The German Bundesliga club fought a 1-1 draw with ÖFB team players Konrad Laimer and Xaver Schlager against the English champions on Wednesday evening after being 1-0 down. That leaves everything open in the second leg on March 14 on English soil. Inter Milan celebrated a narrow 1-0 win over FC Porto in Wednesday’s second game.
After the official farewell to ex-Leipzig coach and sports director and current ÖFB team boss Ralf Rangnick, the English clearly dictated what happened in the first half, were extremely overweight in terms of possession, but were only able to capitalize on it once. The guests benefited from their own mistakes by the home team, who initially competed without top scorer Christopher Nkunku. After a bad pass from Schlager in the build-up game, Jack Grealish grabbed the ball. His pass to Ilkay Gündogan went through the legs of defender Josko Gvardiol and landed on Riyad Mahrez, who shot it cold. Leipzig goalie Janis Blaswich had no chance.
Mahrez with 20 hits
It was the 20th goal in the “premier class” for the Algerian team striker. In the he scored for the second time in a row after a goal in the 3-1 win over Sevilla at the end of the group stage. In the current season, the 32-year-old has saved twelve goals after making his 30th appearance in a competitive game. A Rodrigo header went past the long corner and Erling Haaland, who was also posted there (30th). Leipzig only came into the ManCity penalty area in the last action before the break, but the Werner conclusion was easy prey for goalkeeper Ederson (45 + 1).
The break speech by ex-Salzburg coach Marco Rose should have been fruitful. The English came close to making it 2-0, which Schlager prevented by blocking a Mahrez shot in front of the line for Blaswich in dire need (50′). After that, however, the home side came up and showed a completely different weight with extreme offensive power. This is also thanks to Benjamin Henrichs, who came on at the break and headed over the ball after Laimer had won the ball well (53′) and shot just wide from eleven yards (55′). Ederson then prevented the equalizer in a duel with Andre Silva (63rd).
Haaland remained pale
On the other hand, Haaland was hardly able to put himself in the limelight this time, with his best chance the Norwegian didn’t hit the ball properly after a counterattack (68th). As a result, the Germans stayed in the game and immediately after a Szoboszlai shot chance (69th) came to the unsurprising equalizer. After a Halstenberg cross, Gvardiol climbed the highest and headed in. Leipzig’s Blaswich then held on to the tie with a parade at a Gündogan conclusion (73′). Laimer played through, Schlager was substituted in the 82nd minute.
Inter and Porto have been on equal footing for a long time. The Portuguese disrupted the Italians early on with high pressing, which caused problems on a couple of occasions. For a long time, however, no goals were scored on either side. Only after a yellow-red card for Otavio after a foul on Inter’s Hakan Calhanoglu (78th) did the Milanese still get on the road to victory. Romelu Lukaku, who was substituted in the 58th minute, became the match winner in the 86th minute. Porto conceded their first defeat after 22 unbeaten competitive games.