Football

Man City survive Nkunku hat-trick to overwhelm Leipzig 6-3

Manchester City's Joao Cancelo celebrates scoring their fifth goal with teammates. (Reuters/Lee Smith)

MANCHESTER: Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick for RB Leipzig but ended on the losing side in a nine-goal thriller as Manchester City, last season's Champions League runners-up, made a positive start in Group A with a 6-3 win at the Etihad Stadium Wednesday.

Defender Nathan Ake put City ahead in the 16th minute with a header from a Jack Grealish corner and Pep Guardiola's side doubled their lead 12 minutes later when a Kevin De Bruyne cross was headed into his own net by Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele.

The German side got back in the game with a 42nd-minute header from Nkunku, only for City to restore their two-goal advantage on the stroke of halftime with a Riyad Mahrez penalty.

Leipzig were not deterred, though, and Nkunku reduced the deficit again in the 51st minute heading in a Dani Olmo cross, only for Grealish to mark his Champions League debut with a fine solo goal.

But once again French forward Nkunku kept the game alive, completing his hat-trick with a crisp drive after being set up by Yussuf Poulsen.

Incredibly, City responded immediately with an unstoppable long-range drive from Portuguese full back Joao Cancelo and any hopes the visitors had of a comeback ended when they went down to 10 men when former City full back Angelino was sent off in the 79th minute.

Substitute Gabriel Jesus added the sixth from close range five minutes from time.

 

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