Pep Guardiola admitted that his Manchester City side lacked “rhythm” in the first half against RB Leipzig as their opponents “punished” them.
There was nothing riding on this game from Man City‘s perspective as they had already secured top spot in Group A.
This came as they won four of their first five Champions League group games.
RB Leipzig still had something to play for as a win against City would have earned them a place in the Europa League.
The German side edged the opening 45 minutes and they went into the break ahead. Dominik Szoboszlai gave his side the lead as he rounded Zack Steffen before he tapped the ball home.
The hosts doubled their lead with around twenty minutes to go. Andre Silva got the goal as he expertly found the bottom corner from inside the penalty area.
Man City got a goal back shortly after through Riyad Mahrez. They were beaten 2-1 and Kyle Walker was sent off before the end as he unnecessarily kicked out at Silva.
As quoted by Manchester Evening News, Guardiola suggested that his side were “more aggressive” in the second half but their “mistakes” were punished by Leipzig:
“In the first half we lacked rhythm. We had problems to contact and they have a really good team – we knew from before the group stage,” Guardiola said.
“The second half was much, much better but unfortunately we made one or two mistakes and they punished us. We played better in the second half. We were more aggressive, we played to win the game and we lost. Congratulations to Leipzig.
“We made an incredible group stage, we qualified with one game left from a tough group. So I am more than satisfied with the performance in every single game. In February hopefully we can arrive in the best condition possible.”
Manchester City’s closest rivals PSG hammered Club Brugge 4-1 in their final group game. Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi scored two goals apiece.
These results see City finish a point clear of PSG at the summit of Group A. Leipzig end up three points ahead of Brugge as the German outfit secure a spot in the Europa League.