Leipzig levelled, though, against the run of play, courtesy of Lois Openda’s clinical finish on 48 minutes.
World Cup winner Alvarez bent in an unstoppable curling shot on 84 minutes before Doku put the icing on the cake with a smart finish in stoppage time.
The victory was our second in the competition this season, after a solid 3-1 win over Red Star Belgrade at the Etihad.
The result puts us in top spot in Group G, with our next assignment seeing us face Young Boys away on Wednesday 25 October, with a 20:00 (UK) kick-off in Switzerland.
As the whistle blew for the start of the game, there was no doubting the difficulty of the assignment in front of us facing Leipzig, fifth in the Bundesliga, in their own backyard.
Indeed, City had failed to defeat Leipzig in our previous two away games at the Red Bull Arena, losing 2-1 in December 2021 and drawing 1-1 in February 2023.
But City, wearing our ‘electric’ third kit, sparkled with a first half performance full of energy, endeavour and above all, excellence.
Indeed, it was Lewis who had the opening chance of the first period after being played through by Bernardo Silva on 14 minutes but his shot was blocked from close-range. The ball then fell to Foden who fired to the back post and into the path of the onrushing Bernardo who couldn’t find the right touch as it ricocheted off him before going wide.
Foden, a constant menace along with Lewis during that opening 45, opened the scoring on 25 minutes and it was a goal made by sky blue graduates.
Lewis found space on the right after being played in by the returning Bernardo and he produced an intelligent ball back across goal for Foden to fire home brilliantly – and deservedly – in a first period where we enjoyed 72% possession.
Haaland was at it again down the left channel as he flew forward on 43 minutes before seeing a shot parried away by Blaswich.
That was the end of the first half and Pep Guardiola will have wanted more of the same as the second period started.
But Leipzig hit back on 48 minutes with a goal completely against the run of play – and with their first shot on target.
Yussuf Poulsen, in the middle ground, played through Openda in the right channel and his right foot effort flew past Ederson and snuck home off the goalkeeper’s post.
The goal lifted the crowd off the pitch but City continued to dominate proceedings on the field.
You felt the net would bulge on 57 minutes again as Haaland darted into the box to meet a Foden fizzing cross from the left but his effort on the stretch went just over.
Foden, at the heart of everything, nearly doubled his – and City’s – tally as his free-kick smacked against the underside of the bar as the hour mark ticked by.
It was one-way traffic at this point – as it had been for most of the game – as Haaland, eager for a goal after four games without in the UCL, ushered the ball on to his left foot on 64 minutes before seeing a shot from 20 yards pushed away by Blaswich.
The personnel changed but the approach didn’t as the sky blues pushed for a winner.
There were collective gasps on 83 minutes as Haaland broke into the box after another intelligent ball through by Lewis but the star striker was denied by a resilient Leipzig defence.
Just as you wondered if the decisive second would come, it was Alvarez – on as a 79th minute sub for Foden – who produced a perfect chipped effort that left the busy Blaswich with no chance on 84 minutes.
It got better for Guardiola‘s men as Doku - a constant menace down the left - opened his body up and finished expertly after being played in by Alvarez.
Player of the Match: Rico Lewis
Rico Lewis came into the side for this UCL clash – and he more than warranted his spot in the team after a performance of composure and class.
Guardiola waxed lyrical about his young star across 2022/23 saying he was a catalyst in our successful Treble success.
He was named in the Starting XI here in Germany and went about his job with minimum fuss and maximum impact.
Lewis was here, there and everywhere throughout the 90 minutes, set up Foden for the opening goal and never stopped running as we emerged victorious 3-1.
LEIPZIG XI: Blaswich, Klostermann, Simakan, Castello, Raum, Simons, Seiwald (Haidara 85’), Schlager, Forsberg (Sesko 69’), Openda (Werner 69’), Poulsen (Baumgartner 75’)
Subs: Gulacsi, Lenz, Carvalho, Kampl
Subs: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Phillips, Stones, Kovacic, Gomez, Bobb
City have now equalled the longest European unbeaten run by an English club.
The 3-1 victory over RB Leipzig put us on 16 games – level with Leeds (1967-1968), Tottenham (1967-1972), Chelsea (2018-2019) and West Ham, whose run started last year and is still going too.
As well as Leipzig this evening, the run also includes Red Star Belgrade (3-1), Sevilla (1-1) Inter (1-0), Real Madrid (4-0, 1-1), Bayern Munich (1-1, 3-0), Leipzig (7-0, 1-1), Sevilla (3-1), Dortmund (0-0), Copenhagen (0-0), Copenhagen (5-0), Dortmund (2-1), Sevilla (4-0).
BLACK ARMBANDS FOR FRANCIS LEE
City did the late Francis Lee proud with victory in the first game since the all-time great’s sad passing this week.
City’s players wore black armbands in memory of the legendary sky blue star of the 1960s and 1970s, who made 330 appearances for City, scoring 148 goals.
It was also fitting that we went out and picked up the win to honour him.
On Rico Lewis impact:
“What a player. What a player.
“18 years old. I have been a manager for 14, 15 years training unbelievable players.
“To find a player like him playing in the pockets, how he has to move in holding midfield, full-back coming inside moving in the spaces - he is one of the best I ever trained by far.”
On Julian Alvarez goal:
“Magical. Juli has been top this season. He’s scoring a lot of goals.
“He’s someone we look to for big goals this season. I’m happy for him because he came on and changed the game.
“He’s a really important player for us.”
On Rico Lewis assist for his opener:
“He was brilliant today in midfield. He broke a lot of lines.
“Rico has the courage to play at such a young age. I’m really happy for him.
“It’s nice to have an Academy player on the pitch with me today so yeah I’m happy for him.”
WHAT IT MEANS
It’s six points from a possible six for Pep Guardiola’s men in the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League campaign.
We followed up a 3-1 home victory over Red Star Belgrade with another 3-1 win here at RB Leipzig.
That puts us in top spot in Group G.
It’s another tough assignment this week as we face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
We take on last season’s Premier League runners-up in the top-flight clash, with a 16:30 (UK) kick-off.
The sky blues are top of the table, with 18 points from seven games while the Gunners lie in third, one point back with 17 points from the same amount of matches.
News about Leipzig v Man City
Guardiola delighted with huge impact from Alvarez
Pep Guardiola hailed the huge impact from Julian Alvarez as he scored and assisted two late goals to help City to a 3-1 win over RB Leipzig. Watch more
Brown impressed by 'cool and cultured' Lewis
Former City midfielder Michael Brown praised the calmness of Rico Lewis in the intense surroundings of the Champions League. Read more
Guardiola on Lewis: He is one of the best I ever trained
Pep Guardiola hailed the immense impact of Rico Lewis in the 3-1 win over RB Leipzig, declaring: ‘What a player!’ Read more
Unbeaten runs and Lewis impact: RB Leipzig stats of the match
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Alvarez nominated for UCL goal of the week
Julian Alvarez’s brilliant strike against RB Leipzig has been nominated for UEFA’s Champions League goal of the week. Read more
RB Leipzig 1-3 City: Highlights
Watch the best of the action from City's 3-1 UEFA Champions League win at RB Leipzig. Watch more
RB Leipzig 1-3 City: Pitcam highlights
View the best of City’s Champions League meeting with RB Leipzig from an alternative angle. Watch more