RB Leipzig 2-1 Man City: Player ratings as Cityzens’ winning run ends

Manchester City’s run of seven straight wins was brought to an end by RB Leipzig, losing 2-1 on the final matchday of the Champions League group stage.

City were already assured of top spot in group A heading into this one, but were very flat and carved open plenty of times at an empty Red Bull Arena.

The game started slowly and the first chance fell to Leipzig after 15 minutes, with the marauding Konrad Laimer nearly catching Zack Steffen out at his near post from the byline.

Kevin De Bruyne returned to the City starting lineup following a bout of coronavirus in November, and came close to giving his side the lead with a cute side-footed half volley just inside the Leipzig penalty area, but it sailed over the top of the bar.

Steffen had to be quick off his line to deny Andre Silva a golden chance after being slipped in behind the City defence by Christopher Nkunku, before Jack Grealish had a shot deflected over after a neat lay-off from Phil Foden.

And Dominik Szoboszlai had the ball in the net on the counter attack, darting into the space vacated by John Stones and rounding Steffen to give Leipzig the lead for a fourth successive Champions League game. After a VAR check, the goal was ruled onside and City were officially behind.

Emil Forsberg nearly doubled the lead for Die Roten Bullen just a couple of minutes later but Steffen was equal to his fierce strike, before the American produced a great reaction save to deny Silva from point-blank range.

City struck the post through Foden at the other end and De Bruyne forced a stunning save out of Peter Gulacsi from a free kick.

A quiet second half sparked into life when John Stones gave the ball away in the middle of the park, sparking a quick Leipzig counter attack which was eventually buried by Silva.

City thought they should have had a penalty when Raheem Sterling went to ground under a heavy challenge from Josko Gvardiol, but it didn’t matter as they pulled one back moments later anyway. Oleksandr Zinchenko’s deep cross was headed back across goal and into the net by Riyad Mahrez for his fifth Champions League goal of the season.

Pep Guardiola’s side had their tails up, but were brought crashing back to Earth again when Kyle Walker received a straight red card after booting Silva violently in the ankles.

De Bruyne had a curling effort go just wide of the post late on but that was as close as City came to finding an equaliser and Leipzig secured their place in the Europa League.

Zack Steffen, Andre SilvaZack Steffen, Andre Silva

Steffen was on hand to save City several times / Boris Streubel/GettyImages

Zack Steffen (GK) – 9/10 – Quick off his line and made several good stops. Would have done exceptionally well to stop Szoboszlai from rounding him.

Kyle Walker (RB) – 0/10 – At fault for the opener and received a stupid, stupid red card to rule him out of the first leg of City’s last 16 tie.

John Stones (CB) – 2/10 – Left Szoboszlai with an acre to run into for the opener, though probably wouldn’t have mattered as much if Walker was alert to the danger. But the second goal was definitely on him, selling Fernandinho woefully short.

Nathan Ake (CB) – 5/10 – Didn’t necessarily do much wrong but he just doesn’t have the aura of City’s other centre-backs.

Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) – 7/10 – Drifted infield quite a bit to help win the possession battle. Terrific assist to top his night off.

Kevin De BruyneKevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne ran out of steam on his return to the starting XI / Maja Hitij/GettyImages

Fernandinho (DM) – 5/10 – Up for the fight but looked a bit leggy and relied on Zinchenko to do some of the sweeping in midfield.

Kevin De Bruyne (CM) – 6/10 – Played a lot more like his old self again in the first half, carving Leipzig open with ease. Wore down as the game went on.

Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 6/10 – Caught on the ball a couple of times and didn’t have the physicality to hang in the midfield battle. Found joy roaming forward and probing between the lines.

Riyad MahrezRiyad Mahrez

Mahrez pulled one back / Maja Hitij/GettyImages

Riyad Mahrez (RW) – 7/10 – Made some good runs that went unnoticed but was quiet regardless until the goal.

