City won 6-3 against Leipzig in the opening round of the Champions League group stage. The two teams offered a fantastic show for those watching in the stadium and at home. The match marked Pep Guardiola’s 300th game in charge of Manchester City.
You can watch all the goals here.
City was up 1-0 in the 16th minute after Dutch defender Ake put the ball into the Leipzig net following a perfectly taken corner from Grealish. With the game unlocked, City went up 2-0 just before the half-hour mark after Mukiele put the ball into his net. Nkunku got one back for Leipzig after 42 minutes, but the first half finished with another goal from City. Mahrez scored from the penalty spot to make it 3-1.
Nkunku replied once more early in the second half (’51) before Grealish scored a fantastic goal to prolong the thriller. PSG academy graduate Nkunku went on completing his hat-trick in the 73rd minute, as City pushed further. Another epic goal from Joao Cancelo in the 75th minute and a strike by Gabriel Jesus stopped the counting. City made a strong statement in its first Champions League outing this season. They top Group A, which also features PSG and Brugges.
The most expensive player transferred this summer in European football, Jack Grealish, made his Champions League debut on Wednesday evening. City’s record $140 million signing was the best player on the pitch, contributing offensively with delightful passes, creative solutions, and a wonderful goal.
FULL TIME | An entertaining night at the Etihad! 🔥
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 15, 2021
Hat-trick hero Nunku: ‘I scored three goals, but every time they scored again right away’
Christopher Nkunku’s three goals at City’s ground will only matter in the Champions League record books, as Leipzig got no points from their trip to Manchester.
“Every mistake was punished,” Nkunku said. “We made a lot of individual errors. I scored three goals but every time they scored again right away. We needed to show more concentration. We knew the quality Manchester City have.”
Talking to BT Sport after the game, Pep Guardiola hailed his players following their performance and said he was impressed with Leipzig and their style. “They have a young team, so aggressive, so strong. A fantastic team. Leipzig give a good message to football. The quality of our players was better today and that’s why we won. Leipzig never give up. They have a special way to attack. They play all or nothing. You never have the feeling it’s over. We scored a few minutes after they scored and it helped us a lot.”
City’s players are determined not to let the Champions League trophy slip from their hands this season after losing the final against Chelsea in May.
“We’re determined to go one better this year. It’s a good start for us. Hopefully, we can go all the way this time,” said Jack Grealish. “It’s great to get the win and obviously a great night for me personally. To get the goal, it’s a wonderful feeling,” the prized midfielder said about his performance.
Manchester City is the second-favorite to lift the trophy this season, slightly behind PSG. The French giants’ stellar transfer market activity put them in front at +360, with City now at +380. Bayern Munich is next at +800, with Liverpool at +1000. Manchester United stand at +1400, while Real Madrid is at +1600.