RB Leipzig secure European football for the new year! The Red Bulls deservedly saw off Manchester City 2-1 on Matchday 6 of the Champions League group stage.
The Red Bulls started the game well and the match was an even one from the first minute. After Konrad Laimer was denied by Zack Steffen (15’), the midfielder provided the opening goal. Dominik Szoboszlai picked up on Laimer’s great pass before rounding the American and slot into the empty net to open the scoring (24’).
Emil Forsberg (26’) and André Silva (39’) had chances to increase the lead before the break, while Péter Gulácsi produced a fingertip save to deflect a Phil Foden shot onto the post (41’).
In the second half, Silva increased the lead to 2-0 with a sharp finish from around 14 metres (71’), while City bounced back quickly through Riyad Mahrez (77’). An outburst from Kyle Walker hindered the guest’s chances of an equaliser when the right back was shown a straight red card for a kick on Silva (82’).
With a player advantage for the closing phases, interim coach Achim Beierlorzer saw his side see out the victory and book their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League by virtue of a third-place finish in Group A. The draw for the next round of the Europa League will take place on Monday at 13:00 CET.
Gulácsi (C) - Angeliño, Forsberg (79' Brobbey), Klostermann (46' Simakan), Szoboszlai, Nkunku, Mukiele (79' Henrichs), Laimer (63' Adams), Gvardiol, Silva (86' Moriba), Kampl
Unused subs: Martínez (Tor), Bonnah
Steffen – Walker, Stones, Aké (87' Dias), Gündogan, Grealish, Zinchenko, De Bruyne (87' Palmer), Fernandinho (C), Mahrez, Foden (46' Sterling)
Unused subs: Ederson (Tor), Carson (Tor), Egan-Riley, McAtee, Lavia, Wilson-Esbrand
Sandro Schärer (Switzerland)
1-0 Szoboszlai (24'), 2-0 Silva (71'), 2-1 Mahrez (77')
Kampl (15'), Adams (90'+1) - De Bruyne (30'), Stones (81')
0 | RB Arena, Leipzig
First half highlights:
Kick-off at the RB Arena. Let's go boys!
The team have started well and are asserting themselves in the opening phases. Elsewhere, PSG have raced into a 2-0 lead against Brugge – good news for us, as we only have to match or better the Belgian’s result.
First good chance to score for RBL: Laimer looks to cross from the right into the area, but the ball is blocked by Fernandinho and bounces right back to the Austrian. Laimer shoots from a narrow angle to the front post and City goalkeeper Steffen gets down well to save.
The guests respond. Gündogan knocks down for De Bruyne, whose strong shot just misses the top left corner of the goal.
Close! Nkunku with a ball into the penalty area ahead of Silva, but Steffen is out to meet the ball first.
Grealish with a chance to open the scoring. Receiving the ball from England teammate Foden, the forwad shoots and his effort is slightly deflected and flies over the bar. The ensuing corner comes to nothing.
24th minute, GOAL for RB Leipzig:
YEEEESS! Laimer with an absolutely fantastic pass to Szoboszlai from deep. The Hungarian keeps his cool and rounds the onrushing Steffen before slotting into the open goal.
Nearly two! Silva squares to Forsberg in the area, but his effort is too central and causes no problems for Steffen.
RBL are looking good so far, allowing no space at the back for City, while threatening the guests on the counter.
SO CLOSE! Nkunku crosses from the right, Szoboszlai heads back across goal from the back post and Silva heads right at Steffen from close range.
Top stop from from our captain: Foden is free and shoots from a narrow angle across goal. Gulácsi produces a fingertip stop to deflect the ball slightly onto the post.
Gulácsi pulls out another great stop again. This time it’s a high diving save to parry a De Bruyne.
We lead 1-0 at the break after a good performance. Meanwhile, PSG are now 3-0 up at the break. So far, so good for our Europa League hopes
Second half highlights:
Both teams make a change each for the second half. Simakan replaces Klostermann for RBL, while Sterling comes on for Foden for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Another decent start to the half from the Red Bulls, but no real chances on goal.
Adams is on for Laimer, whose strong performance is applauded by the bench.
With not much happening in Leipzig, Brugges have pulled one back in Paris and now trail 3-1.
A ball forward looking for Grealish, but Gulácsi is alert and beats the attacker to the ball. Our captain has been great today.
71st minute, GOAL for RB Leipzig:
YESSSSS! Silva doubles the lead to 2-0. Szoboszlai wins the ball in midfield, finds Forsberg who attacks down the left before crossing to the attacker in the middle. André hits a low powerful effort into the bottom corner from 14 metres.
77th minute, GOAL for Manchester City:
A response from the guests: Zinchenko with space on the left crosses into the penalty area and Mahrez dives to head in at the back post.
Grealish shoots and Adams deflects the ball past the post. Elsewhere, PSG have replenished their 3-goal advantage and lead 4-1.!
82nd minute, red card for Walker:
No words to describe what was going through the Man City man’s head. He kicks Silva in the back of the leg, is nowhere near the ball and is shown a straight red card.
De Bruyne shoots just wide on the right from 20 yards. Good chance for City, but it stays at 2-1.
All over in Leipzig! RB Leipzig defeat Manchester City 2-1 and secure third place on their own merit.