MX23RW : Monday, June 24 18:19:56| >> :600:17893056:17893056:
Nov 27, 2018 at 8pm UK at ​Stade de Gerland
Attendance: 56,039
Man CityManchester City
Cornet (55', 81')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Laporte (62'), Aguero (83')

Live Commentary: Lyon 2-2 Manchester City - as it happened

Relive how Man City battled to a 2-2 draw with Lyon to book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates from France.
Live Commentary: Lyon 2-2 Man City - as it happened
© Reuters

Manchester City qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League courtesy of a 2-2 draw with Lyon tonight.

Pep Guardiola's side were made to battle hard for the point which keeps them top of Group F, twice coming from behind to cancel out second-half strikes from Maxwel Cornet.

Aymeric Laporte notched City's first equaliser on 62 minutes with a well-directed header across Anthony Lopes and Sergio Aguero levelled again in similar fashion late on.

A point against Hoffenheim in the final gameweek of the group stage will ensure that the Citizens progress to the knockout stages as group winners.

Relive how the action unfolded in France with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

Manchester City were dealt their only defeat of the season so far when Lyon visited the Etihad Stadium in September. If Pep Guardiola's side can return the favour in France tonight then they will secure passage to the Champions League knockout stages as Group F winners. Let's get to the team news...

LYON: Lopes; Rafael, Denayer, Marcelo, Marcal, Mendy; Ndombele, Aouar; Fekir; Depay, Cornet
Subs: Gorgelin, Tete, Morel, Diop, Tousart, Traore, Terrier

MAN CITY: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko; Fernandinho, Silva; Mahrez, Sane, Sterling; Aguero
Subs: Muric, Danilo, Kompany, Delph, Otamendi, Foden, Diaz

Guardiola makes three changes from the side which dispatched of West Ham United 4-0 in the Premier League on Saturday, one of them enforced with Ilkay Gundogan out through injury. Nicolas Otamendi and Fabian Delph drop out of defence as John Stones, Alexander Zinchenko and Riyad Mahrez come in.

Gabriel Jesus is also in the treatment room so Sergio Aguero regains his Champions League starting spot, having made way for the Brazilian in the consecutive wins over Shakhtar Donetsk. With Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez all behind him, he shouldn't be short of service!

Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva's injuries mean that City's star-studded squad is stretched and the bench light on attacking options. Brahim Diaz, who scored both goals in a recent 2-0 EFL Cup win over Fulham, might be hoping for another opportunity to impress if a goal is needed in the second half.

One City youngster who may be disappointed to only be among the substitutes is Phil Foden. The highly-rated 18-year-old midfielder had been tipped to start with Bernardo, De Bruyne and Gundogan unavailable but Guardiola has not given the England youngster his vote of confidence for this game.

Having said that, Guardiola insisted this week that Foden is ready for this sort of big-game occasion. He told BBC Sport: "Phil's definitely ready. When Phil appeared in the last pre-season game I was incredibly impressed and I think he's stronger and more conscious that he's able to play with us. In pre-season or during the season, a few minutes or 90 minutes, he always plays good."

Having said that, Guardiola insisted this week that Foden is ready for this sort of big-game occasion. He told BBC Sport: "Phil's definitely ready. When Phil appeared in the last pre-season game I was incredibly impressed and I think he's stronger and more conscious that he's able to play with us. In pre-season or during the season, a few minutes or 90 minutes, he always plays good."

Foden made two Champions League starts for Man City last term - the Citizens lost both games 2-1 to Shakhtar Donetsk and Basel. That might explain why Guardiola has erred on the side of caution tonight, and he also has Fabian Delph in reserve so Foden may not even get a look in off the bench.

Eventually Guardiola may have to put his money where his mouth is with the U17 World Cup-winning captain to avoid another Jaden Sancho situation. There is reportedly a six-year contract on the table for the youngster but Foden may explore options elsewhere if he doesn't get more minutes soon.

