Manchester City returned to winning ways after a convincing 3-1 victory away to RB Leipzig, with Julian Alvarez and Jeremy Doku making the difference from the substitutes bench.
Pep Guardiola’s side came to the Red Bull Arena looking to get back into winning form against a side that they beat 8-1 on aggregate in last year’s historic Champions League winning season.
Manchester City started the game well, dominating possession and forcing Leipzig back into their defensive third. The first 10 minutes saw the hosts barely touch the ball, as City passed the ball around them with ease – patiently waiting for an opening.
The returning presence of Rodri brought a calmness to Pep Guardiola’s side that they lacked last Saturday against Wolves. Despite a high press from the Leipzig attackers, the Spaniard ensured that City maintained possession in an effortless manner.
The first chance of the game fell to 18-year-old Rico Lewis in the 14th minute. The teenager picked up the ball in the RB Leipzig box and spun away from the defender to create some space for a shot that was blocked.
The ball fell to Phil Foden, who played it towards the back post for Bernardo Silva, who failed to make contact with the ball.
Foden was at the forefront of Manchester City attacks in the first-half and almost gave the Blues the lead minutes later, dancing past multiple Leipzig defenders and into the penalty area before firing wide on his weaker right foot.
Academy graduates Phil Foden and Rico Lewis combined to give Guardiola’s side the lead in the 25th minute, as Lewis played a lovely one-two with Bernardo Silva down the right side of the penalty area before pulling the ball back to Foden, who finished smartly on the half-volley past Blaswich.
The treble-winners went into the break with a 1-0 lead, however the home side equalised minutes into the second-half, with a well-worked counter-attack that found Yussuf Poulsen in space.
The Danish international played through Lois Openda, who held off Manual Akanji, before slotting the ball past Ederson to level the scoring, against the run of play.
Erling Haaland and Phil Foden both had chances to regain Manchester City’s lead, with the pair missing a series of opportunities during the second-half.
The introduction of Julian Alvarez and Jeremy Doku in the 79th minute proved a masterstroke by Guardiola, as the Argentine received the ball on the edge of the box and curled an effort beautifully around the Leipzig goalkeeper and into the corner of the net.
Alvarez was involved again when he set up fellow substitute Jeremy Doku for City’s third of the night.
The World Cup winner found space and played through the Belgian, who slotted the ball home calmly in the 92nd minute to seal the game for the Blues.
Ederson – 6
Did not have much to do in the game – couldn’t do much about the goal.
Kyle Walker – 7
Did his job effectively. Stopped most counterattacks and looked after the ball well. Worked well with Bernardo on the right.
Ruben Dias – 7
Dealt with Poulsen well despite the goal. Looked comfortable in possession and loved the battle.
Josko Gvardiol – 7
Really coming into the side well. Effective when going forward but still solid defensively.
Manuel Akanji – 7
Solid defensively against the counter-attack. Really battled in the midfield against the RB Leipzig forwards.
Rodri – 8
Composed and elegant on the ball, looks after the ball so well and breaks the defensive lines with his passing – been a huge miss the last two games!
Bernardo Silva – 7
Worked well with Walker down the right side and had an important role in the opening goal. Looked very sharp considering the Portugal international was coming back from an injury.
Rico Lewis – 8.5
Found little pockets of space throughout the game and was so sharp on the ball. Caused the Leipzig defence a lot of trouble all night.
Phil Foden – 9 (MOTM)
Man of the Match. First goalscorer. Efficient on the ball and dropped deep when City needed him. Controlled the game in the final third.
Jack Grealish – 6.5
Had a great battle with Simakan. Won a lot of fouls and carried the ball well around the penalty area.
Erling Haaland – 6
Struggled in front of goal. Had a few chances but failed to convert. Played well in the hold-up and combined well with Lewis, Foden and Alvarez.
Nathan Ake – 6
Did not have much to do when he came on. Had a short battle with Timo Werner and held out defensively in the final stages of the game.
Jeremy Doku – 8
Goal and assist coming off the bench. Took his goal very well. Looked dangerous with the ball at his feet against a tired defence.
Julian Alvarez – 8.5
Great goal and assist coming off the bench. Changed the game as soon as he came on and is becoming a real key player in this side.
Matheus Nunes – N/A
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