Manchester Metropolis held at Leipzig in Champions League

Josko Gvardiol cancelled out Riyad Mahrez’s objective as Leipzig held Manchester Metropolis. AP

RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol scored a second-half header, cancelling out Riyad Mahrez’s strike to earn a 1-1 with Manchester Metropolis of their Champions League final 16 conflict on Wednesday. One of many breakout stars of the Qatar World Cup because the cornerstone of Croatia’s miserly defence, Gvardiol confirmed his attacking aptitude, launching himself above the Metropolis defence to go within the equaliser within the seventieth minute.

Metropolis took the lead after 27 minutes via Mahrez and seemed on target for a cushty away win however their fluency abandoned them after the interval within the first leg tie.

The house facet, who’ve solely misplaced as soon as of their previous 20 video games, discovered their zip within the second half and seemed the group probably to go to the Etihad for the return leg with a victory below their belt.

Metropolis’s star striker Erling Haaland suffered for an absence of service, with the Norwegian clearly lacking in poor health midfielder Kevin de Bruyne.

Metropolis dominated possession in trademark trend for the primary quarter of the match, however did not carve out any alternatives towards a well-drilled and structured house facet.

“On the finish, we had been a little bit nervous, the coach advised us to relax, there are 90 minutes left to play,” mentioned Mahrez.

Leipzig coach Marco Rose added: “Two very, very completely different halves. We simply didn’t occur within the first half, simply chased the ball, had been very dangerous after we had it. The second was fairly completely different, we had been higher with the ball, received it again higher and performed how we had envisioned to play.”

The breakthrough got here within the twenty seventh minute, when Metropolis midfielder Jack Grealish took benefit of a sloppy go from Xaver Schlager, pouncing with threading a vertical ball goalwards.

Metropolis captain Ilkay Gundogan attracted the eye of the Leipzig defence however let the ball run via his legs into the trail of Mahrez, who minimize a shot previous the fingertips of ‘keeper Janis Blaswich and into the online.

Rodri went near doubling Metropolis’s lead simply three minutes later however put his header simply vast.

Former Chelsea striker Timo Werner had half an opportunity in first-half harm time, however waited too lengthy to unleash a shot and his deflected effort was simply claimed by Ederson.

Leipzig swapped out wing backs Lukas Klostermann and Benjamin Henrichs at halftime searching for further penetration.

The brand new man went near scoring an equaliser twice within the area of two minutes early within the second half, first via a looping header and second when he shanked a close-range try when one-on-one with Ederson.

The introduction of Christopher Nkunku within the 66th minute got here in the course of the house facet’s finest interval of the sport and gave them an instantaneous enhance, striker Andre Silva forcing a rushed save from Ederson a minute later.

Gvardiol snuffed out an Haaland counter assault and acquired the house facet on the scoreboard quickly after, climbing a metre larger than the Metropolis defence to go within the equaliser from a Marcel Halstenberg nook.

Man Metropolis held on as Leipzig looked for a winner, which means each groups head to Manchester on an equal footing forward of the return fixture on March 14.

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