Lyon manager Bruno Genesio makes just the one change from the XI which started their Ligue 1 victory over Caen in their last outing, with Max Cornet preferred to former Celtic striker Moussa Dembele up front. Captain Nabil Fekir has been passed fit after overcoming a niggle from the weekend.

Ex-Manchester United full-back Rafael da Silva was sent off in the 1-0 triumph over Caen but his suspension does not apply to European matches. It was another former resident of Manchester, one-time City defender Jason Denayer, who scored the winner and he too starts in a back five this evening.

However, the biggest success story among Lyon's ex-Manchester trio is undoubtedly Memphis Depay, who has returned himself to the forefront of the European game following his nightmare spell at Old Trafford. Depay has 34 goals in 76 games for club and country since the start of last season.

Midfielder Tanguy Ndombele has attracted a host of admirers in his 18 months at Lyon and has been identified as a possible transfer target for the Citizens - and another obstacle in young Foden's pathway at the Etihad. Spurs and Everton are also said to be interested in the 21-year-old Frenchman.

Lyon are used to having their best players prised from them by the bigger and richer members of Europe's elite. Over the last three summers they have lost striker Mariano to Real Madrid, captain Alexandre Lacazette to Arsenal, Corentin Tolisso to Bayern Munich and Samuel Umitit to Barcelona.

Genesio's side are currently the best of the rest in the Ligue 1 title 'race'. Paris Saint-Germain, who of course host Liverpool in another cross-channel duel tomorrow, have yet to drop a single point this season and are already 15 clear of Lyon in second place. Despite that gulf there is a feeling that this is the best Lyon side since their run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2010.

The hosts have only lost one of their last 14 outings in all competitions - a 5-0 reality check at the hands of PSG in October in which Kylian Mbappe scored four times in 13 second-half minutes. They are up against that sort of quality again tonight.

Lyon's form at Stade de Lyon has not been that authoratative though, failing to win five of their last eight home matches in all competitions, including their two outings in the Champions League this season.

Lyon have been one of the entertainers of this year's Champions League campaign so far. They came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Shakhtar in October, before letting a 2-0 lead slip themselves against Hoffenheim in a 3-3 thriller.

The Ligue 1 outfit have lost just one of their 10 home European games against English sides, winning three and drawing six. Their only defeat came against Arsenal in February 2001 when a certain Thierry Henry was the Gunners' match-winner.

City are playing only their third away European game in France, and have never won in the Champions League on French soil, drawing 2-2 at PSG in April 2016 and losing 3-1 at Monaco in March 2017. Guardiola's side are a completely different beast to what they were 18 months ago, however.

The Citizens are aiming to win all three Champions League away group games for only the second time. If Lyon prevent them from doing so, they will remain unbeaten across their first five group stage matches for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign.

While Lyon are yet to lose in Group F, three successive draws means that they have work to do if they are to make the knockout stages for the first time since 2012. Should they win tonight, they would be the first team to beat Guardiola in both group stage games.

The English champions are the highest scorers in this season's Champions League, netting 12 goals in their four games. David Silva has scored in each of his last three European outings making his three-goal total in this season's competition already his best return in a single Champions League campaign.

Silva has scored in each of his last three Champions League appearances for Man City - the only player from the club to score in four straight games in the competition is Raheem Sterling last season. The England winger is in equally good form now with four goals and five assists in his last five matches.

Around 10 minutes until kickoff here at Stade de Lyon, which is not our only venue for Champions League coverage tonight. We also have every kick covered for Manchester United vs. Young Boys and Roma vs. Real Madrid.

AS IT STANDS: A reminder of the permuations of tonight's game in the grander scheme of Group F. A draw is enough for City to qualify and victory will send them through as group winners. Lyon will also book their last-16 spot if they win and Hoffenheim's and Shakhtar Donetsk draw.

