Champions League: Nkunku sets RB Leipzig record in Manchester City defeat
Christopher Nkunku became the first RB Leipzig player to score a Champions League hat-trick having found the net thrice in the Bundesliga side’s 6-3 defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday night.
In the nine-goal thriller, the former France youth international of Congolese descent beat goalkeeper Ederson Moraes on three occasions as Pep Guardiola’s men hit the German elite division side for six at the Etihad Stadium.
Nkunku also became the second player to score a treble against City in the tournament since Lionel Messi in October 2016.
Following back-to-back defeats to Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich, Jesse Marsch’s men travelled to England hoping to put an end to their appalling form.
Nonetheless, they leaked the first goal in the 16th minute after Nathan Ake jumped above a glut of defenders to head home a corner kick from Jack Grealish.
Things got worse for the visitors eleven minutes later as France international of DR Congolese descent Nordi Mukiele headed the ball into his own net.
Four minutes before the half time break, Nkunku reduced the deficit for Marsch’s team - heading past City goalkeeper a cross from Mukiele.
On the stroke of half time, the hosts restored their three-goal advantage with Riyad Mahrez firing past Peter Gulacsi from the penalty mark following a handball in the visitors' area.
With that, the Algeria international has now scored five goals in his last five Champions League appearances, one more than he had netted in his previous 29 in the tournament (four).
Nkunku found the net the second time in the 51st minute before completing his treble in the 73rd minute.
The reigning Premier League kings confirmed their win as Grealish and Joao Cancelo registered their names among the goalscorers.
RB Leipzig got reduced to 10 men with 11 minutes left on the clock as Angelino was given his marching orders for a second caution.
"The way we played in the second half was really good. If we had played like that in the first 45 minutes, we would have had a more open game,” Marsch told the media after the game.
“To go into the break 3-1 down is very difficult against such a good opponent. The differences were again in the final third today.
“In the second half we reacted well and were strong in duels, but it wasn’t enough for the calibre of opposition.”