Aymeric Laporte 8/10 as Man City fight back to draw vs. Lyon
Manchester City clinched a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League with a hard-fought 2-2 draw in Lyon. City fell behind twice to goals from Maxwell Cornet but equalised with headers from Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Aguero to secure the point they needed to reach the last-16.
City have won comfortably so many times this season, but they needed to dig out their battling qualities to rescue a point in France. Lyon's Groupama Stadium was bouncing but Pep Guardiola's side didn't panic and took the opportunities when they came along. If they are to realise their dream of winning the Champions League, City will have to go to tougher places, but this performance will give them belief that they can secure a result when things aren't going their way.
Lyon are the only team to score twice against City this season and they did it again on Tuesday night. It should have been more but Memphis Depay and Cornet, twice, missed glorious chances in the first half. City's back-four looked uncharacteristically unsettled and Fernandinho was overrun in midfield.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Guardiola's big decision before kick-off was whether to go with youngster Phil Foden. He decided against it, moving Raheem Sterling back into attacking midfield, but it didn't work out effectively. Lyon were quicker and livelier in the middle of the pitch and that put extra pressure on the back four, which struggled to cope. The Ligue 1 side were better at the Etihad Stadium when they won 2-1 and Guardiola couldn't stop them from being the better side again.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Ederson, 6 -- He didn't have much of a chance with either of Cornet's goals and the fact he didn't concede more was due to Lyon's wasteful finishing rather than the Brazilian making any outstanding saves. He was always a get-out ball for his defenders facing a high press.
DF Kyle Walker, 6 -- Had a real battle against winger Memphis Depay and was fortunate when the former Manchester United forward made a mess of a simple chance when he was caught out of position.
DF John Stones, 6 -- Dragged into uncomfortable positions by Lyon's clever attacking and unable to stop dangerous moments. Caught in no-man's land for Cornet's second goal.
DF Aymeric Laporte, 8 -- At times, he seemed to be holding the back-four defence together single-handedly as the French side probed from all angles. And he reacted to score a bullet header just when it looked like City might falter.
DF Oleksandr Zinchenko, 6 -- Given a second successive Champions League start, he acted as a full-back without the ball and moved into central midfield with it. Mostly neat and tidy but had some awkward moments.
MF Fernandinho, 6 -- Tough evening with Lyon prepared to push players into midfield and an early booking made it harder to maintain his destructive side.
MF Raheem Sterling, 6 -- Shifted into a less familiar playmaker role due to injuries. Some moments of quality but not quite as effective a threat as he is in a wide role.
MF David Silva, 6 -- He was the most likely to unlock the midfield with his clever passing but unusually nothing quite came off from him.
FW Leroy Sane, 6 -- Quiet first half. Served as more of a threat in the second period but taken off with 20 minutes to go.
FW Sergio Aguero, 7 -- Spent much of his time with his back to goal but worked hard to try to make something happen and finally got his reward with an equaliser eight minutes from the end.
FW Riyad Mahrez, 6 -- Fluffed a couple of early half-chances that could have settled the nerves and got caught in possession but kept pushing for the ball.
MF Fabian Delph, NR -- Helped City tighten up in midfield.
MF Phil Foden, NR -- A late change to eat up time.