RB Leipzig 2-1 Atletico Madrid: Tyler Adams’ late strike sets up Champions League semi with PSG

Tyler Adams’ late deflected strike saw RB Leipzig reach their first Champions League semi-finals after a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid in Lisbon.

The Bundesliga side – without star man Timo Werner – opened the scoring five minutes into the second half when Spaniard Dani Olmo headed home Marcel Sabitzer’s cross.

However, Diego Simeone’s team drew level thanks to substitute Joao Felix, who both won and converted a penalty with 19 minutes to go.

With extra-time looming, though, Leipzig won it thanks to their own substitute as Adams saw his low drive deflect in past a helpless Jan Oblak via Stefan Savic’s outstretched leg.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side will now face Paris Saint-Germain for a place in the final on Tuesday night.

How Leipzig made it to their first Champions League semi
Atletico may have entered this last-eight showdown at the Estadio Jose Alvalade as favourites after eliminating holders Liverpool in the previous round, but it was their opponents who made the more assured start in the Portuguese capital, with defender Marcel Halstenberg wasting a good early opening when blasting over from close range.

Gradually, though, Atleti gained a foothold in the contest, with Yannick Carrasco – back at the club after a two-year stint in China – testing Peter Gulacsi at his near post with a fierce drive.
It was the Germans who struck first, however, after a well-worked 18-pass move just after the interval ended with Olmo getting on the end of Sabitzer’s inviting centre.

That strike – and the introduction of their £113m playmaker Felix – woke Atleti up, with the Portugal international bringing his side level after a neat one-two with Diego Costa led to a clear-cut penalty after Lukas Klostermann dived in on the 20-year-old.
Referee Szymon Marciniak had no hesitation in pointing to spot, as did Felix in lashing home the resulting penalty, despite Gulacsi diving the right way.

But instead of pressing for a winner in normal time, Atletico appeared to drop off, with fatal consequences as Sabitzer’s impudent flicked pass sent Angelino clear down the left.

From the on-loan Manchester City left-back’s clever pull back, there was the New York-born Adams, unmarked on the edge of the area, to drive his side into the Champions League semi-finals, albeit with the help of a big deflection off Savic’s outstretched leg.
What the managers said
Julian Nagelsmann, RB Leipzig: “It was a good game for my squad and I am very happy. At the end I think we were a bit better in the final third and that was the difference.

“We did not create many chances but Atletico also did not create many chances and in the end I think we were a bit more dangerous around the opponent’s goal and I think it is good we are in the semi-finals.

“It is good emotions for the club and the team, I am very proud of my team, they did very well. This club and this team has developed very fast, faster than usual, but as a manager you have to look forward and prepare for the next game and prepare for the next opponent.”

Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid: “We gave it everything we had. It was difficult for us to win the duels and they were faster.

“It has been a long year, with those 60 days off. Then there was pressure coming back to the Champions League. We had one week off then back to training. We haven’t been able to play the way we wanted. I liked Leipzig. They had great determination, enthusiasm and freshness. That cost us. There are no excuses.

“We gave our best and made it to the quarter-finals. We are going out fairly and we have to congratulate our opponents.”Man of the Match – Dayot Upamecano
The centre back was a colossus from start to finish, winning every header and tackle and keeping Diego Costa well and truly in check until the forlorn Atleti striker was replaced in the second half.

However, it was not just the France U21 international’s series of key interceptions and impressive reading of the game that caught the eye, but also his excellent distribution, allied with the occasional lung-busting run out of defence.

And on the basis of this showing, the 21-year-old will have gained a number of suitors from across the continent.

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