A tale of two halves told the story for Leipzig. A very uninspiring first half from them saw Manchester City take the lead but Marco Rose’s men performed much better in the second half that saw them grab an equaliser that seemed too far from them in the first half. Man city’s failure to be clinical in the first half costs them the victory and it’s all to play for in the second leg.
Manchester City had most of the ball in the first half and in the first 25 minutes they did not create any significant opportunities to take the lead. RB Leipzig had set up well to hit Manchester City on the counter attack with their fast forwards like Timo Werner. Their formation has not allowed the Premier League champions to get in behind to create something of significance at the opening stages of the match.
Riyad Mahrez was quite off the mark in the opening 15 minutes, under hitting passes and freekicks in a dangerous position but the Algerian puts Man City deservedly in the lead in the 27th minute after they capitalised from a loose pass from Leipzig. Xaver Schlager miss passed the ball which was capitalised by Jack Grealish, he passed the ball to Mahrez but Ilkay Gundogan cleverly flicks the ball past the defender as the winger runs in behind Gundogan and he smashed the ball into the bottom right corner.
It was an uneventful first half as both sides are being very cautious in terms of their plays. Man City looked comfortable even though it’s just a 1-0 lead. Pep Guardiola’s side were good on the ball but didn’t create too many good opportunities to extend their lead as the Bundesliga side did everything to stop City’s attacking threats. But, they did nothing with the ball themselves as they only had one shot the whole half which came at the end of the half. Leipzig’s main highlight when they had the ball is their mistake that led to City’s opener.
In the second half a whole other Leipzig showed up. They have looked dangerous and energised from the restart and should have equalised through the substitute Benjamin Henrichs in the 55th minute. Dominik Szoboszlai finds Henrichs in acres of space in the box but he flashed his effort wide of the left post. Henricks missed a golden opportunity to make it 1-1.
Marco Rose’s men put a good show for the home fans since the second half whistle, really upped their performance from the first half. They played better football and deservedly equalised through their Croatian centre back Josko Gvardiol in the 70th minute. Marcel Halstenberg crossed the ball perfectly from a short corner and Gvardiol rose high to nod the ball into the back of the net.
A few minutes later from the equaliser Man City almost retained their lead through Gundogan. Grealish passed the ball into Gundogan whose first time finish into the bottom right corner was excellently stopped by Janis Blaswich.
Since the equaliser Pep’s men regained control of the ball but they did not create enough for the winner.