'I'm in love with Verratti!' - Man City boss Pep reveals admiration for PSG star after Champions League defeat

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he is "in love" with Marco Verratti after the Italian midfielder helped Paris Saint-Germain to a Champions League triumph on Tuesday.

Verratti and PSG took down City 2-0 at the Parc des Princes with Idrissa Gueye and Lionel Messi scoring the goals.

Despite Messi netting his first goal for his new club, it was his team-mate Verratti that truly captured Guardiola's heart with his performance in PSG's midfield.

Guardiola's love for Verratti

"I'm in love with him. He is exceptional," Guardilola said. "Even under pressure, he manages to find those passes that allow the midfield to be free.

"He's not a player for long passes but you can always count on him to build the game. We managed to control him better in the second half but in the first half he was really exceptional."

'We can't control them'

Manchester City were unable to score against PSG, despite having several clear-cut chances to do so throughout the match.

PSG, meanwhile, took full advantage of their chances, with Gueye smashing in the opener in the first half before Messi combined with Kylian Mbappe to create a magestic second goal.

"They can take the space," Guardiola said. "They are exceptional players, like Messi-Suarez-Neymar at Barca. Not many teams can have these players. PSG has them. We can't control them. I know two solutions: defend and pray or take the ball and create with it.

"It's hard to control Messi for 90 minutes. It's hard to stop him and we had to minimize the opportunities for him to touch the ball. Tonight we did what we know how to do, good or bad, but we are what we are. Tonight there was also Verratti who was extraordinary and managed to find connections with Neymar."

Further reading