Author of a hat-trick against Manchester City and despite a heavy defeat (6-3), Christopher Nkunku shone on this first day of the Champions League and once again proved his importance within RB Leipzig.
Is it possible to register a hat-trick, but to leave with the mine of bad evenings? The answer lies at the end of the crampons of Christopher Nkunku, 23 years old. Against Manchester City, the former PSG midfielder floated amid the English waves, becoming the first RasenBallsport player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League. Positioned to the right in support of André Silva, he first received an excellent handover from Nordi Mukiele’s header, which he in turn extended by the noggin in Ederson’s small net. The rest is almost of the same ilk. Strangely distinguished between the giants Nathan Aké and Rúben Dias, Nkunku takes the lead and rises again, from the height of his 75 meter at the near post, bringing his family up to par. Finally, it is in pure bomber, and at close range, that he comes across the offering of Yussuf Poulsen. Unfortunately, his teammates will not take an example.
The panoply is complete, despite the heaviness of the score, and reminds us of the importance of a kid who seems to fall under the radar of the honors he should, legitimately, receive. Because beyond the goals, the performance of Christopher Nkunku came to highlight the qualities of a modern offensive player par excellence. Those of a boy who, in 81 minutes top time, was able to register three goals on his only three attempts (these are also the three shots on target of the RBL throughout the match) and having tested the leather 32 times . A convincing efficiency in the opposing 25 meters, which gradually erases the performance of the yet historic Emil Forsberg and the announced jewel, Dominik Szoboszlai.
Far from Paris
“Against a team like Manchester City, the slightest mistake pays off in cash. We have to learn to be more incisive because we know how to score goals and we have shown it again tonight. Personally, I am quite satisfied ” . If Christopher Nkunku’s analysis after the match seems lucid and clean, it also reflects a well-camouflaged joy. Difficult indeed to retain his emotions when we leave Manchester having stuck three pawns to the troops of Guardiola. A spectacle a little more embellished by its symbolic significance. It must be said that the last player author of such a feat facing the Skyblues is called Lionel Messi, one evening in October 2016 and victory at Camp Nou (4-0).
The story is beautiful, but above all paradoxical. A few hundred kilometers away, The flea and PSG are effectively stuck in the trap set by Club Bruges (1-1), highlighting the worksite awaiting the club in the capital and its host of stars defeated. This same club which, a little over a year ago, decided to start the sale of its young people trained locally, to give pride of place to golden recruits. Among the first to land, Nkunku has now become a headliner, a player with solid European experience. Sold for around 13 million euros to Red Bulls in the summer of 2019, the Parisian Titi was quick to justify this small investment. Its 40 games played each season prove it and increase the balance sheet of Seine-et-Marnais, which now intends to make its name a registered trademark. What if it was also the mark of a goalscorer?
By Adel Bentaha