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 them a 1-1 draw against visitors Manchester City in their 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.

City have now drawn their last two games after being held 1-1 by Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday while Leipzig’s four-game winning run in the competition came to an end. The return leg is in Manchester on March 14.

The visitors, aiming to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for a sixth straight season, were in complete control in the first half, with coach Pep Guardiola having made three changes to the City side that drew with Forest.

They 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 their lead three minutes later when he was left completely unmarked at the far post but his header sailed wide.

The hosts, who were outplayed in the first half and only had their first shot on target in stoppage time, came out swinging after the break.

They should have equalised when Benjamin Henrichs was left completely alone in the box but sent his low shot wide.

City keeper Ederson then palmed away an Andre Silva effort from close range before also denying Dominik Szoboszlai in the 69th as Leipzig poured forward.

The Germans were rewarded a minute later when Marcel Halstenberg floated a cross into the box and defender Gvardiol outjumped his marker to head in the equaliser. – Reuters