Manchester City have made an early claim to top Group A in the UEFA Champions League with a dominant performance against RB Leipzig.
Manchester City showcased their UEFA Champions League credentials with an impressive 6-3 hammering of the German side, RB Leipzig, at the Etihad. Last season’s finalists put the disappointment behind them to remind Europe once again of their prowess. A determined but ultimately vulnerable Leipzig side were the victims of the demonstration.
Dutch defender Nathan Ake gave Pep Guardiola’s side an early lead in the 16th minute before Leipzig star Nordi Mukiele put one through his own net to double the deficit. Christopher Nkunku gave the Germans hope with a 42nd minute strike. The joy was, however, shortlived as Riyad Mahrez restored City’s two-goal advantage in first-half stoppage time.
Leipzig, to their credit, refused to lie down and scored their second of the night through Nkunku in the 52nd minute. Champions League debutant Jack Grealish grabbed City’s fourth of the night before Nkunku completed his hat-trick in the 73rd minute. An open game at this point, City chose to make their quality count and crush any hopes Leipzig may have had.
Joao Cancelo and Gabriel Jesus ensured the score finished 6-3, flattering City to an extent. Angelino, who joined Leipzig permanently from City this summer, got his marching orders in the 79th minute. Going down to ten minutes effectively diminished any last vestiges of hope that Leipzig may have had
Jesse Marsch’s side put up a good fight for the majority of the game. Scintillating at times in attack, it is clear that their Achilles Heel lies in defence. Despite the loss, Leipzig can take heart from their performance. Once they get going, their attack will be a formidable asset. City meanwhile march on. We now take a look at how the City players performed on the night.
Ederson Moraes: 6/10
The Brazilian experienced a busier night than he would have anticipated thanks to Christopher Nkunku. Should have however better at his near post for the third goal.
Joao Cancelo: 8/10
One of City’s best players on the night. The Portuguese full-back was a constant menace down the right flank and was always available to get forward. Scored his side’s fifth of the night with a well-taken effort in the second half.
Ruben Dias: 6/10
Not the best night out for the reigning PFA Player of the Year. Usually reliable, Dias looked shaky at times and can be accused of giving Nkunku too much space for his second goal.
Top pics from a top night! 📸
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 15, 2021
Nathan Ake: 7/10
A rare start for the Dutchman, who was perhaps fortunate to not concede a penalty early on. He opened the scoring with a thumping header in the 16th minute. Ake also made a few timely interventions and clearances on the night.
Oleksandr Zinchenko: 6/10
Not a solid outing for the Manchester City left-back. Got himself into the book early on thanks to striking Dani Olmo in the face. Should have done better to stop Leipzig in the build-up to their goals.
Another consistent performance by the Spaniard. Rodri kept the ball ticking and did his best to help Manchester City establish control of the midfield. Taken off at the hour mark, he appeared to have picked up a niggle.
Kevin De Bruyne: 7/10
The Belgian maestro was once again the orchestrator of the Manchester City attack. His vision and execution were right on point and Guardiola’s side are much more threatening with him in their ranks. Delivered a wonderful pass, forcing Nordi Mukiele to score into his own net.
No better feeling! 🔙 pic.twitter.com/NVbyj0bKw9
— Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) September 15, 2021
Bernardo Silva: 6/10
Perhaps the least impressive of Manchester City’s midfielders. The Portuguese international struggled to get going and was made to look silly by the excellent Dani Olmo. Taken off at the hour mark and he can have no complaints about it.
Riyad Mahrez: 8/10
A display filled with intent and verve, the Algerian international was a constant menace for the Leipzig defence. Scored from a penalty in the first half as Manchester City threatened to run away with the game.
Ferran Torres: 6/10
The Spaniard can count himself rather unfortunate not to score on the night. He failed to connect with an excellent Cancelo pass in the first half and saw what was a fine strike chalked off for offside. Taken off at the hour mark.
Jack Grealish: 7/10
An impressive debut at Europe’s top tier competition for the summer acquisition. Scored an exquisite goal in the second half and it could have been so much more. Provided the delivery for Ake’s opener and forced Peter Gulacsi into a fine save later on. Grealish could be a player who can make the difference for Manchester City in the latter stages.
A perfect night for my 1st champions league game! Goal, assist, win 💙⚽️ pic.twitter.com/D6HMW148gg
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) September 15, 2021
Came on at a point where the game was balanced at a knife’s edge. Used his vast experience to help calm matters and gain the upper hand in midfield.
Ilkay Gundogan: 6/10
Tidy performance from the German midfielder, who added further solidity to the middle of the park. Set up Cancelo’s goal on the night.
Phil Foden: N/A
Barely had time on the pitch to make an impact.
Raheem Sterling: N/A
Another player who came on late into the game and had little time to make an impact.
Gabriel Jesus: 6/10
The Brazilian continues to impress in what has been a fine start to the season. Took his goal well in what was an excellent poacher’s effort.