Leipzig secure Europa League spot with 2-1 win over Man City

Paris Saint-Germain's Lionel Messi scores from a penalty kick against Club Brugge at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on Tuesday night. — AFP
Paris Saint-Germain's Lionel Messi scores from a penalty kick against Club Brugge at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on Tuesday night. — AFP

Leipzig - Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe on the double as Paris-Saint Germain rout Club Brugge



By Reuters

Published: Wed 8 Dec 2021, 12:01 AM

RB Leipzig struck in each half to beat already-qualified Manchester City 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday, booking a spot in the Europa League and snapping the English club’s 14-game unbeaten run against German teams in the competition.

With interim coach Achim Beierlorzer on the bench after the sacking of Jesse Marsch on Sunday, Leipzig secured third spot in Group A on the final matchday ahead of Club Brugge, who lost 4-1 at second-placed Paris St Germain.

City, with seven changes to the team that beat Watford in the Premier League at the weekend, defended high but Dominik Szoboszlai managed to break clear and latch onto a Konrad Laimer ball to round goalkeeper Zack Steffen in the 24th minute.

The hosts came close to a second but first Emil Forsberg’s shot was blocked by Steffen and a little later the City keeper made a reflex save to deny Andre Silva from point blank range.

His Leipzig counterpart Peter Gulacsi responded with a superb save of his own in the 40th, getting his fingers to a Phil Foden shot to direct it onto the post.

City looked livelier after the break but Leipzig scored against the run of play with Silva’s well-placed shot in the 71st after City clumsily lost possession in their own half.

The visitors did respond six minutes later with Riyad Mahrez’s diving header for his fifth goal in six Champions League games but their comeback was short-lived with Kyle Walker being shown a red card for kicking Silva from behind.

Already-qualified Paris St Germain finished the Champions League group stage in style as Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi bagged doubles in a 4-1 home win over Club Brugge.

France forward Mbappe put the Ligue 1 side 2-0 up in the first seven minutes and Messi added a third before the break plus a fourth with a penalty after the interval.

PSG were guaranteed second place in Group A before kick-off, while Manchester City had already secured top spot and finished with 12 points, one ahead of Mauricio Pochettino’s Paris side.

Brugge were eliminated from European competition after finishing bottom with four points, three behind Leipzig.

Visiting goalkeeper Simon Mignolet clumsily punched Nuno Mendes’s cross into the path of Mbappe who fired home after two minutes and the striker was at it again five minutes later when he volleyed past the Belgian from Angel Di Maria’s pass.

Mbappe is the youngest player to reach 30 goals in the Champions League, less than two weeks before his 23rd birthday.

Messi added the third seven minutes before halftime with a trademark curled attempt from outside the area and although Mats Rits pulled one back in the 68th, PSG were always in control.

Messi wrapped up a comfortable victory with a 76th-minute spot kick after being brought down by substitute Ignace Van der Brempt. — Reuters


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