Gvardiol header earns Leipzig 1-1 draw against Man City
LEIPZIG: RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol powered home a towering header in 70th-minute to earn it a 1-1 draw against visitor Manchester City in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old defender bagged the deserved equaliser after City’s Riyad Mahrez had slotted in following a Leipzig mistake in the 27th minute. There was some controversy at the end with City wanting a penalty with the last kick of the game after the ball appeared to bounce off Benjamin Henrichs’ hands in the box.
“In general I am really pleased,” said coach Pep Guardiola. “I had a feeling the game would be decided in the second leg. I have a lot of respect for Leipzig.”
“Hopefully in three weeks we arrive in a good condition. We can do better. We have to adjust some things and find a way to go through.”
City had 74% possession and almost double the number of its opponent’s attacks but has now drawn its last two games after being held 1-1 by Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday.
Leipzig’s four-game winning run in the competition came to an end. The return leg is in Manchester on March 14. The visitor, aiming to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for a sixth straight season, was in complete control in the first half.
It went in front when Jack Grealish easily intercepted a weak Xaver Schlager pass on the edge of the box and played the ball through the middle for Mahrez to finish.
Rodri should have doubled its lead three minutes later when he was left completely unmarked at the far post but his header sailed wide. The host, which was outplayed in the first half and only had its first shot on target in stoppage time, came out swinging after the break. It should have equalised when Benjamin Henrichs was left completely alone in the box but sent his low shot wide.
Lukaku strikes late to snatch win for Inter over Porto
Substitute Romelu Lukaku grabbed an 86th-minute goal to earn Inter Milan a 1-0 victory over Porto in a tight first leg of its Champions League last-16 tie.
Porto midfielder Otavio was sent off 12 minutes from time and Belgian striker Lukaku took full advantage to boost Inter’s bid to qualify for the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition for the first time in 12 years.
Lautaro Martinez could have put Inter ahead after 13 minutes but sent his header wide from an unmarked position inside the box.
Inter keeper Andre Onana pulled off a good stop to keep out an effort from Marko Grujic who was played free inside the box by a backheel pass from Mehdi Taremi.
Alessandro Bastoni was close to giving Inter the lead in first-half stoppage time, but his downward header was expertly saved by Porto keeper Diogo Costa.
Results: RB Leipzig 1 (Gvardiol 70) drew with Manchester City 1 (Mahrez 27); Inter Milan 1 (Lukaku 86) bt FC Porto 0
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