Following their majestic domestic title win last season, the pressure has risen on City in the Champions League this season, and Guardiola has been discussing that this week.

"For the people who don't love us too much, who use money as an argument, then we have failed if we don't win the Champions League," Guardiola told BBC Sport. "That is the best compliment, the best success the team can have. But, of course, we want to qualify, continue our level in the Premier League and arrive in the best possible condition with everybody fit to challenge again to go quite far."

This is the first time that City's four most destructive attackers have all started the same game...

PREDICTION: City have been unstoppable of late but I like the look of the Lyon team and they showed at the Etihad how dangerous they can be on the counter-attack. I do think Guardiola's boys will have enough to win but I fancy them to be pushed all the way in a 2-1 victory.

KICKOFF:  The action is underway in France with City in their changed blue and orange strip and Lyon in all-white...

City's early shape is quite interesting, with Zinchenko pushing up on the left, almost as a wing-back and Mahrez appearing to be operating a similar role on the right, which brings with it defensive risks. Kyle Walker makes up the back three as the visitors seemingly match-up Lyon to start with.

CHANCE!  Wonderful opportunity for Cornet as Fekir whips a corner onto his head six yards from goal but the striker makes a real mess of it. Any significant contact would have given Ederson real problems but it is a bad miscue and the second ball comes to nothing.

Lyon have made a very bright start and have been on the front foot from the first whistle. Sterling seems to be operating in a central midfield role, flanking Fernandinho alongside David Silva. Who am I to doubt Guardiola, but has he tried to be too clever with his tactics here? It is early days...

Sterling does not look comfortable in that role described but does offer City a wicked threat on the break should the visitors pick-pocket Lyon's midfielders. There is a lot of defensive pressure on Fernandinho though, the Brazilian making his 250th City appearance in all competitions tonight.

Walker makes a powerful burst the box and Mendy has to cynically block his progress, giving City a free kick in a decent position. Laporte and Stones come forward but the delivery is headed clear.

CHANCE!  A glorious chance at each end, first for Depay who misses a sitter from six yards out, a simple volley from six yards set up by Cornet's cross. City counter and, through Sterling and Aguero, tee up Mahrez perfectly on his left foot 15 yards out but he scuffs his shot at goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

SHOT!  Mahrez has another opportunity on his lethal left foot but Marcelo makes a block at the expense of a corner. Sane had broken clear down the left and could have shot himself but chose to check back and lay the ball off for the Algerian who had made a great run in from the right flank.

Manchester City winger Leroy Sane in action during his side's Champions League clash against Lyon on November 27, 2018© Reuters

Last man Laporte makes a crucial tackle to stop Cornet advancing into the box in the right channel. This is a very open game and this City defence is being tested as much as the Lyon one.

LATEST: There could have been three goals already in this one, and there has been in a blistering start in the other Group F game where Shakhtar lead Hoffenheim 2-1. That is good news for Lyon as it means a win tonight would send them through, if things stay the same in Germany.

Guardiola's boys are getting a bit of a taste of their own medicine here. Lyon's midfielders have the confidence to keep possession and move it quickly through midfield, and their movement of the ball is giving Fernandinho and Silva a lot of chasing to do. Everything goes through Fekir who is a star.

YELLOW CARD!  Fernandinho enters the book for a block on Depay. City will argue that is no different from Mendy's foul on Walker at the other end and the Lyon man got away without a card. Regardless, the hosts have a free kick 30 yards from goal and a couple of dead-ball experts in their ranks...

SHOT!  Depay takes the free kick on from long distance and hits it nicely but a couple of yards over Ederson's crossbar.

City work the ball into the feet of Silva in the box but a combination of Houssem Aouar and Denayer squeeze him off it. The Belgium international never made a senior appearance in his time at the Etihad.

