UEFA Champions League quarter-finals round-up; RB Leipzig 2 Atletico Madrid 1; Paris St. Germain 2 Atalanta 1
2019-20 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals round-up
Leipzig edge out Atletico Madrid to enter first-ever Champions League semi-finals
A late deflected strike by Tyler Adams sent German club RB Leipzig into their first semi-finals of the 2019-20 Champions League after a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid in Lisbon.
RB Leipzig 2 Atletico Madrid 1[pokareview_bonusbox id=”68092″ layout=”style1″ score_style=”percentage”]
The 3rd placed Bundesliga outfit who went into the game without their star forward Timo Werner went ahead 5 minutes into the second half when Dani Olmo headed home from a Marcel Sabitzer's cross.
Diego Simone's men drew level through Joao Felix who slotted in a penalty in the 71st minute. Just when it looked like the match would go into extra-time, Leipzig found the winner through substitute Adams in the 88th minute.
The 21-year old American saw his hard low drive deflect off Stefan Savic's outstretched leg and scream past a hapless Jan Oblak.
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Atletico entering as favourites into the Lisbon game after knocking out title-holders Liverpool in the previous round were in fact at the receiving end when the match started as their German opponents made the more assured start.
Marcel Halstenberg wasted a glorious opportunity early on when he blasted one from close-range over the bar.
Atleti regained control of the proceedings with Yannick Carrasco, back from China after a two-year stint, drove hard to the near post but a lightning reflex save form Leipzig custodian Peter Gulacsi prevented what looked like a certain goal.
The German side's first goal came in the 50th minute through a beautiful 18-pass move that ended with Olmo getting on the end of an inviting Sabitzer's cross. It was a wake-up call for the La Liga side with Simone introducing their £113m playmaker Felix.
The 20-year old Portuguese forward combined well with Ex-Chelsea man Diego Costa to create a clear-cut chance to score but was felled inside the box by a shove from Lukas Klostermann.
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.
Atleti seemed to cool of after the equalizer allowing their rivals to get back into the game. A flick from Sabitzer sent left-back Angelino darting down the left flank and essaying a deft pull-back to an unmarked Adams at the edge of the area.
The young American drove hard but luckily for him it found Savic's outstretched leg and the shot deflected past Oblak for the winner just a couple of minutes from the final whistle.
Atletico Madrid have failed to progress against a German side in the Champions League knockout stages for the first time ever, getting through on three previous occasions (twice versus Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich once).
With Thursday night's win Julian Nagelsmann's side will now face Paris Saint-Germain for a place in the final on Tuesday night, 18th August.
Late goals see PSG through to the Last Four
Two late strikes in injury time brought French champions Paris St Germain from the brink as they rallied to beat Serie A side Atalanta 1-2 to reach their first Champions League semi-finals in 25 years.
Paris St. Germain 2 Atalanta 1[pokareview_bonusbox id=”68092″ layout=”style1″ score_style=”percentage”]
Neymar showed glimpses of his brilliance early on but simply couldn't find the required finish.
In one instance of serious blemish before the break, the Brazilian ace latched onto Atalanta defender Hans Hateboer's poor backpass but horribly sliced his effort high and wide.
Atalanta punished PSG for the early missed chances by opening their account in the 26th minute.
A challenge by Duvan Zapata on PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe left the ball rolling freely to Mario Pasalic who curled his shot high into the net past Keylor Navas.
As Thomas Tuchel's side looked set for another agonizing quarter-final exit, the German coach introduced Kylian Mbappe midway through the second half.
The young Frenchman made an instant impact upon his introduction as he took Leandro Paredes' pass to force a smart save from Marco Sportiello.
Gian Piero Gasperini's side went into an ultra-defensive mode with five defenders, trying to protect their vital one-goal lead.
It was 1-1 in the 90th minute. With only a minute left for the game to go into extra-time, Neymar found Mbappe on the overlap down the left to allow Choupo-Moting to render a thrilling finish to the game.
It was a crushing blow for team Atalanta from the Northern Italian town of Bergamo. This city of 120,000 was one of the hardest-hit places in Europe, leaving over 6000 victims dead in its wake.
As for PSG, Tuchel's side had gone for much of the past five months without competitive action, aside from their victories in the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, and their lack of match practice showed for better part of the match but eventually it was “All's Well That Ends Well” for the Parisiennes.
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