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CL: Manchester City is one step into the quarter-finals

Manchester City is one step into the quarter-finals of the Champions League following their away draw at RB Leipzig.

Pep Guardiola said his side will “adjust a few things” from the first leg as they host Leipzig today.

The sides drew 1-1 in Germany with Riyad Mahrez’s penalty giving City the lead in a dominant first half before Josko Gvardiol’s headed equaliser.

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“I don’t pay any attention to what happened there,” said Guardiola.

“We are going to adjust a few things to have more control and be better.”

Leipzig will be without midfielder Xaver Schlager and star forward Christopher Nkunku after the pair suffered injuries against Borussia Dortmund 10 days ago.

Marco Rose’s side, who are third in the Bundesliga, have only lost two games in all competitions since September.

“They are so aggressive in the high pressing and have an incredible build-up from the keeper – eight players inside, two incredible wide full-backs,” said Guardiola.

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“You close inside and they go to the full-backs. When you defend outside they have more players inside. It’s so difficult to control, you have to find the right tempo for pressing.

“I admire a lot what Leipzig have done. When I was in Munich they were in the second division so I could not face them. I am a big fan of what they do.”

Rose admits ‘uphill task’ after injuries hit Leipzig squad

RB Leipzig coach Marco Rose admits his side faces an uphill task after being hit by injuries.

The Bundesliga side has travelled to the Etihad Stadium for the second leg of their last-16 tie with just 17 outfield players.

Key midfielders Christopher Nkunku and Xaver Schlager are among the absentees for the German outfit, who battled back to claim a 1-1 draw in the first encounter last month.

Rose said: “We played against the opponent a few weeks ago and we know what to expect but it sounds easy in theory. In practice against City, it is a different ball game.

“The first half in Leipzig was bad. Our defence wasn’t too bad but we hardly had any possession, that was the main issue.

“We want to be more intensive when we defend, meaning we will have a bit more possession, but once we have the ball we need to be a bit more responsible as well.

“If we only press it will open spaces for them, but if we just defend and don’t attack we will concede at some point.

“We need to find the right balance, we need a lot of confidence and courage, and we will need our best match this season.”

On the positive side for Leipzig, Spain forward Dani Olmo is back in contention having returned from a six-week lay-off in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach.

“Dani coped pretty well with the injury,” said Rose, whose side is third in the Bundesliga. “He is still recovering but he will definitely be a factor in this game, for 25 or even 30 minutes.

“Dani will not be the Dani that we know but he will be of benefit to us, so we are happy that he is coming back.”

Alfred Saiki
Alfred Saiki
A passionate sports journalist and administrator. I want to see the world.