CHANCE!  How many more chances do Lyon want?! This is another golden opportunity, and brilliant build-up with Mendy showing fierce pace to get away from Walker down the left and square to Cornet. The cross is just behind the striker who takes a touch and still has the goal gaping from eight yards, but he can't sort his balance out quickly enough and a left-footed shot is skied high with the help of Laporte block.

Mahrez jinks inside and releases Aguero to the right byline. The Argentine does well to hook a cross back but Lopes collects it safely at his near post, with Silva lurking for any potential spillage.

Good composure in the box as Walker chests a bouncing cross back into the hands of Ederson. It is end-to-end stuff!

YELLOW CARD!  Sterling harshly follows Fernandinho into the referee's book for what appeared to be a nothing foul on Marcal.

A one-two from Silva and Aguero creates half a yard for the Argentine in the box, but, just as he is preparing to pull the trigger, Ndombele pinches in and knocks the ball off the City striker for a goal kick.

We have a brief stoppage in play after Aouar takes a stomp on the foot from Fernandinho. It was innocouos enough but the Brazilian has to be careful having already been cautioned in this first half.

Zinchenko tries his luck from range but his 30-yard effort was always rising over the crossbar. The Ukranian may be needed more regularly at left-back now with Benjamin Mendy out for three months.

OFF THE BAR!  He's missed a couple of sitters, and now he has nearly scored a screamer, Max Cornet. Depay crosses from the left, over the head of Laporte and the ball bounces awkwardly for the Lyon striker who jumps in the air for an acrobatic volley which bounces up and off the crossbar, with Ederson beaten.

SAVE!  Mahrez has a go from 25 yards out and is not far from picking out the bottom corner before Lopes scrambles across.


Somehow it is goalless at the break at Stade de Garland where the hosts have had a series of great first-half chances to take a lead into the break. That is probably the first time this season that Man City have been outplayed over a whole half and they've been let off the hook by some poor finishing.

Let's run through those Lyon chances, the first of which came within five minutes when Max Cornet scuffed a header from six yards out. The same culprit missed an open goal, and hit the crossbar late in the half, while Memphis Depay scuffed a volley from Cornet's cross when unmarked at the back post.

The Citizens have had one or two moments of their own but have not adapted to their change of system, which was an attemp to match up with Lyon. Bruno Genesio's side look far more comfortable in this shape though, and have caused the City defence big problems while largely keeping Aguero at bay.

LATEST: As it stands, City and Lyon would both be heading through to the last 16 tonight with Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk currently level at 2-2. It is also all-square between Manchester United and Young Boys with the scores deadlocked at the interval at Old Trafford.

STATS: The half-time numbers tell the story of the opening 45 minutes, with Lyon having seven attempts but none on target. Few teams are that wasteless against the Citizens and get away with it.

KICKOFF:  The action resumes in France with Guardiola sticking with the same personnel, and system it seems, for the start of the second period.

Ndombele spreads the ball out to Mendy with a delightful pass. The midfielder has been compared to N'Golo Kante and you can see why, but it is his composure and passing which has impressed me tonight, rather than the energy and tackling that you would associate with the Chelsea man.

Better from the visitors, who cut through Lyon with a fluent move up the pitch which comes to an end when Sterling's attempted chip over the top to Mahrez is intercepted by the head of Marcal.

Good run from Sterling, who beats his man on the outside before drifting infield and taking on one more. He then gets the ball stuck under his feet and Aouar can tackle, but the England winger has looked bright since the restart.


Reward at last for Lyon and Cornet, who bends a beauty past Ederson from the edge of the box. Depay's switch of play may have been intended for Fekir, but Cornet picked it up, cut inside Zinchenko and curled a left footer into the top corner, via a nick off Zinchenko. It is a lead the hosts definitely deserve.

How will City respond here? Guardiola does not have the luxury of the options on the bench he would usually have so might have to abandon this system and stick Sterling up alongside or just in behind Aguero.

