PSG v Man City. El Cashico. Two European heavyweights with designs on the trophy going head at the Parc des Princes. Messi up against his old mentor, Pep Guardiola, only this time in the navy colourings of his new Parisian club. Not one to miss, this.

Some of the biggest names in world football on the biggest stage in the club game. Sure it was only the group stages of the Champions League, but in what was a rematch of last season’s semi-final – a tie Man City won to progress – you can bet your bottom dollar that neither team would’ve wanted to lose; City taking PSG’s scalp in their own back yard would’ve been a huge marker, while PSG could put down a major sign of intent by gaining revenge for their defeat in last season’s semi final. But to do so they would have to do something they have never done before: beat Man City. All to play for then in what was a rocking Parc des Princes.

framed 49-min.jpg
framed 45-min.jpg

Add to the occasion the fact that this was Lionel Messi’s second debut in the Champions League and you instantly had that extra level of spice that the fixture already deserved. Poor old Gianluigi Donnarumma was also making his debut for PSG, but was overshadowed in the build up thanks to his Argentinian teammate, although he soon left his mark on the game with a string of fine saves to constantly deny and frustrate City. 

Messi has been a constant thorn in the side of Pep Guardiola since the Spaniard left Barcelona hot seat, scoring six goals in four UCL games against teams Pep has managed. Surely he wasn’t going to do it again? Of course he was, and in stunning fashion too. Account opened for the magical Messi at PSG; the first of many, one assumes… that goal was added to the opener from Idrissa Gueye, who applied a finish that the likes of Messi, Mbappé and Neymar all would’ve been proud of. two goals proved two too many for the blunt attack of City to overcome. Advantage PSG, but already looking forward to the Etihad encounter…

framed 50-min.jpg
framed 47-min.jpg
framed 46-min.jpg
framed 48-min.jpg
framed 44-min.jpg
framed 42-min.jpg
framed 43-min.jpg
framed 41-min.jpg
framed 40-min.jpg
framed 39-min.jpg
framed 38-min.jpg
framed 37-min.jpg
framed 33-min.jpg
framed 36-min.jpg
framed 34-min.jpg
framed 35-min.jpg
framed 32-min.jpg
framed 31-min.jpg
framed 29-min.jpg
framed 28-min.jpg
framed 30-min.jpg
framed 27-min.jpg
framed 26-min.jpg
framed 25-min.jpg

Photography by Colin Duranton for SoccerBible.