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RB Leipzig and Manchester City share points in Champions League stalemate

Photo: Vlad Indrei

        February 22, 2023

Manchester City failed to make their first-half dominance pay against RB Leipzig in the Champions League round of 16 first leg as they settled for a 1-1 draw.

The first half in Leipzig belonged to Pep Guardiola's side on Wednesday night and Riyad Mahrez made it 1-0, but Josko Gvardiol equalised for a much-improved Leipzig in the second half.

City grabbed the lead midway through the first half in Leipzig when they pounced on a loose pass by Xaver Schlager in his own half.

Jack Grealish quickly played the ball forward and the space opened up for Mahrez to smash into the bottom corner.

City were exhibiting complete control over the match but at the start of the second half, the Bundesliga side started to apply a bit more pressure to their opponent.

Benjamin Henrichs missed a superb chance when he was played into the box by Dominik Szoboszlai but he dragged the shot just wide of the post.

Their pressure told soon after. With 20 minutes to go, a cross into the box was met by Croatian defender Gvardiol who rose highest and nodded into the back of the net, sparking wild celebrations.

Setback for City

There is always an added level of anguish around any setback for Manchester City in the Champions League as much like Paris Saint-Germain, winning it is so clearly the overriding aim for the ownership.

Leipzig have claimed big scalps in Europe before and there was clear fear amongst the City squad in the second half that they could be next.

With a Premier League title race still to contend with, City did not opt to throw everything at the match in Germany, clearly trusting their ability to win the game back in Manchester next month.

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