SAVE!  The Citizens nearly conjure up a quick response as Mahrez cuts back onto his left foot and drops a cross into the six-yard box for Aguero to head at goal, with Lopes showing great reflexes to push it away.

YELLOW CARD!  Mendy was perhaps lucky to get away with one earlier on Walker and is now booked for wrestling Mahrez to the ground with both arms.


City are not used to being behind and it takes them only seven minutes to draw level. Sterling's free-kick delivery is not great, but it gets a flick on and Laporte, who has been City's best player tonight, meets it with a superb header, directed back across Lopes and into the bottom corner from 15 yards out.

CLOSE!  The visitors are nearly gifted a second by Lopes, who allows Sane's deflected shot to squirm under his body and rescues the ball just, just, before it either crosses the line, or before Aguero can pounce.

It has been an excellent response from City, who were facing dropping to 2nd in Group F tonight - which could be crucial come the last-16 draw - but have fought back well and have the impetus now.

Some of the energy seems to have been sucked out of the Lyon players and fans by that equaliser. The home crowd has barely stopped singing all night but this last 10 minutes from City has quietened them.

Aguero drops the shoulder beautifully to get away from his man in the box, and is unlucky that a deflection off Marcelo floats onto the roof of the net, and not the other side of the crossbar. City are equally lucky that Fekir does not make the most of the huge space offered to him on the counter-attack, with Stones getting back to force the Lyon captain back on himself, for a shot that Ederson saves comfortably.

SUBSTITUTION: Guardiola sacrifices Sane for the defensive awarness of Delph, perhaps in response to Lyon's counter-attacking threat.

SUBSTITUTION: Lyon make a change of their own with Kenny Tete replacing Rafael at right wing-back. The former United man did well against Sane overall but was starting to get isolated one-on-one with a lack of defensive support from Cornet, so the fresh legs will be welcome.

Depay shifts a pass inside for Cornet who shoots on the turn, with a deflection slowing the strike and making it easy pickings for Ederson.

Lyon aren't showing the same ambition as they were in the first half and seem content to settle for a point despite how well they have played.

Ndombele's stock has risen further still tonight. He has tired in the last 10 minutes but the Frenchman looks every bit the complete midfielder.


Just when it looked as though City had withstood Lyon's best punches, the hosts come up with a lovely move to regain the lead. Ndombele pierces the lines with a good pass into the feet of Fekir, who quickly rolls the ball into Cornet who sneaks a shot under Ederson for his second of the game.


City's reply is even quicker this time as they level within 90 seconds, Aguero somehow climbing above two defenders at the near post to head into the far corner. It didn't seem to be the cleanest contact from the Argentine but Lopes was deceived by the flight of the ball and couldn't get across.

SUBSTITUTION: Lyon aren't giving up hope of all three points here, as on comes former Chelsea striker Bertrand Traore - who has five goals to his name this season - on for Fekir.

LATEST: It is still 2-2 between Hoffenheim and Shakhtar in Germany so as it stands both City and Lyon will book their place in the knockout stages with this result, which would be a fair conclusion to this brilliant game.

SUBSTITUTION: Genesio makes a third substitution, this one more defensive minded as Martin Terrier replaces two-goal Cornet.

SUBSTITUTION: Phil Foden is going to get the shortest of cameos in place of Aguero. The youngster may get 90 minutes against Hoffenheim in a fortnight with City's place in the last 16 nearly secure.


Pep Guardiola's side were seriously tested in France tonight but have come away with the point that secures them a place in the last 16 of the Champions League. Lyon will have to wait to join them there after Shakhtar Donetsk kept Group F alive with a stoppage-time winner against Hoffenheim!

That's it from our coverage from Stade de Lyon. You can read our match report here, and catch up with the rest of tonight's Champions League scores here. Thanks for joining me tonight. Until next time, goodbye!

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Phil Foden in action for Manchester City on September 29, 2018
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How Manchester City could line up against Lyon

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