Leipzig Stun Atletico Madrid to Reach First-Ever Champions League Semi-Final
RB Leipzig have reached the Champions League last four, for the first time in the club’s short history, after a stunning 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid.
With two minutes of normal time remaining, United States midfielder Tyler Adams snatched victory on Thursday night with a deflected shot from outside the box to set up a semi-final clash with Paris St Germain.
The German side had taken the lead in the 51st minute with a header from Spanish forward Dani Olmo but a disjointed Atletico were shaken into life when record signing Joao Felix came off the bench, earning and scoring a penalty to level in the 71st.
Atletico, runners-up in 2014 and 2016, looked more likely to score the next goal but it was the club founded only eleven years ago who were left celebrating in front of the empty seats of the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Now the team, built up from the lower leagues and owned by energy drinks company Red Bull, will come up against Neymar and company with a chance at a place in the August 23 final.
As with all games in this ‘final eight’ mini -tournament, there were no fans to witness the drama but it was clear from the outset that Leipzig felt at home among European football’s elite.
They fired an early warning shot when Marcel Halstenberg was picked out at the back post but his difficult volley flew off target.
Atletico responded with Yannick Carrasco bursting in from the left and firing goalwards but Leipzig keeper Peter Gulacsi reacted well to push the effort wide.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side quickly settled though into the brand of attractive passing and movement that has earned them many admirers.
Kevin Kampl was busy in the centre of midfield and left wing back Angelino was enjoying plenty of space down the flanks but it was the performance of French central defender Dayot Upamecano that was the most impressive.
Solid defensively, taking care of Atletico’s over-isolated striker Diego Costa, he also had the confidence to bring the ball out of the back and be the starting point for Leipzig’s moves.
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