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BREAKING: Man City crash out of UCL as Dembele strikes

Moussa Dembele played the part of super sub as his two-goal cameo from the bench dumped Manchester City out of the Champions League after a 3-1 defeat to Lyon on Saturday night.

The former Celtic striker replaced Memphis Depay with 15 minutes to go and hit a six-minute double to destroy City’s European dreams, sending the French side through against all the odds.

Pep Guardiola made everyone wait to confirm his formation for the clash, with Fernandinho slotting into a back three alongside Eric Garcia and Aymeric Laporte.

In that 3-5-2 setup, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus led the line with Kevin De Bruyne operating in a free role in front of the two midfielders Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan.

That change in shape seemed to be in response to Rudi Garcia’s favoured setup, with the French side naming an unchanged XI from their last-16 second leg defeat against Juventus.

From the off, City looked sharp and it was their top goalscorer Raheem Sterling who created the chance. An incisive pass from Joao Cancelo put the winger in down the left, but his cutback was snuffed out by Marcal.

But once Lyon settled in the game, the Ligue 1 outfit looked more comfortable in their shape than City as Marcal tested Ederson with a long-range drive.

Something looked off. Whether it was the lack of a No10 to link midfield with attack, or the attacking mentality of Lyon’s wing-backs, City were being bossed in possession – an unfamiliar feeling for Pep Guardiola’s passmasters.

Midway through the half, City were punished for some sloppy defensive work. It took just three passes from Anthony Lopes in goal to Karl Toko Ekambi up front to slice open the City backline and despite a last-ditch challenge from Garcia, Maxwel Cornet produced an exquisite finish from a tight angle to put Lyon ahead.

It was the Ivorian’s fourth goal in three meetings with City and he was proving a menace for City once again in Lisbon. But unlike the group stage, this strike could have huge ramifications.

City began to build some attacks, with Sterling looking the most likely to make something happen. He set up Rodri with a slick piece of skill, but the Spaniard’s effort was saved by Lopes.

An incredible outside-of-the-boot pass from De Bruyne deserved a fine finish on the end of it from Sterling, but Cornet showed superb determination to track back and make a crucial block.

Having initially decided against making a change at the break, Guardiola perhaps feared Fernandinho could be handed a yellow card, such was the urgency from Lyon’s players in encouraging the referee to produce a yellow card.

He sent on Riyad Mahrez 10 minutes later though and City appeared to benefit from his creative presence on the right.

After 15 minutes of sustained pressure, City found the equaliser. Sterling latched onto a long ball on the left, cut inside and threaded it back for De Bruyne, who finished with aplomb from 18 yards.

City were on top and had chances to go in front, with Jesus testing Lopes and then volleying over from Sterling’s cross.

But when Dembele came on, City had some fresh legs to mark and they simply didn’t. Laporte’s poor pass was cut out, Aouar slid in Dembele and he slipped his effort underneath Ederson.

With the clock ticking down, David Silva replaced Rodri for what could be his final appearance. And City missed the chance to level it up when Jesus broke clear down the right, crossed for Sterling and only the 25-year-old will know how he blazed over an empty goal from six yards.

Read Also: How Man City will lineup vs Lyon after latest injuries for UCL clash

Lyon punished the miss not even a minute later when Toko Ekambi’s effort was spilled by Ederson and Dembele mopped up the rebound.

Not for the first time, City had failed to deliver on the big stage and their European dream is over.

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