Hectic game ends badly for the Red Bulls. Premier League champions and last year's Champions League finalists Manchester City overcame RB Leipzig 6-3 in a high-scoring and entertaining match, with Christopher Nkunku scoring all three RBL goals.
In front of a strong crowd at the City of Manchester Stadium, RBL debuted the new third kit and started the game positively. The home side were prevented from creating any real scoring chances in the opening phase but ultimately broke the deadlock from a set piece in the 16th minute defender Nathan Aké heading in a Grealish cross. In response, the team pushed forward in pursuit of an equaliser, compromising defensive security and allowing more opportunity for City counter attacks. A De Bruyne cross into the area, was unfortunately headed into the Leipzig goal by Nordi Mukiele as he looked to steer the ball back to Gulacsi (28’). A strong period from the Red Bulls was rewarded through Christopher Nkunku (42’). However, the joy was short lived, as moments later, referee Serdar Gözübüyük pointed to the spot after a VAR check for a handball decision on Lukas Klostermann. Riyad Mahrez converted from the spot to make it 3-1 at the break.
The second half was even more eventful. Christopher Nkunku was the spark in the RB side and became the first Leipzig player in the club’s history to net a hat trick in the UEFA Champions League. However, his goals to make it 3-2 and 4-3 (51’ and 73’) were followed up by goals almost instantly from the home side. Jack Grealish (56’) and Joao Cancelo (75’) restored the City lead to two on both occasions. Pep Guardiola's side eased off during the closing moments of the game, and were buoyed by the dismissal of Angeliño which gave them more space and an extra player on the park.
At the end of a somewhat absurd game, RB Leipzig have to make to with a loss to kick off their Champions League campaign. The Red Bulls never went away and were never without a chance, but were punished for their carelessness against one of the best sides in world football.
RB Leipzig starting XI:
Gulácsi (C) – Angeliño, Orban, Forsberg (59' Szoboszlai), Adams, Klostermann, Nkunku (81' Gvardiol), Mukiele, Olmo (72' Brobbey), Laimer (59' Haidara), Silva (59' Poulsen)
Bench: Martinez, Simakan, Haidara, Poulsen, Szoboszlai, Brobbey, Moriba, Gvardiol, Henrichs, Kampl
Manchester City starting XI:
Ederson - Dias, Aké, Grealish (81' Jesus), Zinchenko, Rodri (58' Fernandinho), De Bruyne (70' Foden), Silva (58' Gündogan), Torres (70' Sterling), Mahrez, Cancelo
Bench: Carson, Slicker, Walker, Sterling, Gündogan, Jesus, Fernandinho, Foden, Palmer, Lavia
A look into the dressing room
Our new 3rd kit
First half highlights
10th minute: No scoring chances on either side yet. City look to attack dwon the flanks and reach the byline, but RBL defend any crosses into the area
11th minute: Ferran Torres breaks into the area and brought down by Tyler Adams. The whistle sounds – for an offside call on the City forward.
16th minute: Goal for Manchester City. Defender Nathan Aké rises highest at a corner and heads goalwards. Péter Gulácsi is able to get to the ball but can only push onto the underside of the bar and the ball ricochets over the line.
21st minute: Another great chance for Man City. Riyad Mahrez cuts in onto his left from the edge of the area, sending the ball just inches wide. City are on the front foot here.
23rd minute: A good chance at the other end! Leipzig attack through the middle and Emil Forsberg slots it through to Christopher Nkunku, who misses to the left of the far post. It wouldn’t have counted anyway, as offside had been given on André Silva.
28th minute: City take a 2-0 lead. Nordi Mukiele’s defensive header finds the back of his own net.
35th minute: Offside goal! Similarly to the Bayern game, André Silva sees another goal ruled out. The striker was offside when the ball was played by Dani Olmo.
36th minute: At the other end. City's summer signing Jack Grealish cuts into the middle from the left shoots from the edge of the area. Pete saves!
38th minute: A rapid RBL counter! Angeliño receives a long ball from Forsberg and plays a low ball from the byline. City defend a pair of resulting corners in quick succession, but the signs are promising!
42nd minute: GOOOOALL FOR RB Leipzig! Emil Forsberg crosses to the far post and Mukiele heads back inside to Christo, heads home from close range!
44th minute: That's tough to take. Penalty for City. A header by Ferran Torres strikes the upper arm of Lukas Klostermann. The referee awards the spot kick after a VAR check.
45th minute: Riyad Mahrez converts. 3-1 to the home side at the halfway mark.
Second half highlights
51st minute: GOOOOOAAAAAL! It’s a header again. It’s Christo again! The deficit is cut to one goal!
56th minute: Just like the first goal, Christo’s strike is followed up with a City goal at the other end. Jack Grealish with a direct run and top finish to put his side 4-2 up.
60th minute: Triple change by Jesse Marsch. Poulsen, Szoboszlai and Haidara come on for Forsberg, Laimer and Silva.
66th minute: Ferran Torres scores, but VAR spots an offside in the build up.
68th minute: Substitute Dominik Szoboszlai tries his luck, unleashing a rocket from outside the area. It’s a really well hit shot, but it’s just off target over the bar.
73rd minute: YES! NKUNKU HAT TRICK! Substitute Yussuf Poulsen finds Christo in the half space on the right-hand side and the forward powers it in across goal into the far corner! That’s our first ever hat trick in the Champions League!
75th minute: Unbelievable! City restore their advantage less than two minutes after Christo's third. Cancelo powers one in from range, leaving Pete with no chance.
79th minute: From bad to worse: Angeliño is given his marching orders after a second bookable offence.
86th minute: Gabriel Jesus nets from close range for the hosts following a set piece. VAR checks the goal, and gives the green light.
90th minute: It's over in Manchester. We go down 6-3 to the Premier League champions.
#MCIRBL in photos
- Serdar Gözübüyük (Netherlands)
- Joost van Zuilen (Netherlands)
- Johan Balder (Netherlands)
- Jeroen Manschot (Netherlands)
- Pol Van Boekel (Netherlands)
- Stéphanie Frappart (France)