Leipzig's coach Marco Rose congratulated the rather reserved City super striker Erling Haaland this time, the RB professionals looked helpless and disappointed.
Even a 2-0 lead thanks to a brace from Lois Openda was not enough for the Saxon Bundesliga club to win at the site of their greatest shame. Nothing came of the revenge for the 0:7 at Manchester City a good eight months ago, the defending Champions League champions won 3:2 (0:2) and remained unbeaten in the 18th game in the championship class.
“We really silenced the stadium beforehand,” said keeper Janis Blaswich on the streaming service DAZN. But it wasn't easy at any stage. The goals conceded were all close, "where we can perhaps still gain a foothold."
Decision made in the fight for group victory
After the goals by the 23-year-old Openda in the 13th and 33rd minutes, Haaland (54th) initiated the comeback before Phil Foden (70th) equalized. Julian Alvarez scored the winning goal in the 87th minute. In the fight for group victory, the decision has been made between the previously qualified teams: with 13 points, City can no longer be pushed out of first place.
Above all, the people of Leipzig wanted to prevent one thing at all costs: another disgrace like the one on March 14th in the same place. “It’s not about doing something special or different, it’s about surviving here,” emphasized Rose shortly before kick-off at DAZN.
However, RB then had to forego the support of its active fans. Because according to the club, they were not allowed to take utensils into the stadium, contrary to previous agreements, they did not go in either.
A German in the city goal
Openda scored the first goal early on. He accepted a long ball from Leipzig keeper Janis Blaswich a few meters past the halfway line, but not properly attacked by City man-marker Manuel Akanji, Openda ran towards the goal and played the ball past Stefan Ortega. Manchester coach Pep Guardiola gave his German substitute keeper a chance.
The 31-year-old, who moved from Arminia Bielefeld to City in the summer of 2021, was unable to prevent the deficit. Guardiola shook his head, Rose shouted his joy. When he had the ball, he had his Leipzig team play with a five-man defense and a four-man line in front. And that caused problems for the home team.
Who was Haaland?
During a short break in treatment, Guardiola called some of his players over, gestured and spoke to his professionals. After 30 minutes, his team only had two chances, Rúben Dias missed one in the 16th minute with a header from close range. Rico Lewis (30th) missed the other from 13 meters. Haaland, who scored five goals in the 7-0 win, was nowhere to be seen for half.
Instead, Leipzig's Openda initially became the man of the evening. He also scored the second goal confidently after a long run. Josko Gvardiol, who had visited his former Leipzig colleagues the day before, was unable to separate the Belgian, who had moved from RC Lens to RB in the summer, from the ball shortly before the goal was scored.
The big question: What will City do after the break? Haaland gave the answer after just under ten minutes when he scored after a fine pass. And now City really turned up the heat again, with Leipzig sometimes gathering around 20 meters in front of the penalty area. It was no use. Following a pass from Gvardiol, Foden scored from around 14 meters before Alvarez was also successful and completely turned the game around.