Julian Alvarez and Jeremy Doku Secure Crucial Win for Manchester City over RB Leipzig in Germany
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Julian Alvarez and Jeremy Doku Secure Crucial Win for Manchester City over RB Leipzig in Germany

Manchester City, the reigning Champions League champions, maintain a perfect record in the 2023-24 campaign with a 3-1 triumph over RB Leipzig in Germany. The match appeared headed for a draw as Lois Openda equalized Phil Foden’s earlier goal. However, late strikes by Julian Alvarez and Jeremy Doku sealed a victory for City, propelling them to the top of Group G after two games.

Though it looked briefly like Manchester City might go a third game in a row without a win, two brilliant goals from the bench was reward for a dominant performance, and enough to take them top of Group G.
Just as they did against Wolves on Saturday, Manchester City dominated first half possession and had more than the lion’s share of chances. Unlike at the weekend, however, they were able to make one of them count, thanks largely to Rico Lewis’s creative playmaking coming in from the right.
In the 25th minute, who started the move in his own half, received it again, zipped through the Leipzig defenders and arrived at the byline still in possession. There he cut the ball back to Phil Foden who timed his run from the left to perfection. Foden swung his shot hard into the ground, where it flew into the net past the outstretched left hand of Leipzig keeper, Janis Blaswich.

There was the sense City’s inability to get more might cost them and it was looking that way when the home side equalised early in the second half. It came on the counter attack, as Jack Grealish gave the ball away while Lois Openda ran clear into space, stayed strong under pressure and put the pull away well beneath City’s keeper Edersen.
Though that gave the home side and their fans confidence, in the send a series of substitutions secured the three points for City – though they had to wait for the breakthrough.
After continuing to press, and Haaland found himself frustrated repeatedly, it was a brilliant move from Julian Alvarez that made the difference. Jeremy Doku, who had replaced Manuel Akanji, held the ball up on the left of the box, and tapped the ball to his fellow substitute, Julian Alvarez. With the gentlest of backlifts, the Spaniard curled the ball into the goal and there was nothing Blaswich could do.
It was Leipzig’s refusal to give up on the game that cost them another. Attacking with men forward Doku himself was left running into acres of space when he received the ball from Alvarez. He tapped it comfortably under the body of the Leipzig goalkeeper, to secure all three points for the away team, and take them top of Group G.

Julian Alvarez and Jeremy Doku Secure Crucial Win for Manchester City over RB Leipzig in Germany

Talking Point
Persistence pays off Pep Guardiola had the confidence to stick with the tactical formula which, apart from a bit of a lack of goals, was paying off in terms of possession and chances in the first half. In the second, it was simply a change of personnel that made all the difference, in particular the insertion of Julian Alvarez into the game. That moment of magic from Alvarez gave City the goal they seemed to feel they deserved, and opened the game up for its final moments.

Player of the match – Phil Foden

Despite Julian Alvarez’s brilliance, Manchester City displayed a multitude of exceptional performances tonight. One player, in particular, stood out by maintaining composure, creating opportunities, and taking some shots himself. Phil Foden was at the heart of City’s creative efforts, covering more ground than anyone else on the pitch. While he may not have directly contributed to the style of victory, he played a pivotal role in wearing down the opposition, making them susceptible to the brilliant plays that ultimately secured the win. With 11 goals and 9 assists in 46 Champions League appearances, Foden is steadily establishing himself as a key figure for the team.

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