Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid endured yet more heartbreak as a late Leipzig goal booked the German side’s place in the Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain.
Gulácsi; Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg; Sabitzer (Mukiele, 92'), Laimer (Adams, 72'), Kampl, Angeliño; Nkunku (Haidara, 83'), Poulsen, Dani Olmo (Schick, 83').
Atlético de Madrid
Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Giménez, Lodi; Koke (Felipe, 92'), Herrera (Joao Félix, 58'), Saúl, Carrasco; Marcos Llorente, Diego Costa (Morata, 72').
1-0 M.50 Dani Olmo. 1-1 M.71 Joao Félix, de penalti. 2-1 M.88 Adams.
Szymon Marciniak (Polonia). T.A.: Klostermann (70'), Kampl (82'), Haidara (87') / Lodi (62'), Giménez (96').
José Alvalade. A puerta cerrada.
After knocking out the reigning champions Liverpool, then seeing city rivals Real Madrid fail to make it to Lisbon, many supporters felt this could be Atletico’s season to finally claim the famous European trophy. Instead, they were beaten by the new kids on the block as they sent Simeone back to the drawing board.
Leipzig started the better of the two sides and could, perhaps should, have taken the lead. Halstenberg has a volley around six yards out but he couldn’t keep his effort down and it sailed high over the bar.
Atletico’s best chances seemed to come from set-pieces as Savic forced the Gulacsi into a decent save. He then denied Carrasco as Leipzig appeared vulnerable on the counter. A half-hearted appeal for a penalty was turned down.
A nasty clash of heads between Halstenberg and Savic saw both sides use the time to readjust tactics.
Upamecano was the star of the show for Leipzig. He kept Diego Costa well shackled and could have even scored in first-half injury time but his header was right at Oblak.
Leipzig didn’t slow down after the break and it was a Spaniard who gave them a deserved lead. A wonderful flowing move meant Atletico were unable to get their defence in order. Sabitzer crossed for Dani Olmo to nod across goal and beyond Oblak to give the Germans a lead.
Simeone threw on Joao Felix as the cautious approach was dumped in the bin. Leipzig were still the most threatening team but Atletico needed to take chances. Renan Lodi went down in the box and the referee blew his whistle. Yet it was Lodi who entered the book for diving.
Yet it didn’t take long for Atletico’s risk to pay off. Joao Felix got behind the Leipzig defence, drew the foul and stepped up to take the penalty himself. Back in his native Portugal, Felix didn’t fluff his lines. Now the momentum was with Simeone’s men.
A brief spell of Atletico pressure could have easily brought about the same turnaround we saw with PSG last night. With extra-time looming, the Spaniards fell deeper and looked ready to go for another 30 minutes. Leipzig had other plans.
Another flowing move saw a tired Atletico backline struggle to deal with the movement. It eventually came to Tyler Adams on the edge of the box and his shot appeared to be going just wide - but a deflection off Savic wrong-footed Oblak and the ball nestled in the back of the net.
There were to be no second chances for Simeone though as Leipzig held on - for over seven minutes of injury time - to book their place in the Champions League semi-final.