Lyon went into this tie as clear underdogs. Punters were debating whether City would win by a little or a lot; not whether they would win full-stop. Lyon seemingly hadn’t read the script though, and took the lead on the break inside half an hour. Pep’s City side shaped up in an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation that seemed to unsettle them. Despite Kevin De Bruyne dragging his side back into the game in the second half, Lyon remained dangerous on the counter, and a contentious challenge in the buildup to their second goal left a sour taste. Lyon went on to seal the game with a third late on, Moussa Dembele the hero.
It’s rare to see the payouts skewed so heavily against Manchester City, but it’s not often they’re on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline. Kevin De Bruyne won SuperStack for this fixture and he was ultimately the only City player who was clinical enough to be deserving of a strong payout. He had four shots on target in addition to his goal, as well as five CBIs and three ball recoveries. Raheem Sterling was lively but could only muster a 35p payout despite assisting De Bruyne for his goal – a base payout of only 9p. He was tackled on six occasions and missed a gleaming opportunity less than a minute before Lyon scored their third. Gabriel Jesus was similarly ineffective, registering three shots on target but missing another two.
Fernandinho was one of City’s biggest disappointments. He’s filled in at centre-half admirably for much of the last couple of seasons, but it was perhaps a step too far to ask him to play in the right of a back three, a system new to all of City’s centre halves on the day. He managed a base score of just 6p as he gave away three fouls and was booked accordingly. He was hooked in the 56th minute on a payout of just 28p (chart below) – and it could’ve been a whole lot worse had he stayed on the pitch. Incidentally, Riyad Mahrez, his replacement, finished with a shocking payout of just 3p, and Rodri who filled in at centre-back afterwards didn’t fare much better.
On the flip side, Lyon’s side of the teamsheet displays some impressive payouts. Maxwell Cornet topped the table for Lyon (who was mentioned on our podcast with SportStacker, unfortunately he was mentioned a week early!), just 2p shy of KDB’s score. He played a dynamic role on the left wing, at times tucking in as a full-back, and pushing on as a winger at others. He opened the scoring with a tidy finish, but also had a solid base score of 30p, which included 14p from CBIs and 8p from ball recoveries. Houssem Aouar was similarly impressive in the middle of midfield. paying out 63p with his only goal involvement the assist for Lyon’s second. He had 8p each from ball recoveries and dribbles, and 12p from CBIs. Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes also put on a dominant display, making six saves on his way to a 64p payout.
The star of the night was, no doubt, Moussa Dembele. The French forward played only 15 minutes, but did his job impeccably. City were in firm control while he was on the pitch, but he was an outlet on the break and capitalised on Man City’s mistakes – namely Ederson fumbling what should’ve been a textbook save. Dembele’s payout table is pretty unique, as aside from his two goals, he made only two actions.
Lyon go into this evening’s game again as massive underdogs. Their team are priced accordingly, with not a single buy price above 40p. Houssem Aouar has been consistent in his SportStack payouts during this campaign, and so at a 39p buy, he may be a reasonable bet. We also see value in Maxwell Cornet and Anthony Lopes (34p and 37p to buy, respectively), with Bayern likely to pile pressure on and Lyon looking to break quickly. The downside risk is of course that Bayern turn on the heat, but Lyon have proven tough to break down – certainly tougher than any of Bayern’s previous opposition.
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