Manchester City players celebrate after the match
Manchester City players celebrate after the match
AFP

Stade de Marseille

Manchester City got off to a perfect start as they thumped Marceille 3 without a reply, in the champions league, at the Stade de on late Tuesday night.

Once so dominant in the Premier League, the cash-rich club has made a poor start with only two wins from five games amid suggestions its attack has been found out by English defenses.

But Ferran Torres, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling all netted to give City a boost after last week's 3-1 home victory against Porto. Marseille, on the other hand, has not even scored yet and is already starting to stare elimination in the face.

The home side gifted City the lead in the 18th minute when midfielder Valentin Rongier's sloppy sideways pass was intercepted by Kevin De Bruyne on the right flank. He quickly teed up Torres to sweep home from close range and claim another goal after also scoring against Porto.

Another panicky moment nearly offered City a second goal, but left back Oleksandr Zinchenko's low strike from the edge of the penalty area shaved the post.

The second goal came in the 76th when Phil Foden sprinted down the left and his back-post cross was headed down by Sterling. The loose ball landed near the penalty spot and Gundogan assuredly clipped it past goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.

Five minutes later, City attacked down the right and De Bruyne offered Sterling a tap-in.

Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas deployed winger Florian Thauvin as a makeshift striker and surprisingly left playmaker Dimitri Payet on the bench.

The home side offered nothing during the first half, except for when City goalkeeper Ederson made a simple stop from Nemanja Radonjic's tame shot late on.

Ederson patted away a speculative drive from Thauvin early into the second half as Marseille improved slightly on a largely comfortable night for Pep Guardiola's City.

There were no fans inside the 67,000-capacity Stade Velodrome because of coronavirus restrictions, but some Marseille fans lined the streets outside and lit flares when the home team's bus arrived.

City's players all took a knee against racism before the start, but Marseille's players stayed standing.

Marseille travels to Porto and City hosts Olympiakos in next Tuesday's games.

In Group C's other match, second-place Porto beat third-place Olympiakos 2-0 at home to leave both sides on three points.

Lokomotiv Moskva lost to Bayern 1-2. Real Madrid staged a dramatic comeback to take their first point.

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