RB Leipzig and Manchester City drew 1-1 in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16. Riyad Mahrez (27’) gave the visitors the lead, before Joško Gvardiol equalised in the second half with a header (70’). It was a real “game of two halves” and it’s all to play for on 14th March in Manchester.
Pep Guardiola’s side dominated the play in the first half and had 74% of the ball. Marco Rose responded with some changes at the break, including the introduction of Benjamin Henrichs, and saw his side respond brilliantly in the second 45.
The visitors were ahead in the 27th minute. Xaver Schlager’s loose pass intended for Konrad Laimer was picked up by Jack Grealish, whose ball ended up with Mahrez and the Algerian punished RBL clinically with a nice finish into the right of the goal. Chances were hard to come by in the first half for Leipzig and Timo Werner came the closest on the stroke of half time, but his effort was not good enough to worry Ederson in the City goal.
Leipzig were the better side in the second half and substitute Benjamin Henrichs was particularly impressive, coming close on two occasions (53’, 58’). André Silva also had an effort saved after some good individual work in the area (63’). Dominik Szoboszlai won his side a corner in the 70th minute when his goal-bound long-range shot was turned behind, and Joško Gvardiol headed in Marcel Halstenberg’s resulting cross to level the scores. With City on top in the first half and Leipzig the better side in the second, a draw was a fair result and leaves the tie wide open ahead of the second leg in Manchester in just under three weeks’ time.
Blaswich – Orbán (C), Forsberg (66′ Nkunku), Werner, Klostermann (46′ Henrichs), Szoboszlai, Silva (82′ Poulsen) , Halstenberg (89′ Raum), Schlager (82′ Haidara), Laimer, Gvardiol
Unused subs: Nyland, Nickisch – Simakan, Kampl
Ederson – Walker, Dias, Aké, Gündogan (C), Haaland, Grealish, Rodrigo, Bernardo, Akanji, Mahrez
Unused subs: Ortega Moreno – Carson, Phillips, Alvarez, Gomez, Perrone, Foden, Charles, Palmer, Lewis, Robertson
Serdar Gözübüyük (Netherlands)
1-1 Gvardiol (70′) | 0-1 Mahrez (27′)
First half highlights:
Kick-off under the Leipzig floodlights! Man City get us underway.
No chances to speak of so far, but it’s Man City who are enjoying more of the ball, dominating the possession and passing stats in the opening phases.
Dias heads from close range after a corner, but Blaswich makes the save.
City have had 78% of the ball so far, but RBL have not allowed them any space to create any danger with it.
27TH MINUTE, GOAL FOR MAN CITY:
Schlager plays a loose pass just in front of his own area and Grealish picks up the ball. Gündogan dummies the ball and it lands with Mahrez, who is through. He shoots left-footed into the bottom right and the visitors lead after clinically punishing.
The visitors are clearly on top here and Grealish has the next chance, but puts his shot over the bar.
Rodri heads a ball back across goal from a corner, but no City player can attack it and it goes wide of the far post.
First half chance for RBL. Forsberg finds Werner on the left. He holds it up and cuts in, before shooting with his right. It’s no problem for Ederson in the City goal.
That half went City’s way. They enjoyed a lot of possession and punished any mistakes clinically. RBL can be pleased that there’s only one goal in it but need to offer more of a threat after the break if they want to take something from the game.
#RBLMCI first half in photos
Second half highlights:
The game continues. Marco Rose makes a change as Benjamin Henrichs comes on for Lukas Klostermann.
Promising stuff! Konni Laimer wins the ball on the right side and a nice move sees the ball find Halstenberg via Forsberg and Werner. The full back crosses to the middle where Benny Henrichs heads goalwards, but it lands on the roof of the net.
Big chance! Szoboszlai slips in Henrichs, who has acres of space on the right. He gets himself one-on-one and shoots first time, but pushes his effort just wide of the far post!
Silva does brilliantly to get past Akanji in the area and attempts to chup the ball over Ederson from a narrow angle, but the City goalkeeper saves for a corner.
Christo Nkunku is on! He replaces Forsberg.
Szoboszlai shoots from a way out and Ederson is forced into a save – it was going in the top corner!
70TH MINUTE, GOOOOAAAAAL FOR LEIPZIG:
First the resulting corner, Szobo plays short to Halstenberg, who delivers a perfect ball in. Joško rises highest and heads home from close range!
LEIPZIG’S ON FIRE! The Red Bull Arena is buzzing. Let’s go, boys!
Grealish cuts back to Gündogan from the left wing, but Janis produces a good save from his first-time shot.
Double change: Haidara and Poulsen come on for Schlager and Silva.
City now have a bit more control of the game, but there are no chances to speak of at either end.
Halstenberg comes off and Raum comes on for the closing stages.
A strong second half gives us a 1-1 draw against Manchester City. It could have even been a win, but Joško’s header is the only goal of the second half and the first leg ends even