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Leipzig Upset Man City 2-1, Book Place In Europa League

Leipzig
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December 07, (THEWILL) – Red Bull Leipzig overcame Manchester City 2-1 in an unlikely result at the Red Bull Arena to wrap up Group A action in the UEFA Champions League.

It was a dead rubber game Pep Guardiola’s side, who topped the group with an unassailable lead over Paris Saint-Germain going into this matchday, but the onus was on the hosts to respond following Jesse Marsch’s recent dismissal as head coach, as they needed a result to guarantee a place in the Europa League knockout stages after Christmas.

They dutifully did so, putting on an excellently-managed performance that included composed possession play, clever tempo changes when needed, and defensive solidity. Dominik Szoboszlai and Andre Silva provided the goals that gave Achim Beierlozer a dream start as caretaker manager.

Szoboszlai was sent clear by Konrad Laimer’s beautiful ball with the outside of his boot, and the Hungarian had the quickness to burn past John Stones and the poise to round deputy goalkeeper Zack Steffen to give the Red Bulls a lead they arguably deserved.

On 71 minutes, Silva increased the lead, capping off a brilliant counterattack that saw John Stones lose the ball high up the field and blasted emphatically into the bottom corner, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.

Riyad Mahrez scored his fifth goal in six Champions League games with a diving header from Oleksandr Zinchenko’s beautiful cross from deep in the left channel, but it was not to be as the German team clung on and showed outstanding game management to take the victory.

Kyle Walker was sent off late in the game for kicking Silva in the back in despair, which means he will be sidelined for the first knockout round, capping off a terrible performance by City that will only enrage Pep Guardiola.

Walker ought to have been rested after so many starts in the league, especially because this was a dead-rubber tie. However, the right-back returned and was sent off in the dying minutes, ensuring City would be without a key defender in the last 16.

Leipzig earned the win they needed to finish third in the group, while any result would have sufficed given Brugge’s loss to PSG in the other match. On Monday, the Bundesliga side will be drawn for the Europa League last 32.

City had already qualified as group champions and would know their opponents for the last 16 on Monday too.