Dominik Szoboszlai and Andre Silva earned RB Leipzig a hard-fought victory over Manchester City and with it a place in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
RB Leipzig 2-1 Manchester City
Goals: 1-0 Szoboszlai 24' (assist: Laimer), 2-0 Silva 71’ (assist: Forsberg), 2-1 Mahrez 77’ (assist: Zinchenko)
Despite already being eliminated from the Champions League, Leipzig asked plenty of questions of Pep Guardiola's Group A winners. Konrad Laimer was at the heart of their best work, the Austrian almost squeezing home at the near post only to be denied by ex-Fortuna Düsseldorf goalkeeper Zack Steffen. Laimer continued to pose as the unlikely threat for Leipzig, threading a ball through to split the visitors’ defence for Szoboszlai to round Steffen and slot in his second Champions League goal of the campaign. Emil Forsberg almost doubled their lead soon after, but Steffen kept him at bay. City had their American goalkeeper to thank again for denying Andre Silva at the end of a lovely Leipzig move. The returning Peter Gulacsi was kept quiet until the closing stages of the half where he produced an expert save onto the woodwork from Phil Foden’s effort. Shortly after, Kevin De Bruyne’s free-kick was thumped away by the Hungarian to keep the hosts in front for the half-time whistle.
Into the second half and Leipzig were organised and well drilled as they continued to prevent their opponents from opening them up. The impressive Laimer was replaced by Tyler Adams just past the hour mark to aide his sides efforts to halt City’s constant press. The game continued to stay quiet with neither side creating many chances until a charging Forsberg opened up the City defence before squaring it to Silva to tuck it away with a neat finish. The visitors found their opener six minutes later through a delicious cross from Oleksandr Zinchenko, who found Riyad Mahrez to nod past Gulacsi and half the deficit. While Leipzig continued to keep their discipline despite conceding, Kyle Walker did not. The English right back swung needlessly at the heels of Silva and was shown a straight red. Leipzig held on for the remaining minutes - an impressive first victory under new interim boss Achim Beierlorzer.
- Leipzig have reached the knockout stages of either the Champions or Europa League in three of their previous four seasons in UEFA competition.
- Silva is now up to six goals in all competitions for Leipzig.
- Szoboszlai scored his seven competitive goal for the club.
- Die Roten Bullen have now won their last three home games against English opposition.
- Angelino made six English Premier League appearances for Man City during the first half of 2019/20. He’s turned out 72 times and scored nine goals in all competitions since joining Leipzig, initially on loan, in January 2020.
- Guardiola, a three-time Bundesliga winner with Bayern between 2013 and 2016, faced Leipzig for the first time.
Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) - Mukiele (Henrichs 79'), Klostermann (Simakan 46'), Gvardiol, Angelino - Laimer (Adams 63'), Kampl - Nkunku, Szoboszlai, Forsberg (Brobbey 79') - Silva (Moriba 86')
Unused subs: Martinez, Bonnah
Out: Haidara (unconfirmed), Halstenberg (ankle), Novoa (not included), Olmo (thigh), Orban (not included), Poulsen (calf), Saracchi (knee)
Coach: Achim Beierlorzer
Man City: Steffen - Walker, Stones, Ake (Dias 87'), Zinchenko - De Bruyne (Palmer 87'), Fernandinho (c), Gündogan - Mahrez, Foden (Sterling 46'), Grealish
Unused subs: Ederson, Carson, Egan-Riley, McAtee, Lavia, Wilson-Esbrand
Out: Cancelo (rested), Jesus (heel), Mendy (suspended), Rodri (rested) Silva (rested), Torres (foot)
Coach: Pep Guardiola
As it happened!
LEIPZIG MARCH ON!
Leipzig will be playing European football in 2022 after securing third place in this group. Club Brugge's 4-1 loss at Paris Saint-Germain meant they would have done that whatever the result of this game, but the home side did their bit just to be sure. Szoboszlai got them in front after an exquisite Laimer through ball, and they could have led by more at the break too - although Gulacsi did have to tip a Foden strike onto the post. Forsberg then set up Silva who produced a thumping finish for 2-0 with 19 minutes left, before Mahrez's reply made for a nervous end. Walker's crazy red-card challenge helped the home side's cause, but this was an encouraging performance and an excellent reaction to Jesse Marsch's departure. Leipzig now drop into the UEFA Europa League and have a two-legged knockout fixture in Februaary to look forward to.
Leipzig get a hard-fought win!
The home side are almost there...
DE BRUYNE CLOSE!
Ex-Wolfsburg star De Bruyne has another try - his firmly hit shot from outside the area curling just wide.
CITY DOWN TO TEN!
After Stones is booked for dissent at one end, Walker sees red in more ways than one as he lashes out at Silva from behind. The Leipzig players are understandably incensed, and the England full-back has no complaints when the referee sends him off.
ADAMS IN THE WAY!
Grealish skips in from the left and looks certain to level - but his strike from 10 yards comes off the shin off Adams and goes behind for a corner.
MAHREZ GIVES CITY HOPE
Oleksandr Zinchenko whips a great ball across from the left, which Mahrez stoops to head home from six yards out. Can Leipzig hold on?
CITY GO CLOSE
De Bruyne's cross finds Riyad Mahrez, and his lay off runs through to Fernandinho who thumps over the bar - again via a minor deflection - from eight yards.
