In the first game after Jesse March’s brief era at Leipzig, the Red Bulls’ last group game was to center the winter in the European League. The Saxons had to win the long-distance duel against Brugge – specifically, they were not allowed to score fewer points than the Belgians – to secure third place in Group A behind Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
Interim coach Achim Berlorzer relied on a four-way defense against Skyblues and demanded the interconnection of all areas of the team with and against the ball. The English, who had already taken first place in the table before the match, acted in a 4-3-3 system.
Team manager Pep Guardiola has spared his regular squad, relying on select staff members, including Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden.
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In front of the empty ranks (due to the epidemic), a balanced game has been developed with cautious guests and increasingly good chances for Leipzig.
Manchester City took possession of the ball after falling behind, but rarely came seriously in front of goal against the well-defended Leipzig. Instead, the Red Bulls had the best possible chances in the finishing touches and missed the second goal.
Andre Silva missed the best chance in the 39th minute. Christopher Nkunku crossed from the right to the second post, Zuboszlai’s cross and Silva missed a header from four meters.
Shortly before the break, the Skyblues intensified their attack and almost penalized Leipziger for their missed opportunities. First, Peter Gulacci made a shot from Foden from a distance of 14 meters on the left to the right goal post (41), and shortly thereafter the goalkeeper saved a direct free kick from De Bruyne from 24 meters in the left corner (43.) And thus retained Leipzig’s lead .
Manchester City also advanced at the start of the second half, but found little remedy against the highly cohesive and defensive Leipzig.
In the 71st minute, the Saxons finally made everything clear and made it 2-0. Emil Forsberg grabbed the ball in the middle of the field and drove it to the left half of the penalty area. There the Swede maintained an overview and stretched through Silva, who switched from a dry 15m to a right-hand corner.
However, the Skyblues, who remained sluggish overall, only scored a 1-2 tie after just five minutes. Oleksandr Zinchenko did not get any pressure from the opponent on the left wing and passed the ball perfectly to the second post to Riyad Mahrez, who was there with his head submerged from six meters and scored his fifth goal this season (76).
In the final stage, the English perished in the character of Kyle Walker (82nd place). The full-back kicked Silva in the legs from behind without a chance for the ball on the left side and saw the red card – a right decision that subsequently made it easier for Leipzig to successfully win the narrow score over time and thus the Europa League to book.
Meanwhile, Manchester City lost for the first time after 14 unbeaten matches against German teams (13 wins and 1 draw).
Achim Beierlorzer (Interim Coach RB Leipzig): “We saw a great reaction from the team, unfortunately in front of the empty stands. This match against such an opponent would have deserved a full stadium. We played with discipline, stuck to the match schedule, were incredibly consistent defensively and took moments with precision. When we worked for him. And in this regard, we deservedly won.”
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City coach): “We played better in the second half, were more powerful and went on to win. But in the end we lost – so congratulations Leipzig.”
Oliver Mintzlaff (Managing Director RB Leipzig): “After the last turbulent days, we made the team responsible and we saw the reaction. It wasn’t an easy opponent, it was a world-class team. We could have won and that’s the reaction we wanted.”
Dominic Zuboszlai (Leipzig): “We said before the game: With courage and will we can beat everyone. That was the plan and it worked. We were able to show that we can play really well against a big opponent. Now we have the Bundesliga still a lot to do.”
Tweet about the game:
This has been observed: Recoil success
The third, third and second German Bundesliga, DFB Cup finalist, Champions League semi-finalist and eighth finalist: a brief summary of Leipziger’s successes in the past three years. The Red Bull team is now going through its first major sporting crisis and they are hungry for success. How things will play out with the Leipzigers is unclear, the Beierlorzer is still temporarily on the sidelines and surprisingly able to adjust focus again.
Against Manchester City, the Red Bulls after a long time managed to show how to play and fight successfully in an almost unconventional way. Leipzig trusted its strengths – game-changing, mixed football and compact defense – working as a team and focusing on individual needs at the back. Everything can be very simple and in the first step Beierlorzer manages to successfully avoid the condition.
Leipzig’s opening goal was the fifth in the UEFA Champions League for Zubuszlai. This makes it the most accurate Hungarian ever in the first order. He also scored four of his five goals at home.
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