Champions League: Tyler Adams helps fire RB Leipzig into semifinals
American youth Tyler Adams scored a late winner to blast RB Leipzig past Atletico Madrid and into the semi-finals of the Champions League on Thursday.
The 21-year-old’s deflected shot in the 88th minute was enough to restore the German club’s lead after Joao Felix penalty had nullified Dani Olmo’s opener.
RB Leipzig, in its current form, was founded just 11 years ago after the billionaire founder of Red Bull took over fifth division German side SSV Markransstadt and the team has been climbing the football ladder ever since.
It now has the chance to add another chapter to its incredible story when it faces PSG in the semi-finals on Tuesday – after the French champions staged a stunning late comeback on Wednesday by beating Atalanta 2-1.
“Great emotions for the club and our team. As a manager you have to look ahead,” 33-year-old RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann told BT Sport after the game.
“We have to prepare for the next game. There’s not much time to celebrate, but maybe we’ll have a beer at the hotel and then we’ll focus on PSG.
“The club (RB Leipzig) has been developing very quickly since then. We reached the Bundesliga and qualified for the Champions League three times. We are still in the Champions League. Progress is faster than usual.”
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Atlético Madrid may have been a small favorite against the German opponent, but the Spanish team failed to impress.
It may have played without striker Angel Correa and defender Sime Vrsaljkowho, who both tested positive for coronavirus but had enough on-field experience to outperform.
The introduction of Felix in the second half seemed to give Atlético a new impetus, but the 20-year-old’s converted penalty was ultimately for nothing.
With the match seemingly destined for extra time, Adams’ speculative late shot saw off a poor deflection from Stefan Savic to end the tie on 90 minutes, sending RB Leipzig into the first semi-final of the Champions League.
Adams, who played 10 games for the US national team, moved from New York Red Bulls to Leipzig in January 2019. He becomes the first American to score in the quarter-final of the Champions League with what was his first goal for the club.
“Now it’s about recovering properly, getting ourselves mentally in order and working on the game plan,” Adams told BT Sport after the game.
“We have confidence in ourselves, you saw that today.”