RB Leipzig challenged against Manchester City in the Champions League

Hammerless in the premier class: Leipzig meets Manchester City

Manchester City fears “difficult games” against RB Leipzig in the Champions League. The opponents of the other German clubs are now certain – in the premier class and Europa League.

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Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku and Dominik Szoboszlai meet Manchester City in the Champions League round of 16.

Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku and Dominik Szoboszlai meet Manchester City in the Champions League round of 16.
© Hendrik Schmidt/dpa

RB Leipzig drew the hardest possible ticket for the round of 16 of the Champions League. In the round of 16, the Bundesliga club meets the English champions Manchester City with former Dortmund top striker Erling Haaland and coach Pep Guardiola.

That was the result of the draw on Monday in Nyon. The English champions have to travel to Leipzig on February 22nd. The cup winners welcome the English champions at 9 p.m. The second duel will take place on March 14 at the Etihad Stadium in northern England.

The duel between Leipzig and City already took place in the group phase of last season. At that time, the German cup winner lost 3:6 in Manchester in a spectacular game.

Manchester City fear tough games against Leipzig

Manchester City is not satisfied with the Los RB Leipzig in the Champions League and fears two difficult games in the round of 16. “It’s German football – very open, from penalty area to penalty area. We don’t like that because we always want to be in control. This type of football makes it difficult,” said sporting director Txiki Begiristain on Monday.

However, the Saxons won the second leg 2-1 and thus secured third place in the group and entry into the Europa League.

For the third time, Leipzig made it into the round of 16 with a prize money of 9.6 million euros. Julian Nagelsmann made it to the semi-finals in 2019/20. There they clearly failed 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain in the final tournament held in Lisbon due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A year later it was the round of 16. The club met Liverpool twice in Budapest and Leipzig lost 2-0 twice. It was questionable for a long time this season that the knockout stage would be reached again. Leipzig lost the first group game under coach Domenico Tedesco 1: 4 against Shakhtar Donetsk, under successor Marco Rose there was a 0: 2 at Real Madrid.

FC Bayern plays against Paris Saint-Germain

Then, however, four wins followed in a row and with a 4-0 win against Donetsk in Warsaw, RB bought the ticket for the round of 16 behind group winners Real again. With FC Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund, three other Bundesliga clubs have made it into the round of 16.

Record German soccer champions FC Bayern Munich meet Paris Saint-Germain’s international superstar ensemble of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé in a rematch for the 2020 final.

Dortmund will have to compete with FC Chelsea, who finished first in the group stage and will travel with two professionals who are well known in Westphalia.

Difficult lot for Eintracht Frankfurt

“We have a top team waiting for us. With (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang and (Christian) Pulisic we’re meeting old friends. We’re looking forward to seeing you again and of course we want to advance to the next round,” explained BVB coach Edin Terzic.

One of the best teams in Europe at the moment will be opponents of Eintracht. “Ultimately, it was also to be expected that we would face a difficult opponent,” said Frankfurt manager Markus Krösche about Napoli, the sovereign leader in Serie A. “We will do everything we can to get through to the next round. I don’t think Naples so super happy to get us.”

Attractive lots in the Europa League

In the Europa League, the European “lower house”, Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen have caught attractive lots. At the start of the knockout phase of the European Cup, the Köpenickers will face Dutch top club Ajax Amsterdam. The Werkself are playing against AS Monaco for a place in the round of 16. That was the result of the draw on Monday at UEFA headquarters in Nyon.

The duel with the six-time European Cup winner and current Dutch champion is particularly interesting for Union’s top attacker Sheraldo Becker. He was educated in the famous Ajax football school. For Leverkusen, the encounter with the fifth in France’s league will be a reunion with former Bayer goalscorer Kevin Volland.

Lewandowski meets Ronaldo

The first leg will take place on February 16. The second leg was scheduled for February 23. Union first plays away and then at home, for Leverkusen it’s the other way around.

Reaching the next round is the greatest international success of the Berliners. Last year, the Irons were eliminated in the group stage of the Conference League. In 2001 the UEFA Cup ended after two rounds against the Bulgarian club Litex Lovech. Leverkusen had missed the round of 16 in the Champions League. As third in the group, coach Xabi Alonso’s team is relegated to the Europa League.

The most dazzling intermediate round game in the Europa League is FC Barcelona’s duel between Robert Lewandowski and Manchester United, which is currently still busy with Cristiano Ronaldo. (dpa)