Thursday, February 22, 2024
HomeChampions LeagueGuardiola's golden touch gives City victory in Leipzig

Guardiola’s golden touch gives City victory in Leipzig

After a poor first half against Manchester City, RB Leipzig came back quickly after the restart and kept the game open for a long time. It took two jokers from the defending champions to give the Skyblues a late victory

RB coach Marco Rose made two changes after the 2-2 draw in the top match against Bayern Munich: Klostermann started for the injured Henrichs (muscle injury), Kampl was not enough for the starting eleven after hip problems, Seiwald was trusted in the defensive midfield.

Pep Guardiola Manchester City suffered their first defeat in the Premier League in addition to the League Cup defeat against Newcastle with a 2-1 loss at Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Catalan brought in five newcomers, including ex-Leipzig Gvardiol, 18-year-old Lewis in midfield and Bernardo Silva, who returned after a good two-week injury lay-off.

City dominant from the start

There was no sign of a sporting crisis for the Skyblues, however. From the start, they showed RB Leipzig clear limits and dominated the game from minute one. The Saxons took on their role, staggered deep and, especially in the last third of the game, did not allow any space for finishing action.

This consistent defending came at the expense of their own attacking action, and when the German Cup winner had a breakaway, they usually acted too hastily and quickly gave the ball back to Guardiola’s eleven. It took until minute 14, however, before the visitors made their first dangerous appearance in the Leipzig penalty area. The agile Lewis left several opponents in his wake, but then got caught, and Bernardo Silva was unable to process Foden’s subsequent touchdown – but the attack proved to be the spark.

The first shot on goal is on target

Almost every minute, the visitors – mainly via Lewis’ and Bernardo Silva’s right side – got in front of goal but couldn’t get the ball on target in the dense scrum. It took until the 25th minute before the first shot hit the bar of Leipzig keeper Blaswich – and it was right on target. After a fine combination of Lewis and Bernardo Silva, Foden hit the ball perfectly from close range and was allowed to turn and celebrate the deserved lead.

The game did not change after that: City continued to dominate the game, Leipzig was overwhelmed with the build-up after winning the ball. While Foden missed the brace (27th) and his teammates missed shots on goal, Xavi (30th), Openda (40th, 44th) and Co. did not take advantage of the few spaces that Leipzig had – which is why the score remained at a deserved 1:0 at the break.

Leipzig take advantage of City’s lack of security with ice-cold precision

After the restart, however, the visitors relied too much on Leipzig’s lack of decision-making. ManCity stood too high – and quickly got what they deserved. On a counterattack, the security was not right. Openda shook off Akanji after Poulsen’s pass and placed the ball perfectly flat next to the left post (48th).

Leipzig then found their way into the game better, because they were more courageous and alert in their tackling. At times it was an open exchange of blows, but there was a lack of clear-cut goals on both sides. While defensively Klostermann shone with important defensive actions, up front it was above all the substitute Baumgartner who provided momentum.

Guardiola’s jokers sting

The decisive goal, however, was to go in favour of the visitors – and was also down to Guardiola’s jokers. Doku took Alvarez with him from the left side, who placed the ball into the right corner of the goal from a standing position (84.). The Argentine, who had already scored twice in the 3-1 win over Belgrade, had only been substituted five minutes earlier and proved his scoring prowess, while Haaland was largely unmarked.

Baumgartner had the answer on his feet, but his low shot just missed the target (87th). Leipzig threw everything forward again in the four minutes of injury time and ran into a counter-attack after a misplaced cross. This time, Alvarez served Doku, who slipped the ball past Blaswich for the winner (90.+2).

Manchester City thus remained undefeated in their 15th Champions League game in a row and were able to celebrate their first win in Leipzig. It was also Guardiola’s 103rd Champions League win as a coach. Only Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti can boast more successes (109).

Already on Saturday, RB hosts Bochum in the Bundesliga (3.30 pm), ManCity is at FC Arsenal for the Premier League top match on Sunday (5.30 pm). On the 3rd matchday of the premier league, Leipzig expects Red Star Belgrade on 25 October (9 pm), the Skyblues take on Young Boys Bern at the same time.

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