With a quintuplet from Haaland, Manchester City thrashes Leipzig and joins the quarter-finals of the Champions League
The game: 7-0
Spectators at the Etihad Stadium were to expect anything but this. At the end of a match – on the contrary to go (1-1) – Spectacular and marked by contentious arbitration decisions, but above all by Erling Haaland’s quintuple, Manchester City crushed Leipzig (7-0) in the knockout stages of the Champions League. A demonstration that comes as the Germans evolved without Peter Gulacsi, Abdou Diallo, Christopher Nkunku or Xaver Schlager, all injured. Pep Guardiola’s men will therefore see the quarter-finals in April for the sixth season in a row.
Far from their sterile possession of the first leg, Manchester City started the game by putting significant pressure on the Leipzig camp. Nathan Aké launched Haaland for the first time in depth, but the Norwegian stumbled on Blaswich (11th). Ten minutes later, the referee of the game Slavko Vincic decided, after consulting the VAR (see below), to award a questionable penalty to the Citizens for a handball by Benjamin Heinrichs following a corner. Already dominating, City did not ask so much to strike a first blow to his opponent. Haaland was responsible for opening the scoring (1-0, 22nd).
A quintuplet in 61 minutes…
Destabilized, Leipzig completely lost their footing in the wake of this first goal conceded. On a ball recovery, Kevin De Bruyne immediately triggered a shot that crushed the crossbar of the opposing goalkeeper. Always on the lookout, the inevitable Haaland took the opportunity to extend with a header and scored his 30th goal in C1.
The first half also saw Pep Guardiola’s men systematically get the better of Leipzig in the air. Just before the break, Ruben Dias climbed higher than everyone else and found Blaswich’s left upright. The ball was rolling on the line, and the Cyborg was still there, in the right place, at the right time, to push the ball deep (3-0, 45th + 2).
Despite a clearly acquired qualification from City, the match turned into a demonstration when Gündogan split with an unstoppable strike to add to the score (4-0, 49th). An offensive orgy to which Haaland contributed a little more, author of a quadruple (5-0, 53rd) then a quintuplet (6-0, 58th)! Both times at close range, on the lookout for balls that were lying around in the 16.50m of Leipzig. Everyone had already seen enough, and the center-forward left under the ovation of an audience stunned by what he had just seen (61st). In additional time, Kevin De Bruyne completed the show of the evening by wrapping the ball in the skylight (90th + 2).
Thanks to his quintuplet completed in one hour of play, Haaland has a record passing time of 33 goals in 25 Champions League matches.
The fact of the match: an arbitration that City did not need
This is enough to give grain to grind to the detractors of the VAR. After a trivial scramble on a corner, the referee of the game was challenged by video assistance to come back to a hand from Benjamin Henrichs in the box. A priori, the player, from behind at the time of the action, did not enlarge the surface of his body. But a penalty was awarded and launched the beginning of an offensive festival. All while City was already outrageously dominating their opponent. Later in the match, goalkeeper Ederson was miraculously exempted from a penalty after a completely failed exit where the Citizen hit Werner (34th). It was ultimately the striker who received a yellow card for protesting…