CHAMPIONS LEAGUE REPORT: MANCHESTER CITY 6-3 RB LEIPZIG, - GOAL FEST AT ETIHAD AS CITY GET AN ALL IMPORTANT WIN
Manchester City wins their opening Champions League game 6-3 against RB Leipzig at their home as Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden return from their injuries and make their mark this season. City get an important 3 point lead early on which could prove to be valuable in the end.
Last season’s finalist, Manchester City are yet to win the Champions League despite their numerous efforts and resources, they are yet to get their hand on the prestigious trophy. RB Leipzig were the underdogs heading onto the pitch but they are too good to be brushed aside.
Leipzig came 2nd in the Bundesliga last season but have had a shaky start to their new campaign so far. City too started off with a loss against Spurs but they have won their next 3 opening games and it seems like Guardiola has everything under control despite having no proper striker up ahead.
French Giants PSG are also there in the same group which makes this the group of death of the competition. With the intense competition this time around, the clubs understand that each point is far more valuable to give away and the lads looked determined to get away with an early win.
Manchester City started off strong after scoring the opening goal through a corner in the 16th minute of the game. Jack Grealish took the corner even though De Bruyne was on the pitch and Nathan Ake headed the ball into the net.
Manchester City got the second goal of the day in the 28th minute courtesy of an own goal by Mukiele. De Bruyne crossed a low-lying cross across the pitch top Jack Grealish and the Leipzig defender headed the ball towards the goal for the keeper but misses by a long margin.
Leipzig got their goal in the dying minutes of the first half as Nkunku finished the ball into the bottom left corner. Mukiele redeemed himself with an assisting header to Nkunku inside the box who finished the job for them. Leipzig were just off celebrating the goal when Leipzig’s Klostermann was penalized for a handball inside the box. Riyad Mahrez stepped onto the box to take the penalty and smashed the ball almost effortlessly.
City got the difference back to before halftime as the score stood 3-1, City winning. An entertaining half for the fans with Leipzig with an inconsistent display in the first 45. They started off strong and got back into their stride by the end of half-time, their performance other than that was below expectations.
City having a 2 goal lead at halftime has usually ended up good for them but Jesse Marsch and co were about to give it their all in the second half.
Leipzig made it clear that they won’t lie down as they got the second goal in the 50th minute as Nkunku headed the ball past Ederson through a cross from the left flank. City failed to mark their danger-man and ultimately paid the price. Jack Grealish got his first Champions League goal as he finished the ball into the right corner after a solo dribble past Leipzig’s defenders on the left-wing.
Nkunku completed his hat-trick in the 73rd minute as Leipzig keep up with City’s footsteps but City just kept on inching ahead. Just a minute after Leipzig scored their 3rd goal, Cancelo struck the ball from far upfield which ended up at the back of the net.
City restored the 2 goal lead in just a matter of seconds. To make things worse, Angelino made a bad tackle in the 79th minute and got his second yellow card of the day and was sent off during his homecoming at Etihad.
Like rubbing salt into their wounds, City got their 6th goal of the day in the 85th minute as Gabriel Jesus finished the ball from the 6-yard box after a deflection which awarded Ruben Dias with an assist.
KEVIN DE BRUYNE BACK FROM INJURY
This was the first time Kevin De Bruyne started a game for Manchester City this season due to fitness issues after the Euro 2020. It felt like City were lacking something for the past few weeks and De Bruyne’s flair was exactly what prevented them from unlocking their full potential. He was all over the pitch in the midfield area and made a myriad of chances for them.
Even his presence is enough to inspire the other playmakers in the squad as City’s performance up front was amazing tonight. Even the second own goal they received was courtesy of De Bruyne’s cross which was too difficult to be dealt with. De Bruyne made way for Phil Foden in the 70th minute who has also recovered from an injury from Euros.
GEGEN PRESSING DIDN’T WORK OUT
German clubs, especially Leipzig are known to play a special form of press called ‘Gegen Pressing’ which involves an aggressive high press by multiple players at the same time.
Their tactics didn’t fare well tonight since you cannot stop a team from nearing your penalty area who completely dominate the possession and play their game only in their opponents half.
City’s passing and overall movement kept the ball away from Leipzig players which was frustrating for the away team and that explains the number of miss-timed and harsh tackles. Leipzig failed to win possession like they usually do since City’s game was too solid to be cracked.
AN ALL-IMPORTANT FIXTURE
FULL TIME | An entertaining night at the Etihad! 🔥
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 15, 2021
Group A is such a tough one to be in, all 4 clubs would make sure that they made every game count since even a single point could make the difference in the end. PSG drew their game against Brugge and Leipzig have failed to get any points in their opening game.
This gives City an early lead that they could build upon and make sure they qualify for the Round of 16. Since PSG has failed to win, City have dealt with Leipzig and if they make sure they don’t lose points against PSG, they would surely end up at the top of this group at the halfway point.
Usually, the opening games dictate the whole narrative of the group stage and in that case, City are coasting through in the coming weeks.