In Wednesday’s Champions League, last 16 matches against Manchester City, RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol scored a second-half header to equalize Riyad Mahrez’s goal. Gvardiol, Croatia’s defensive rock at the Qatar World Cup, scored the equalizer in the 70th minute after leaping over the City defence.
RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol equalized Riyad Mahrez’s second-half header
City took the lead after 27 minutes through Mahrez and looked set for a straightforward away win, but their fluency disappeared after halftime in the first-leg tie. The home side, who have only lost once in 20 games, rediscovered their zip in the second half and appeared the most likely to win the return leg at the Etihad. The Norwegian striker Erling Haaland missed Kevin de Bruyne, who was unwell.
City dominated possession in the opening quarter but failed to create any chances against a well-organized home team. Jack Grealish scored in the 27th minute after Xaver Schlager’s poor pass. City captain Ilkay Gundogan drew Leipzig’s attention but let the ball slip between his legs to Mahrez, who blasted through Janis Blaswich’s fingertips. Three minutes later, Rodri missed a header to double City’s advantage.
Timo Werner had a half-chance in first-half injury time, but he waited too long and Ederson easily saved his deflected drive. Leipzig changed wing backs Lukas Klostermann and Benjamin Henrichs at halftime for more penetration. The newcomer missed two chances in two minutes early in the second half, first with a looping header and then with a close-range shot when one-on-one with Ederson.
The home side’s greatest stretch of the game began with Christopher Nkunku’s 66th-minute introduction, which gave them an immediate boost. A minute later, Andre Silva forced Ederson to make a quick save. After stopping a Haaland counterattack, Gvardiol headed in the equalizer from a Marcel Halstenberg corner.