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Leipzig logo
Champions League | Round of 16 | 1st Leg
Feb 22, 2023 at 8pm UK
Red Bull Arena
Manchester City logo
RB Leipzig
1 - 1
Man City

Josko Gvardiol earns RB Leipzig deserved draw against Manchester City

Gvardiol earns Leipzig deserved draw against Man City
© Reuters
RB Leipzig come from behind to earn a deserved 1-1 draw against Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Red Bull Arena.

It was a true game of two halves at the Red Bull Arena, as RB Leipzig came from behind to hold Manchester City to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Riyad Mahrez broke the deadlock for Pep Guardiola's side against a passive Leipzig in the first half, but Die Roten Bullen were a side reborn in the second period and deservedly drew level through in-demand centre-back Josko Gvardiol, leaving it all to play for at the Etihad on March 14.

While Leipzig were willing to let Man City control the lion's share of possession, Marco Rose's side were not afraid to press high and launch quick counter-attacks, but Ederson had very little to do in the opening exchanges.

City soon began to turn the screw but were met with staunch resistance from Leipzig's low block, which prevented the visitors from turning their plethora of passing sequences into anything meaningful.

However, an individual error gifted Man City the lead in the 27th minute, as Xaver Schlager gave the ball away to Jack Grealish in a dangerous area, and the Englishman's pinpoint through ball found Mahrez, who lashed home into the bottom corner.

Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring for Manchester City on February 22, 2023© Reuters

The efforts of Ilkay Gundogan in the goal were also to be applauded, as the City captain blocked off the highly-rated Gvardiol as the ball rolled through to Mahrez through the Croatian's legs.

Grealish in particular was providing quite the spark on the left-hand side, and the attacker was inches away from doubling City's lead in the 36th minute, but he fizzed a shot just over the bar following strong play from Bernardo Silva.

Ederson would finally get his gloves dirty just before the end of the half, comfortably keeping out Timo Werner's curler in the only minute of stoppage time before the offside flag went up.

Swapping Lukas Klostermann for Benjamin Henrichs at half time did help to turn the tide for Leipzig, as the right-back was at the heart and soul of the hosts' resurgence, but he was guilty of missing a gilt-edged chance to level matters in the 55th minute.

Nathan Ake was dragged infield, leaving the right-back with plenty of time and space to try to pick out the corner, but he fired just wide of Ederson's far post.

Nevertheless, Leipzig were well on top in the second half - knocking the ball around with much more confidence - and Andre Silva came close to making the net ripple in the 63rd minute after a sublime piece of skill, but the angle was tight and Ederson made himself big to deny him.

A fit-again Christopher Nkunku would soon come on to try to replicate his sensational hat-trick against Man City from last season, but it was Erling Braut Haaland who would have a rare sight of goal in the 68th minute, breezing past Gvardiol but dragging his shot wide.

The Croatian may have been found wanting then, but he would net the equaliser that was just reward for Leipzig's stellar second half in the 70th minute, rising above Ruben Dias to head home from Marcel Halstenberg's cross while Ederson was in no man's land.

Leipzig keeper Blaswich saw most of the second-half action unfold away from his penalty area, but the 31-year-old had to be alert to beat away Gundogan's goal-bound strike in the 73rd minute with a strong save down to his left.

A last-gasp corner came to nothing for Man City, who are next in action against Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday evening, while Leipzig host Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga this weekend.

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Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones during the warm up before the match on January 8, 2023
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