Ilkay Gundogan admits Man City suffered ‘sloppy’ seconds in Leipzig
Ilkay Gundogan feels Manchester City have a responsibility to put things right after a “sloppy” performance at RB Leipzig.
City were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against the German side at the Red Bull Arena on Wednesday.
The Premier League champions led 1-0 through Riyad Mahrez after a dominant first-half display but were pegged back by a Josko Gvardiol header in the second period.
“I think after the first-half performance, it felt a little bit disappointing not to get the win,” said City captain Gundogan on City TV.
“I felt that our game was a bit sloppy in the second half, at least in some periods. We probably lost some easy balls, allowed them to get opportunities. It’s a bit a bit like we gave parts of the second half away easily.
“Unfortunately we were not able to maximise our gain when the momentum was on our side – by scoring maybe one or two more goals – and then when the momentum was on their side, we were not able to minimise the damage.
“But this is the Champions League, so simple things get punished quite quickly.
“We know how difficult it is to proceed but it is our responsibility, with the squad that we have, to always get far and to do better and better. And that’s the aim for the for the second leg now.”
City took a deserved lead in the 27th minute when Jack Grealish pounced on a loose ball and played a pass through Gundogan’s legs for Mahrez to sweep home.
Yet further chances came and went and City were punished for their profligacy as Leipzig stepped up their game after the interval.
The leveller came 20 minutes from time when Croatia defender Gvardiol rose highest at a corner to head in.
Gundogan forced a good save from Janis Blaswich and City also had a penalty appeal for handball turned down as the visitors responded but the night ended in frustration.
“Unfortunately it was not meant to be but it was an expected difficult second half,” said Gundogan.
“To concede like that was a bit disappointing but at the end of the day, I think it’s a good result to take home and obviously now we have to finish the job at the Etihad.”
The result came after City were also held by Nottingham Forest last weekend, a result which saw them lose ground in the Premier League title race.
They will attempt to get back to winning as they travel to Bournemouth on Saturday.
Gundogan said: “It won’t be easy but it’s nothing that we that we didn’t do in the past. We have a good group and everyone is needed and I think we’re going to be ready for Bournemouth.”
READ: Manchester City still lack that killer touch as Leipzig bounce back to draw
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