcelona (8pm)

Group C

  • Paris Saint Germain vs. Red Star Belgrade (5.55pm) 
  • Napoli vs. Liverpool (8pm)

Group D

  • Lokomotiv Moscow vs. FC Schalke 04 (5.55pm) 
  • FC Porto vs. Galatasaray (8pm)

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