Manchester, England – Manchester City winger Jack Grealish put an exclamation point on a fine display in his Champions League debut with a beautifully taken solo goal as Pep Guardiola’s side outscored RB Leipzig 6-3 at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
Grealish, who joined City for ₤100 million ($138 million) last month from Aston Villa, set up City’s opener with a corner that was headed in by Nathan Ake before making it 4-2 with a curling shot into the far corner.
The England international said he was thrilled to finally get a chance on the Champions League stage.
“I loved it,” the 26-year-old said. “I’ve been waiting a while. The past few weeks, I couldn’t wait for this game. It’s been a great night.”
“It was one of those games. It had absolutely everything. In the end we’re delighted to get the win against a good team full of energy and young players.
“I’m delighted to come away with the three points — and the goal and assist.”
While the goal required a quality finish from Grealish, the leadup looked very much like his typical approach. He received the ball wide on the left before cutting into the area and pulling the trigger.
“The ball came to me and when I’m in that position, running into the area, I’d back myself one-on-one against anyone to have a go and it paid off,” he said.
City manager Pep Guardiola praised Grealish for his display but was also quick to hail Leipzig for its relentless spirit.
“Leipzig never give up,” he said. “They have a special way to attack. They play all or nothing. You never have the feeling it’s over. We scored a few minutes after they scored (a few times) and it helped us a lot.
“They have a young team, so aggressive, so strong. A fantastic team. Leipzig give a good message to football. The quality of (our) players was better today and that’s why we won,” he added.
There were some empty seats at the stadium, which may have prompted Guardiola to appeal for more fans to turn out for Saturday’s Premier League match against Southampton.
“We scored 16 goals in the last three games here,” he said. “I’d like more people to come on Saturday. We will be tired. Southampton are so dangerous. I invite all our people to come 3 p.m. to watch our game.”
City has won its last eight Champions League matches at home and are now unbeaten in 15 home European games.
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