Ferdinand slams Man City duo for roles in PSG opener

Joe Williams
Rio Ferdinand watches a match

Rio Ferdinand thinks Man City duo Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte could’ve done more to prevent Paris Saint-Germain’s opening goal on Tuesday night.

Idrissa Gana Gueye’s early strike put PSG on their way to a 2-0 victory over City in their Champions League group clash with Lionel Messi putting the icing on the cake with his first goal for the club.

Some neat build-up play between Kylian Mbappe and Messi led to the opening goal with Gueye firing the ball into the top corner of the net.

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And Ferdinand thinks Dias should’ve been telling Laporte to get closer with the Frenchman failed to close down Mbappe in the lead up to Gueye’s goal.

“If you’re Dias you’re screaming at Laporte, get out there now and close him [Mbappe] down quicker. Because there’s enough white shirts in the box to deal with that situation,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“The moment he stands and is in-between, the indecision is a domino effect and leaves everyone else to pick up the pieces.”

Man City boss Guardiola is well aware of the damage Messi can do to teams after the pair’s successes together for Barcelona, which included two Champions League wins.

Guardiola told reporters: “We dealt with PSG first of all but we know it’s impossible to control Leo during 90 minutes.

“He was not much in touch with the ball – of course he was coming back from injury, he needed a bit of rhythm – but we know quite well when he can run and get close to the ball he is unstoppable.

“What we have done is minimise, as much as possible, these kind of options and create the chances that we could create and I’m satisfied with the way we played.

“People can’t deny that we were there. We arrived here, we did our game, but it’s always a risk when you lose the ball and they can make one pass, especially with (Marco) Verratti, an exceptional, extraordinary player, and make contact with Neymar and Messi and they can run, it’s difficult.

“We did a really good game but we should have scored goals and we didn’t do it. That’s why we lost.”

Guardiola added that he was “in love” with Italy midfielder Marco Verratti, but it was inevitably Messi who took the plaudits.

“I wish him the best,” said Guardiola of his former Nou Camp star. “If he is happy and enjoying this period in Paris, I will be happy.”