RB Leipzig 3-0 (4-0 on agg.) Tottenham
A first-half double courtesy of Marcel Sabitzer has taken Red Bull Leipzig through to the Champions League quarterfinals tonight with a well-earned win over Jose Mourinho’s Spurs.
Timo Werner’s penalty in London gave Red Bull a 0-1 advantage at the halfway stage, and that was tripled inside 20 minutes as Sabitzer put Spurs to the sword.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side had a pretty comfortable evening all round as Spurs didn’t have any answer to the hosts’ early blitz. And when Emil Forsberg fired home a late third, that was just the icing on the cake.
In tonight’s other Champions League 2020 news, Serie A side Atalanta confirmed their passage into the quarter-finals with an aggregate 4-8 win over Valencia (3-4 tonight). Josip Ilicic scored four for the Italians in a game played behind closed doors.
Highlights of the game
In a packed Red Bull Arena, the Spurs made a confident start and they could have leveled the tie on five minutes. But Erik Lamela was inches away from getting on the end of Dele Alli’s cross.
Their task became more imposing when Red Bull went ahead on ten minutes with a goal Hugo Lloris really should have saved. The Spurs stopper kept out Timo Werner’s fierce shot but when Marcel Sabitzer picked up the second chance, Lloris could only help it into the bottom corner.
Keeper and club captain Lloris is such an important figure at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but maybe he could have done better. And the same question was asked again ten minutes later when Sabizter doubled the lead.
A weak header from Serge Aurier handed possession to Angelino in the Spurs half, and his near post cross was guided past Lloris by Sabitzer with a neat header which beat the France keeper at his near post. Again, Lloris managed to get a hand to it but couldn’t keep the header out.
3-0 down and the Spurs had a mountain to climb.
Giovani Lo Celso transformed the game for Spurs in Saturday’s draw with Burnley, and he almost pulled a goal back just before half time with a brilliant turn and shot which Peter Gulacsi had to get down smartly to save.
Spurs faced mission impossible as they came out for the second half, even though Red Bull seemed to be settling for their first-half lead.
Just before the hour, Werner slid the ball through to Patrik Schick but he fired well over, and then Werner himself shot over from around 25 yards.
Spurs tried to keep the door open and Lucas Moura drove forward before pulling the ball back for Dele Alli but the England man shot straight at the Leipzig keeper.
And it was game well and truly over when substitute Emil Forsberg stabbed home the third of the night for Red Bull with his first touch, seconds after coming on.
After an impressive win, Leipzig have extended their unbeaten run to seven games and they haven’t lost in any of their last 12 home matches.
But this heavy defeat has left Spurs without a win in five games in all competitions.
Mourinho hasn’t enjoyed the Champions League for some time. He hasn’t won any of his last eight Champions League knockout matches since coaching Chelsea back in 2014.
Take a look at the pre-match for this Champions League game and RB Leipzig were the favourites to advance to the quarter-finals, and in the aftermath that looked pretty generous!
Back to domestic matters, Leipzig are third in the Bundesliga table, a point behind Borussia Dortmund and five behind leaders FC Bayern.
Next up they have a home game against eighth-placed SC Freiburg before travelling to Mainz to face the 15th placed side. Nagelsmann will be looking for six points from these two games to keep his side in the hunt.
Now that they’re out of this season’s Champions League, the Spurs will hope to keep their slim top-four chances alive, and they have a huge game in the Premier League on Sunday when they host Manchester United.
The Red Devils are in fifth place and four points ahead of Spurs, so it’s a tough test for Mourinho against his former club.
The following week strugglers West Ham head to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It’s a derby guaranteed to deliver passion and drama as the Hammers are desperate for points.
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