Manchester City win their first Champions League game 6-3 against RB Leipzig at home, while Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden are returning from their injuries and making their mark this season. City has an important 3-point lead early on, which could prove valuable in the end.
Last season’s finalist Manchester City have yet to win the Champions League despite their best efforts and resources. RB Leipzig were the underdog to hit the pitch, but they’re too good to be brushed aside.
Leipzig finished second in the Bundesliga last season, but has had a shaky start to the new season so far. City also started with a loss to Spurs but they have won their next 3 opening games and it seems like Guardiola has everything under control despite not having a real striker up front.
French Giants PSG are also in the same group, making this the death group of the competition. Given the intense competition this time around, the clubs know every point is far more valuable and the boys looked determined to get away with an early win.
Manchester City started strong after taking the opening goal from a corner in the 16th minute of play. Jack Grealish took the corner despite De Bruyne on the pitch and Nathan Ake heading the ball into the net.
Manchester City scored the second goal of the day in the 28th minute with an own goal by Mukiele. De Bruyne crossed a low cross over the edge of the field Jack Grealish and the Leipzig defender headed the ball towards the goal for the keeper, but missed by a wide margin.
Leipzig scored the goal in the last minutes of the first half when Nkunku sank the ball into the lower left corner. Mukiele rehabilitated with a supportive header to Nkunku in the box, who did the job for her. Leipzig just celebrated the goal when Leipzig’s Klostermann was punished for a handball in the penalty area. Riyad Mahrez stepped onto the penalty area to take the penalty and slammed the ball almost effortlessly.
City got the difference back before half-time when the game was 3-1 and City won. An entertaining half for the fans with Leipzig with an inconsistent performance in the first 45. They started strong and got going again by the end of the half, otherwise the performance fell short of expectations.
City with 2 goals ahead at halftime was usually good for them, but Jesse Marsch and Co. wanted to give their all in the second half.
Leipzig made it clear that they will not lie down when Nkunku scored the second goal in the 50th minute when Nkunku headed the ball past Ederson through a cross from the left. City failed to mark their danger man and ended up paying the price. Jack Grealish scored his first Champions League goal when he sank the ball into the right corner after a solo dribble on Leipzig’s defenders on the left wing.
Nkunku completed his hat trick in the 73rd minute when Leipzig kept up with City’s footsteps, but City just kept going. Just one minute after Leipzig’s third goal, Cancelo hit the ball from far Oberfeld, which landed in the net.
City restored the two-goal lead within seconds. To make matters worse, Angelino put down a bad tackle in the 79th minute, received his second yellow card of the day and was sent off during his home game at Etihad.
Like salt rubbed in the wounds, City scored the sixth goal of the day in the 85th minute when Gabriel Jesus finished the ball from the six-yard area after a distraction that Ruben Dias provided with an assist.
KEVIN DE BRUYNE BACK AFTER INJURY
This marked the first time Kevin De Bruyne started a game for Manchester City this season due to post-Euro 2020 fitness problems. It felt like City was missing something in the past few weeks and De Bruyne’s flair was exactly what was preventing them from reaching their full potential. He was all over the field in midfield and had countless chances.
Even his presence is enough to inspire the other playmakers on the squad as City’s performance tonight was amazing. Even the second own goal was a De Bruyne cross that was too difficult to process. De Bruyne made way for Phil Foden in the 70th minute, who has also recovered from an EM injury.
TO PRESS DOESN’T WORK
German clubs, especially Leipzig, are known to play a special form of press called “Gegen Pressing”, in which several players press aggressively and high at the same time.
Your tactics did not go well tonight as you cannot prevent a team from approaching your penalty area that completely dominates possession and plays their game only in the opposing half.
City’s passing game and general movement kept the ball away from the Leipzig players, which was frustrating for the away team and explains the number of wrong and tough tackles. Leipzig couldn’t gain possession of the ball as usual as City’s game was too solid to crack.
AN ALL IMPORTANT SUPPORT
FULL TIME | A fun night at Etihad! 🔥
– Manchester City (@ManCity) September 15, 2021
Group A is so difficult to play that all 4 clubs would make sure every game counts as even a single point can make all the difference in the end. PSG drew against Bruges and Leipzig didn’t score any points in the opening game.
This gives City an early head start to build on and ensure they qualify for the round of 16. Since PSG didn’t win, City have dealt with Leipzig and if they make sure they don’t lose any points against PSG they would surely end up at the top of this group at halftime.
Usually the opening games run the whole narrative of the group stage and in this case City will spin through in the coming weeks.