Leipzig is sensational in the semi-finals of the Champions League. The Saxons showed a very dedicated performance against the strong Atletico Madrid – taking advantage of a long shot shortly before the end.
Photo series with 25 photos
Great start to the “Missão Final”: RB Leipzig impressively cracked the defensive stronghold of Atletico Madrid on the way to the hoped-for Champions League coup. In the first game without the goal guarantee Timo Werner, who had moved to London, the Bundesliga team ruled with a courageous and mature performance against the disappointing Spanish defending artists 2-1 (0-0) and now challenges Paris Saint-Germain the semi-finals on Tuesday for world champion Kylian. Mbappé and superstar Neymar.
RB targets by Olmo and Adams
Dani Olmo (51st minute) and substitute Tyler Adams (88th) scored the goals for the Saxons on Thursday evening in the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon, which tactically demystified the otherwise efficient Spaniards. Joao Felix marked the interim equation with a penalty kick (71.). Eleven years after the club was founded, Leipzig reached a semi-final in the European Cup for the first time. For Julian Nagelsmann, the last hurdle against PSG before the premier class final on 23 August is the interesting German coach duel with Thomas Tuchel.
“I’m not actually the top scorer. I wanted to be there when I needed to. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved. Everyone gave everything,” said race winner Adams. Marcel Sabitzer was also very happy. “It was hard work. When you see the 90 minutes, we deserve to leave the field as winners. We showed a top performance. We stayed calm after the 1-1 draw and waited for our chance,” said Sabitzer. and already looked at the PSG game: “We know what a brutal quality there is. They have individual players on the field, hardly any team has them.”
Nagelsmann announced “brave football” and kept his word. In the best of summer conditions – with a light breeze blowing from the Atlantic Ocean – RB was physically robust in the duels, surprising the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finalists with fast attacking football. Only the last pass was often missing, which irritated Nagelsmann on the sidelines. Perhaps it was also because Torgarant Werner was no longer available as a buyer. It should remain a blot, because the collective worked as it did last season.
In the first quarter-finals of the premier league in club history, the Leipzigers showed no respect for big names and also had the first chance to score. Country player Marcel Halstenberg, who played despite his back pain, hit a volley over the goal (4th). In the early stages, Atlético, who had traveled with the reference of 18 league games in a row without a defeat, seemed overwhelmed by the Saxons’ determination.
Simeone gestured wildly
Even the preparation for the race was bumpy for the Madrid people. While RB could prepare for the five-day game in Portugal, the Colchoneros had occupied the two positive corona tests of Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko. As a result, Diego Simeone’s team not only lost two players, but also arrived in Lisbon on Tuesday.
As usual, Diego Simeone fell on the sidelines with very active coaching. (Source: Lluis Gene / Pool / Reuters)
Unlike his team, Simeone was at operating temperature. Gesturing wildly, the coaching zone was again too small for the Argentinian – the fourth official’s first warning was given after just six minutes. His team found their way into the game with a slight delay. With a header from Stefan Savic, RB keeper Peter Gulacsi had some problems (10th). The goalkeeper looked more confident with a strong shot from the Belgian Yannick Carrasco (13th). Moreover, the goalkeeper was lucky that a touch against Saul afterwards was not penalized by the video referee.
Fair Madrid team
Otherwise, RB wouldn’t allow much. Defense chief Dayot Upamecano, who has just extended his contract until 2023, not only carefully guided his frontmen, but also created danger with standards. On the offensive, club veteran Yussuf Poulsen was given the role of Werner’s replacement, while Patrik Schick sat on the bench. The Dane had his problems against the robust Atletico defense.
The same photo in the second half. Leipzig behaved bolder and fresher – and rewarded itself: after a cross from Marcel Sabitzer, Olmo hit his fellow countrymen with the head. It is hard to believe that this honest Madrid team removed defending champions Liverpool FC and Jürgen Klopp from the competition in March.
Simeone responded, bringing young Portuguese star Felix into play for the creative department. A move that worked. Twelve minutes after his substitution, the fast Felix took a penalty against Lukas Klostermann, who he himself converted. But Leipzig hit back – with luck. A deflected shot from Adams made its way to the goal.