German outfit, RB Leipzig shocked the football world on Thursday night after an outstanding 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid in the second UEFA Champions League quarter-final match. While many had Atletico as favourites and rightly so, the youthful Bundesliga team had other ideas as goals from Dani Olmo and Tyler Adams earned them a historic ticket to face French giants, PSG in the semifinal. Led by 33-year-old Julian Nagelsmann, who also became the youngest manager to have led a team at this stage of the competition, Leipzig are here on merit.
But what were some of the things learnt from the pulsating game? Do read on…
Who needs Timo Werner
There is a famous meme of Timo Werner making the rounds which states “Werner is typing…”
That meme has become famous since the German international left Leipzig to join Chelsea after becoming his former club’s record scorer of all time. However, while Werner is now a Chelsea player, his former teammates are on the verge of more history after their Champions League heroics against Atletico.
Werner left for England as Leipzig’s top scorer this season with 28 goals and eight assists but on the biggest night of their history, Leipzig showed they can live without their former gunman. Eleven years after they were created, Leipzig became the 32nd club in UEFA Champions League history to qualify for the semi-final stage of the competition and it took a superb display against a spirited Atletico Madrid side.
Led by 33-year-old Julian Nagelsmann, who also became the youngest manager to have led a team at this stage of the competition, Leipzig are here on merit. Two goals in either half from Dani Olmo and Tyler Adams were enough to earn the Bundesliga side their historic place in the last four.
Dayot Upamecano leads from the back
Regarded as one of the biggest young talents in the world, there was no better stage for this young French boy to prove himself than the Champions League quarterfinal.
Named as the man of the match, Upamecano put in an incredible shift to lead Leipzig from the back as they contained all the firepower from Atletico’s attack.
The 21-year old was composed on and off the ball, winning 100% of his tackles, three interceptions, won three-headed duels, completed 100% of his dribbles, had 100 touches with a pass accuracy of 90%. Not only was he keeping the Atletico attackers at bay, but he was also a threat for his side in the final third.
Adams the super sub and hero
Adams was the unlikely hero for Leipzig after he scored the decisive goal that qualified them to their first-ever Champions League semi-final appearance.
What makes Adams’ goal special is the fact that prior to Thursday night, the American was yet to score for the club after 15 appearances in all competitions.
But with three minutes to go, just 10 minutes after coming, the 21-year-old took his effort as a seasoned campaigner to rifle home the historic winner for what was his first goal for the club and what a time to score your first – when it matters most.