Julian Álvarez was the most toxic City player on Tuesday. He scored the equalizing goal and beat visiting goalkeeper Omri Glazer’s free kick completely miscalculated and boxed in his own goal to make it 2-1. Rodri sealed the result in the 73rd minute.
Haaland had four great chances in the match, but came no closer than one that hit the crossbar and another that hit the post via the goalkeeper’s leg.
Oscar Bobb came on for his Champions League debut. He replaced Phil Foden and almost immediately forced the goalkeeper into a good save.
As the clock ticked up to 45 minutes, the Uefa statistics showed 22-0 in finishes, 10-0 in corners and over 70 percent possession for Manchester City. Haaland had missed a couple of great chances and Foden a giant chance.
Then Osman Bukari was played through by Mirko Ivanic after a recovery for the visitors. Alone with Ederson, the 24-year-old from Ghana coolly scored, but his jubilation was stopped by the linesman’s flag. For just over a minute and a half, he had to wait for VAR to discover that Ruben Dias did not move out in time and that it was not offside.
In one half, great saves by Røde Stjerne goalkeeper Glazer and some Haaland finishes that fell short of normal class kept the visitors in the game.
Haaland ran free on a cross from Foden in the 20th minute, went up alone and nodded the underside of the crossbar so hard that the goal stood and shook.
In the 34th minute, he got the ball in his dream position when Alvarez struck diagonally into the field, but it was a “backpack” finish where the ball flew over the goal.
Glazer produced brilliant saves on Rodri’s shot in the 15th minute, on Nathan Aké’s well-placed header after a corner kick and in the 41st minute when Foden was able to nod unimpeded from close range on a cross from Sergio Gómez.
Bukari had to share the credit with him for Røde Stjerne leading at half-time, but it was not to last long in the second half.
A little over a minute had been played when Alvarez played up to Haaland, who challenged and rolled a breakthrough ball for the Argentine, who was running past him. Alvarez took the ball past the goalkeeper with the first touch and slotted it into the goal from an acute angle with the next.
A few minutes later, Kyle Walker got the ball in the goal again, but he was just offside in the pre-play.
In the 57th minute, Haaland was first on the goalkeeper’s return after a long-range shot from Alvarez, but Glazer managed to get in the way of the finish and keep it out.
Three minutes later, Álvarez took a free kick from the left. The goalkeeper was supposed to box the cross, but almost missed the ball and instead helped it into the goal.
Haaland could have punctuated the game when, in the 64th minute, he nodded Walker’s cross at the far post. Via the keeper’s leg, the ball hit the post and went out.
Instead, it was Rodri who scored the 3-1 goal with a solo performance.
Earlier in the day, Mohamed Simakan scored his first Champions League goal of the season as Leipzig won 3-1 over Young Boys in Switzerland.
Just over two minutes had been played when the Leipzig stopper appeared at the near post on David Raum’s corner kick and headed the ball towards the goal. It barely changed direction on an opponent, and it caught goalkeeper Antony Racioppi by surprise, who just hit the ball on into the goal.
Meschak Elia equalized with an elegant outside kick, but Leipzig were clearly the better side and earned a deserved victory thanks to Xaver Schlager’s long-range strike in the 74th minute. Substitute Benjamin Sesko determined the result in overtime.
Manchester City host Leipzig in the next round on October 4.