Jack Grealish (CF) – 3/10 – Just isn’t a number nine – natural or false. Shifted out wide eventually and looked more comfortable.

Phil Foden (LW) – 7/10 – One of City’s best outfielders in the first half, giving Leipzig several headaches with his ability to play as a natural winger, wide forward and inverted playmaker. Hooked at half time.

Raheem Sterling (LW, 46′ for Foden) – 6/10 – One of City’s more lively players after coming on but didn’t have much luck in front of goal.

Cole Palmer (CM, 87′ for De Bruyne) – N/A

Ruben Dias (CB, 87′ for Ake) – N/A

PSG 4-1 Club Brugge: Player ratings as Messi & Mbappe grab braces

Despite having nothing to play for, Paris Saint-Germain dazzled the Parc des Princes on Tuesday with a stylish 4-1 victory over Club Brugge in the Champions League.

The evening’s outcome looked set in stone from the referee’s very first whistle, as the hosts took just 70 seconds to break the deadlock. Kylian Mbappe linked well with Nuno Mendes down the left-hand side before clinically slotting home the Portuguese’s rebounded cross into Simon Mignolet’s bottom corner.

PSG’s talisman doubled his and his side’s tally soon after, volleying in Angel Di Maria’s beautifully-weighted lofted pass to pretty much seal the result inside seven minutes.

If there were any doubts about PSG’s lead, Lionel Messi squashed them in the 38th minute. The Argentinian put the visitors out of sight with a sensational effort, collecting Mbappe’s pass, dribbling towards the opposition goal and curling the ball past Mignolet from range.

Philippe Clement’s side enjoyed a resurgence after the break and got a reward for their increased intensity and creativity. Noa Lang carried the move toward the Parisian goal, before releasing Mats Rits to calmly slide past Donnarumma with just over 20 minutes remaining.

The hosts soon regained control of the contest, however, and were awarded a penalty as Messi was quite clearly clipped by Ignace van der Brempt in the box. The Argentinian stepped up and made no mistake in notching his second of the night.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men had no difficulty in seeing out the well-earned win following their fourth, condemning their visitors to a fourth-placed finish in group A.

Here’s how PSG rated on the night.

Nuno Mendes, Kylian MbappeNuno Mendes, Kylian Mbappe

Mendes had a decent game / Xavier Laine/GettyImages

Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK) – 7/10 – Solid performance from the Italian, looking confident at all times and making a few really sharp stops.

Achraf Hakimi (RB) – 5/10 –
Typically assured when marauding up the right-hand side but really left his defensive colleagues isolated at times.

Marquinhos (CB) – 7/10 – Read the game well and made Hakimi’s frequent absences from the ‘un-fun’ side of the game unnoticeable for the most part, showing typical composure in dangerous situations.

Abdou Diallo (CB) – 8/10 –
Quick and alert throughout, showing a good defensive instinct to make six ball recoveries, eight clearances and one block.

Nuno Mendes (LB) – 7/10 –
Stable on the back foot, making four ball recoveries, while also causing havoc up the left flank all evening, notably playing a large part in his side’s early opener. Disappointingly forced off through injury immediately after the interval.

SOCCER CL PSG VS CLUB BRUGGESOCCER CL PSG VS CLUB BRUGGE

Georginio Wijnaldum didn’t have his best game / BRUNO FAHY/GettyImages

Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – 5/10 – Made some nicely-timed darts into the penalty area and beyond the Brugge back line, although seemed largely off the pace in his overall game.

Marco Verratti (CM) – 8/10 – Top midfield performance. Smooth, progressive and classy on the ball; gritty, destructive and the perfect amount of bite off it.

Idrissa Gueye (CM) – 7/10 – Put in a tenacious shift, covering a lot of ground to provide a stifling presence when facing up against Brugge and keeping things ticking along nicely when in possession.

Angel DI Maria (RW) – 8/10 – Looked much more creative and threatening than the weekend, demonstrating his brilliant passing ability to notch two key passes – notably grabbing a wonderful assist for Mbappe’s second.

