Marcel Halstenberg has the first chance for RB Leipzig — a free shot just outside the penalty area from a corner. But the defender misses everything.
Leipzig are stretching Atlético Madrid in these opening minutes. Los Colchoneros have barely had a sniff. Granted, the Germans like to have the ball, but Diego Simeone’s crew should get up the pitch sooner than later.
Renan Lodi lofts a 10th minute free kick onto Stefan Savić’s head, but Peter Gulacsi does well to snare it out of the air. Sn-air. Humor lightens the tension, I’ve been told.
Lodi and Yannick Carrasco interplay is pretty. The Brazilian played the Belgian through down the left, and he forces a save out of Gulacsi. Saúl goes to ground from the corner, but it looks like he tripped himself.
Quarterfinal debutants Leipzig have 65 percent possession after 15 minutes. Neither side looks rusty, but neither looks all that sharp.
Nothing available through the middle, so Leipzig are switching play a ton to the wingbacks. Atlético are mostly avoiding the right flank, and instead Lodi is taking what feels like all the touches.
Kieran Trippier bails out José Giménez by closing down and clearing an Nkunku pass away from wingback Ángeliño. Close one. Expletive-uttering stuff.
Leipzig have gotten in behind a couple times — but without Timo Werner, this team has to attack by committee. Atlético are organized enough when the ball gets close-ish to Jan Oblak and are able to clear.
Giménez leads the team in touches with 28 and has won four aerial duels already.
Hard, hard collision between Halstenberg and Savić leaves the Montenegrin bloodied. Good chance for a cooling break. You’d hate to use a sub here — but if Savić is concussed, Simeone will have no choice.
Cholo will have to change this one from the bench, though. Die Roten Bullen have reasserted themselves and the tempo is where they want it. Kevin Kampl and Konrad Laimer has resisted pressing very well. Atlético are hanging on under sustained pressure and keeping the ball away from Oblak, but the vibe right now is “gotta get to halftime.”
There’s a save for the Oblaktopus. Dayot Upamecano hits a header down, but the keeper smothers it.
And there’s halftime! Atlético successfully soak up the pressure and head back to the dressing room with the score at goose eggs.
Atleti haven’t been stout enough in midfield, while the Diego Costa/Marcos Llorente pairing has combined for zero shots on target. Simeone can insert Thomas Partey to add midfield steel and more proactivity. I expect João Félix and Álvaro Morata will eventually enter as the new duo up top.
Leipzig lead on 51 minutes. Dani Olmo snuck between Giménez and Saúl to finish off a good team move. Marcel Sabitzer assisted. Atlético’s defense has been breached, and it’s game on for Los Colchoneros. Simeone HAS to be proactive now, and his team HAS to raise the tempo as it did half an hour ago.
João Félix enters for an ineffectual Héctor Herrera. Looks like Llorente will slot back into midfield, where he put Liverpool to the sword.
Félix releases Lodi into the penalty area, but he is booked for a dive in the box. It’s possible that desperation is already settling in. Leipzig are calm and organized in a 3-4-3.
Costa swipes at Upamecano. Sums up his night. Nowhere near the level he exhibited during the race to the finish line in LaLiga, and he needs to come off. At least Félix looks good.
Kampl has been an absolute machine, twirling around, digging in to win the ball, and passing cleanly while on it.
PENALTY! ATLÉTICO! João Félix makes an astounding, blazing run into the box, where Lukas Klostermann lunges at him. The 20-year-old then steps up and...BURIES IT! All square in Lisbon.
Costa’s miserable night ends right after Félix scores, as Morata replaces him. Leipzig’s response will be fascinating.
Upamecano is going to make Leipzig a lot of money. He’s been otherworldly in central defense.
Nagelsmann took off Laimer and replaced him with American Tyler Adams a few moments ago. Now, goalscorer Olmo has come off, replaced by Patrik Schick. The mildly-dangerous Christopher Nkunku is gone too, with Amadou Haidara his replacement.
Atlético are attacking, but extra time is looming. Good, my blood pressure had been too low lately.
But Adams has scored. On 88 minutes. Trippier is fooled by a ball over the top, Ángeliño crosses, and Adams’ shot takes a big deflection off Savić, standing on the penalty spot. Oblak pawed at it, but helplessly.
Five minutes added on. Felipe(?!?!?!?) has replaced Koke. I guess if Atlético win a corner, he’s an aerial threat.
Well, they’ve won one, after Leipzig narrowly cleared a free kick. Oblak’s come up. The ball’s pinging around but it is evading any and every rojiblanco. Not meant to be.
2-1, your full-time score.
RBL XI Gulácsi; Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg; Laimer (Adams 72’), Kampl, Angeliño; Sabitzer (Mukiele 90’+1), Olmo (Schick 83’), Nkunku (Haidara 83’); Poulsen.
Goals Olmo 51’ Adams 88’
ATM XI Oblak; Trippier, Giménez, Savić, Lodi; Herrera (Félix 58’), Saúl, Koke (Felipe 90’+1), Carrasco; Llorente, Costa (Morata 72’).
Goal Félix 71 (pen.)