RB Leipzig 2-1 Man City: Player rating


Manchester City’s series of seven straight wins ended with RB Leipzig, who lost 2-1 on the final match day of the Champions League group stage.

City were already assured of top spot in Group A on their way into this one, but were very flat and opened many times at an empty Red Bull Arena.

The match started slowly and the first chance fell to Leipzig after 15 minutes, with the looting Konrad Laimer almost catching Zack Steffen at his nearest post from the sideline.

Kevin De Bruyne returned to City’s starting line-up after a coronavirus attack in November and was close to giving his team the lead with a sweet half-volley with a foot just inside Leipzig’s penalty area, but it sailed over the crossbar. .

Steffen had to be quick from his line to deny Andre Silva a golden chance after slipping in behind the City defense by Christopher Nkunku, before Jack Grealish got a shot deflected after a nice lay-off from Phil Foden.

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And Dominik Szoboszlai had the ball in the net at the counterattack, ran into the space left by John Stones and rounded Steffen to give Leipzig the lead for a fourth straight Champions League match. After a VAR check, the case was ruled onside and City was officially below.

Emil Forsberg almost doubled the lead for Die Roten Bullen just a few minutes later, but Steffen was equal to his hard blow, before the American produced a fantastic reaction save to deny Silva from the right.

City hit the post through Foden at the other end and De Bruyne forced a fantastic save by Peter Gulacsi from a free kick.

A calm second half brought life when John Stones gave away the ball in the middle of the park, which triggered a quick Leipzig counterattack that was eventually buried by Silva.

City thought they should have received a penalty when Raheem Sterling went to the ground during a heavy challenge from Josko Gvardiol, but it did not matter because they withdrew a moment later anyway. Oleksandr Zinchenko’s deep cross was nodded back over the goal and into the net by Riyad Mahrez for his fifth Champions League goal of the season.

Pep Guardiola’s side had the tail up, but was brought back to earth again when Kyle Walker received a straight red card after striking Silva violently in the ankles.

De Bruyne got a curling to go just outside the post late but it was so close that City came to find a draw and Leipzig secured their place in the Europa League.

Steffen was on site to save City several times / Boris Streubel / GettyImages

Zack Steffen (GK) – 9/10 – Fast off his line and made several good stops. Would have done exceptionally well to stop Szoboszlai from rounding him up.

Kyle Walker (RB) – 0/10 – He was wrong on the opener and got a stupid, stupid red card to exclude him from the first part of City’s round of 16.

John Stones (CB) – 2/10 – Left Szoboszlai with an acre to run into for the opener, although it probably would not have mattered so much if Walker was aware of the danger. But the second goal was definitely on him, Fernandinho sold miserably short.

Nathan Åke (CB) – 5/10 – Did not necessarily do much wrong but he simply does not have the aura of City’s other midfielders.

Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) – 7/10 – Operated a lot on the field to help win the ball possession. Fantastic assist to top his evening.

De Bruyne ran out when he returned to the starting eleven / Maja Hitij / GettyImages

Fernandinho (DM) – 5/10 – Up for the fight but looked a bit long-legged and trusted that Zinchenko would do part of the sweep in midfield.

Kevin De Bruyne (CM) – 6/10 – Played much more like his old self again in the first half, and opened Leipzig with ease. Worn out as the game continued.

Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 6/10 – Caught on the ball a couple of times and did not have the physicality to hang in the midfield battle. Found joy that roamed forward and probing between the lines.

Mahrez pulled one back / Maja Hitij / GettyImages

Riyad Mahrez (RW) – 7/10 – Made some good runs that went unnoticed but was quiet regardless of the goal.

Jack Grealish (CF) – 3/10 – It’s just not a number nine – natural or false. Replaced wide eventually and looked more comfortable.

Phil Foden (LW) – 7/10 – One of City’s best outside players in the first half, which gave Leipzig several headaches with his ability to play as a natural winger, wide forward and inverted playmaker. Hooked at half time.

Raheem Sterling (LW, 46 ‘for the Foot) – 6/10 – One of City’s more lively players after coming in but did not have much luck in front of goal.

Cole Palmer (CM, 87 ‘for De Bruyne) – N / A

Ruben Dias (CB, 87 ‘for Åke) – N / A

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