RB Leipzig’s Josko Guardiol scores the team’s first goal over Manchester City’s Ederson during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 League One match between RB Leipzig and Manchester City at Red Bull Arena on February 22, 2023 in Leipzig, Germany. Photo credit: Getty Images
RB Leipzig defender Josep Guardiola’s superb 70th-minute header secured a 1-1 draw against hosts Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old defender grabbed the equalizer in the 27th minute after City’s Riyad Mahrez scored after a Leipzig error.
There was some controversy at the end when City wanted a penalty with the last kick of the game when the ball appeared to bounce off the hands of Benjamin Hinrich in the box.
“In general I’m really happy,” said coach Pep Guardiola. “I knew the game would be decided in the second leg. I have a lot of respect for Leipzig.”
“Hopefully in three weeks we’ll be in good shape. We can do better. We’ve got to adjust some things and find a way to get through it.”
Asked about the post-match clash with his players, Guardiola said he told them to be proud of their performance.
“I said ‘Why are you keeping your head down? Heads up, that was good’.”
City had 74% possession and nearly double the number of attacks of their opponents but have now drawn their last two games after being held 1-1 by Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday.
Leipzig’s four-game winning streak in the competition came to an end. The return leg is in Manchester on March 14.
The visitors, aiming to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the sixth season in a row, were in complete control in the first half.
They went in front when Jack Grealish easily intercepted a weak Xaver Schlager pass on the edge of the box and played the ball through the middle for Mahrez to finish.
Rodri should have doubled his lead three minutes later when he was left completely unmarked at the far post but his header went wide.
The hosts, who were outplayed in the first half and had the first shot on target in stoppage time, came out swinging after the break.
They should have equalized when Benjamin Henriques was left all alone in the box but sent his low shot wide.
City keeper Ederson then grabbed Andre Silva’s effort from close range before also denying Dominik Soboszlai in the 69th as Leipzig went ahead.
The Germans were rewarded a minute later when Marcel Halstenberg whipped a cross into the box and defender Guardiola headed past his marker to equalise.
“Two different parts,” said Leipzig coach Marco Rose. “In the first one we were very passive and just ran after them. The second one was different, just like we imagined and we put pressure on them.”
Inter beat Porto.
Inter players celebrate their 1-0 victory over Porto in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on February 22, 2023. Photo credit: Twitter/@inter
Substitute Romelu Lukaku scored the winner in the 86th minute to give Inter Milan a 1-0 win over Porto in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Wednesday.
Alessandro Bastoni came close to giving Inter the lead in first-half stoppage time but his downward header was brilliantly saved by Porto keeper Diego Costa.
Porto midfielder Ottavio was sent off 12 minutes from time after receiving a second yellow card for a challenge on Hakan Calhanoglu and Inter took their chance.
Belgium’s Lukaku headed Niccolo Barella’s cross against the post before slotting past Costa.