Lionel Messi (CF) – 9/10 – Floated around elusively throughout, knitting moves together, dancing around in possession and just being Messi – epitomised by his fantastically-taken strike to make it 3-0 before getting a second from the spot.

Kylian Mbappe (LW) – 9/10 – A phenomenal display in every aspect, from his link-up play and movement to his tangible output. Grabbed a brilliant assist for Messi’s strike, after notching two stunningly-taken goals of his own.

Thilo Kehrer (LB) – 6/10 – Seemed to struggle with the game’s pace after his introduction, but livened up and worked tirelessly thereafter.

Leandro Paredes (CM) -6/10

Ander Herrera (CM) – 6/10

Mauro Icardi (ST) – N/A

Eric-Junior Dina Ebimbe (CM) – N/A

Ralf Rangnick confirms two appointments to his Man Utd staff

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has made two additions to his coaching staff at Old Trafford, appointing Chris Armas as a coach and Sascha Lense as a psychologist.

Rangnick has worked with both men before in his various roles with Red Bull.

Armas, a former United States international and MLS player with LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire, joined New York Red Bulls as an assistant coach while Rangnick was director of football at RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg. He was later promoted to NYRB head coach and worked under Rangnick when the German was placed in charge of the company’s global football operations.

Lense, meanwhile, worked at RB Leipzig for three years under Rangnick’s watch.

Confirming that he is happy for the existing coaching staff to remain in place, the temporary United boss explained his relationship with both new recruits ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with Young Boys at Old Trafford.

“It won’t be that many [staff coming in]. So far I’m very happy to work with the staff I have met last week, and they gave me a lot of help in the last couple of days in preparation for the Crystal Palace game,” Rangnick explained.

He added, “Chris used to be the assistant coach at the New York Red Bulls under Jesse Marsch. That was five years ago, when I first met him.

“Since then we have met quite frequently. Also in my role as head of global for Red Bull in the last three-and-a-half years he was head coach for the New York Red Bulls and for Toronto in the MLS.”

Chris Armas has been a player & coach for various MLS clubsChris Armas has been a player & coach for various MLS clubs

Chris Armas has been a player & coach for various MLS clubs / Elsa/GettyImages

Lense will help United players with the mental side of the game to improve performances.

“I worked with him for three years at Leipzig, in the year I won promotion from the second to the first division myself and the following two years when Ralph Hasenhuttl was head coach and Zsolt Low – the current assistant coach of Thomas Tuchel – was assistant coach,” Rangnick explained.

“We have known each other since then and he will be introduced to the team as soon as he’s got his visa and work permit.”

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

Man Utd vs Young Boys: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

Manchester United will take to the pitch under new interim manager Ralf Rangnick for the second time when they host Young Boys in the final round of Champions League group stage fixtures.

There was a notable tactical improvement under the revered German coach when United beat Crystal Palace in the Premier League at the weekend and fans will be keen to see the team continue to develop on a positive trajectory under the midweek lights.

United have already qualified for the Champions League knockout stages by virtue of matchday five’s away win against Villarreal, as well as securing top spot in the group. This dead rubber therefore gives Rangnick a good opportunity to see some of the other players at his disposal.

Young Boys, meanwhile, are out of the running to progress in this competition but still have a chance of dropping into the Europa League if they spring a shock and Atalanta are beaten at home by Villarreal in the group’s other match.

This is everything you need to know about the game…

When is kick off? Wednesday 8 December, 20:00 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? Old Trafford
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport 2 (UK), Paramount+ (US), DAZN (Canada)
Highlights? BT Sport YouTube Channel
Referee? Benoit Bastien (FRA)
VAR? Benoit Millot (FRA)

Dean Henderson will have a chance to impress the new bossDean Henderson will have a chance to impress the new boss

Dean Henderson will have a chance to impress the new boss / James Williamson – AMA/GettyImages

On top of missing several players through injury, Rangnick has confirmed he intends to rotate fresh players into the starting XI ahead of what is now a congested period of fixtures.