Leipzig pounce on a poor pass in the City half and suddenly it's a three-on-two break. Forsberg plays it across for Silva, who drills home his third goal in this season's Champions League.
US midfielder Adams has been sent on for the impressive Laimer to freshen up the midfield. The visitors, meanwhile, are really struggling to create any chances in this second half.
Grealish pulls the back for former Borussia Dortmund man Ilkay Gündogan, but the Germany midfielder's attempt is blocked before it gets near Gulacsi's goal.
DISCIPLINE FROM LEIPZIG
City are trying to find a way through the home defence, but Leipzig are well organised and difficult to play through.
BETTER FROM LEIPZIG
The visitors have had 10 attempts to Leipzig's five but the home side are enjoying a bit more of the ball now.
DE BRUYNE WASTEFUL
City get a free-kick just outside the area but De Bruyne's weak hit lands halfway up the wall.
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY!
One change apiece at the break. PSG are 3-0 up at home to Club Brugge in the other group game, meaning Leipzig are on course to finish third.
Leipzig lead at the break thanks to a well-worked and well-taken goal from Szoboszlai. The home side have put some lovely moves together and could have stretched their lead, but City finished the half strongly and saw Foden's strike tipped onto the post.
GULACSI SAVES AGAIN
De Bruyne sends a free-kick heading towards the top corner, but Leipzig's captain reads it well and pushes the ball from danger.
BIG SAVE FROM GULACSI!
De Bruyne plays in Phil Foden, but Gulacsi gets enough on his effort to tip the ball onto the post.
COULD HAVE BEEN TWO!
Another great move from Leipzig ends with a cross being stood up by Christopher Nkunku for Szoboszlai. He unselfishly heads the ball across the six-yard box, and Silva has a close-range header saved by Sfeffen.
City have had 60 percent of the ball at this stage, but Leipzig are keeping it nice and tight. The visitors have yet to get a shot on target.
Another rapid Leipzig move ends with a cutback to Emil Forsberg who is charging into the penalty box. The Swede's forceful, first-time strike is just about kept out.
The home side are in front thanks to a wonderful goal from Dominik Szoboszlai. Laimer has made a brilliant start to the game and he plays a defence-splitting pass to his teammate with the outside of his foot. Szoboszlai is the coolest man out there, rounding Steffen before slotting home his second Champions League goal of the campaign.
CITY'S TURN TO THREATEN
De Bruyne is at the heart of everything for City. First he plays a ball into Kyle Walker, whose low cross is clawed away by Gulacsi. Then he lifts a ball into the area and Jack Greaslish smashes just over via a deflection.
Really nice move from the home side, and Silva gets a toe to the ball in the area. Before the Portuguese striker can do any more, though, Steffen is out to save.
DE BRUYNE OFF TARGET
The ball breaks for De Bruyne inside the area but his sidefooted, first-time effort on the half-volley goes just past the top corner.
Konrad Laimer chases down the right and after his backheel is blocked, he almost squeezes a shot past Zack Steffen at his near post. The goalkeeper manages to push it behind for a corner, though, which the visitors are able to clear.
Andre Silva breaks down the left but his shot is blocked by John Stones. PSG now lead 2-0 in the other group game.
AN EVEN GAME
Former Wolfsburg star Kevin De Bruyne gets some space in the final third for the first time in the game, but his low centre is easily dealt with by Leipzig.
BOTH SIDES PROBING
City are shading it slightly on possession but there have been no shots from either side yet.
GOOD NEWS FOR LEIPZIG
It's been a quiet start in Germany, but Paris Saint-Germain already lead against Club Brugge.
The game is underway in Leipzig, sadly in an empty stadium due to coronavirus restrictions.
GULACSI HOPING FOR STRONG FINISH
Leipzig dropped to 11th in the Bundesliga after the defeat against Union, and goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi says the players need to perform tonight after the departure of Marsch. "Now we need to show a reaction as a squad and as individual players, and get the results we need from our four remaining games before Christmas," the Hungarian, who captains the side, said pre-game.
MORE ON THOSE TEAMS
Achim Beierlorzer takes charge following Jesse Marsch's dismissal. He makes two changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Union Berlin on Friday, with Emil Forsberg replacing Benjamin Henrichs and Kevin Kampl in for Tyler Adams. As for Man City, former Fortuna Düsseldorf and Freiburg goalkeeper Zack Steffen is one of seven changes made by ex-Bayern boss Pep Guardiola.
LEIPZIG STARTING XI
Gulacsi (c) - Mukiele, Klostermann, Gvardiol, Angelino - Laimer, Kampl - Nkunku, Szoboszlai, Forsberg - Silva
Martinez, Simakan, Adams, Brobbey, Moriba, Bonnah, Henrichs
MAN CITY STARTING XI
Steffen - Walker, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko - De Bruyne, Fernandinho (c), Gündogan - Mahrez, Foden, Grealish
MAN CITY SUBS
Ederson, Carson, Ruben Dias, Sterling, Egan-Riley, Palmer, McAtee, Lavia, Wilson-Esbrand
Leipzig's first match after parting company with Jesse Marsch puts them up against last season's UEFA Champions League runners-up Manchester City. The home side can no longer qualify for the last 16 of this competition - City and Paris Saint-Germain have already secured the top two places in Group A. But on the final matchday Leipzig will be out to at least match bottom side Club Brugge's result against PSG to make sure that they will drop down into the UEFA Europa League knockout stage.