Manchester City suffered a second half slump in their Champions League trip to RB Leipzig on Wednesday. The reigning Premier League champions dominated the first half but could only muster a draw on the road. Inter Milan, on the other hand, grabbed a home win against Porto thanks to a late Romelu Lukaku goal.
Leipzig fight back after lackluster first half
City dominated the early stages of the game in Germany. The visitors had 80% possession and all of the shots in the opening 25 minutes. Riyad Mahrez then capitalized on the dominance with a goal in the 27th minute of the match.
Jack Grealish pounced on a loose ball deep into Leipzig teretory. The winger then played in Ilkay Gundogan, who slipped a clever pass to the goalscorer. Mahrez emphatically put the ball into the net from the top of the box. Janis Blaswich didn’t even move in the host’s goal.
Despite the first half dominance by City, Leipzig looked like a different team in the second. The hosts had six shots in the first 25 minutes of the second period, with the sixth landing in the back of City’s net. Marcel Halstenberg lofted a cross into the box and Josko Gvardiol headed the ball in for the equalizing goal.
The draw means that the return match in Manchester will ultimately decide which club advances to the quarterfinals.
Lukaku grabs late goal to win match
Although not quite as commanding as City, Inter clearly had the upper hand in the first half an hour in their match. The Italians put Port under pressure quite a few times in the early stages. Lautaro Martinez sent a shot over the bar in the 13th minute and then Diogo Costa smartly saved a Hakan Calhanoglu shot five minutes later. The Portugal international also made a massive save just seconds from halftime on a shot by Alessandro Bastoni.
Not to be outdone by his counterpart, Inter keeper Andre Onana also displayed some incredible saves as well. The former Cameroon international made an amazing double save to keep the scoreline level in the 57th minute. Mehdi Taremi had a glorious chance to grab the lead for the visitors, but Onana made two stops from close range.
Porto went down to 10 men in the 78th minute after Otavio received his second yellow card for a bad foul on Calhanoglu. The Portugal international attacker previously picked up a warning in the first half for not giving the ball back to Inter after Onana put the ball out of play on purpose.
With a man advantage, Inter finally broke the deadlock. Substitute Romelu Lukaku put his club ahead in the 86th minute. The Belgium first struck the post with a header and then put the rebound into the back of the net. It was Lukaku’s fourth goal of the season in all competitions.
Inter will now only need a draw in Portugal to move on to the Champions League quarterfinals.
Photo credit: Imago / Nicolo Campo
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Women’s World Cup, Euro 2024 & Gold Cup
The New Home of MLS
- Price: $14.99/mo. for MLS Season Pass
- Watch every MLS game including playoffs & Leagues Cup
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $10.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $14.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & FA Cup
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $5.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & Brasileirāo