LEIPZIG: RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol scored a second-half header, cancelling out Riyad Mahrez’s strike to earn a 1-1 with Manchester City of their Champions League final 16 conflict on Wednesday.
One of the breakout stars of the Qatar World Cup because the cornerstone of Croatia’s miserly defence, Gvardiol confirmed his attacking aptitude, launching himself above the City defence to move within the equaliser within the 70th minute.
City took the lead after 27 minutes by Mahrez and appeared on track for a snug away win however their fluency abandoned them after the interval within the first leg tie.
The home facet, who’ve solely misplaced as soon as of their previous 20 video games, discovered their zip within the second half and appeared the staff probably to move to the Etihad for the return leg with a victory underneath their belt.
City’s star striker Erling Haaland suffered for an absence of service, with the Norwegian clearly lacking sick midfielder Kevin de Bruyne.
City dominated possession in trademark vogue for the primary quarter of the match, however didn’t carve out any alternatives in opposition to a well-drilled and structured home facet.
“At the end, we were a little nervous, the coach told us to calm down, there are 90 minutes left to play,” stated Mahrez.
Leipzig coach Marco Rose added: “Two very, very different halves. We just didn’t happen in the first half, just chased the ball, were very bad when we had it. The second was quite different, we were better with the ball, won it back better and played how we had envisioned to play.”
The breakthrough got here within the 27th minute, when City midfielder Jack Grealish took benefit of a sloppy cross from Xaver Schlager, pouncing with threading a vertical ball goalwards.
City captain Ilkay Gundogan attracted the eye of the Leipzig defence however let the ball run by his legs into the trail of Mahrez, who minimize a shot previous the fingertips of ‘keeper Janis Blaswich and into the web.
Rodri went near doubling City’s lead simply three minutes later however put his header simply vast.
Former Chelsea striker Timo Werner had half an opportunity in first-half damage time, however waited too lengthy to unleash a shot and his deflected effort was simply claimed by Ederson.
Leipzig swapped out wing backs Lukas Klostermann and Benjamin Henrichs at halftime searching for extra penetration.
The new man went near scoring an equaliser twice within the area of two minutes early within the second half, first by a looping header and second when he shanked a close-range try when one-on-one with Ederson.
The introduction of Christopher Nkunku within the 66th minute got here in the course of the home facet’s greatest interval of the sport and gave them an instantaneous enhance, striker Andre Silva forcing a rushed save from Ederson a minute later.
Gvardiol snuffed out an Haaland counter assault and received the home facet on the scoreboard quickly after, climbing a metre larger than the City defence to move within the equaliser from a Marcel Halstenberg nook.
Man City held on as Leipzig looked for a winner, which means each groups head to Manchester on an equal footing forward of the return fixture on March 14.
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