Raphael Varane and Edinson Cavani will likely remain sidelined until after the weekend despite resuming light training following thigh and tendon problems respectively. Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba are also unavailable, while Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard remains doubts.

Rangnick has confirmed that Dean Henderson and Donny van de Beek will start. There could also be opportunities at some point in the match for Anthony Elanga and Teden Mengi.

You can read Man Utd’s predicted lineup here.

Christian Fassnacht is a loss for Young BoysChristian Fassnacht is a loss for Young Boys

Christian Fassnacht is a loss for Young Boys / Aitor Alcalde Colomer/GettyImages

The Swiss champions are dealing with something of an injury crisis going into this one and are expected to be missing at least eight players.

That list of absentees includes number one goalkeeper David von Ballmoos, midfielders Christian Fassnacht and Esteban Petignat, defenders Cedric Zesiger and Ulisses Garcia, and forwards Jean-Pierre Nsame and Joel Monteiro.

Club captain Fabian Lustenberger has only started twice since his return from long-term injury.

This week’s match is the fourth time that United and Young Boys have ever met, with fans at Old Trafford not needing any reminder of the last time a couple of months ago.

That 2-1 defeat was one of several nails in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coffin, as United wilted under the pressure when Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off in the first half in Bern.

The other two meetings came in the 2018/19 Champions League group stage. Paul Pogba scored twice in a 3-0 win in Switzerland in the first of those, before a late winner from Marouane Fellaini secured Jose Mourinho’s United a 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford.

United have clearly responded well to Rangnick’s instructions since he took over late last week. Even with a rotated lineup, that sudden tactical resurgence, combined with the depth of quality that exists in the squad, and Young Boys’ injury problems, should spell a home win.

Prediction: Man Utd 2-0 Young Boys

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

Chelsea resigned to losing Antonio Rüdiger in 2022

Chelsea are now resigned to losing centre-back Antonio Rüdiger on a free transfer in 2022, 90min understands, with the German set to become one of the most coveted players on the continent.

Rüdiger’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires in the summer and talks over a new deal have long been at an impasse, with the Blues’ most recent offer well short of matching his desire to become one of the club’s highest-paid players.

That would be seen as reward for a remarkable 12 months of stellar form since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as Chelsea’s head coach – during which time the 28-year-old has collected a Champions League winners medal and established himself as one of the best central defenders in the world, having previously been viewed as something of a liability.

However, 90min understands that the disparity between Chelsea’s latest offer and Rüdiger’s demands means the club’s hierarchy has all but accepted that the Germany international will not pen fresh terms to remain in west London.

Rüdiger is free to negotiate his next move from January, and as many as 11 top European clubs are vying for the rare opportunity to sign a top class player without paying a transfer fee.

That includes all of the Blues’ major Premier League rivals in Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham. Outside of England, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Inter have all registered their interest and are preparing offers for January.

At this early stage Real Madrid and PSG are believed to be the frontrunners, but Rüdiger and his representatives are yet to make any major decisions.

Tuchel is understood to have wanted the club’s hierarchy to prioritise keeping Rüdiger, but it seems increasingly likely he will not get his wish.

Speaking in November, the Chelsea boss said: “The situation is the situation. We want him to stay, this is very clear and he knows it. But sometimes in these situations there is a certain delay and, obviously, there is a delay in these talks and his decision.

“It can happen these days but it does not effect his mentality, it doesn’t affect his quality, it doesn’t effect his behaviour. He is fully committed to Chelsea right now and I am absolutely sure he feels the trust, respect and love from the club and spectators.”

The German coach will be reassured that Chelsea are confident of tying up new deals for both Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta – two defenders who are also out of contract at the end of the season.

That is despite Christensen being left out of the team for three matches as a result of his agent back-tracking on a new contract agreed months ago and changing his demands.

For more from Krishan Davis, follow him on Twitter.