On Thursday evening we saw two clubs with incredibly different ideologies go head to head with a place in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League on the line. In the end, Germany got the best of Spain as RB Leipzig scored a late winner to confirm their spot in the final four of Europe’s greatest club competition.
After a first half that didn’t really do much to excite the masses, Leipzig took the lead thanks to a Dani Olmo header. Then, in the 71st minute, wonderkid Joao Felix was able to level things up from the penalty spot – only for Tyler Adams to score the winner two minutes from time.
While this isn’t exactly the same kind of format we’re all used to seeing on the grandest stage of them all, it’s safe to say that the straight knockout nature of the Champions League and Europa League is leading to some incredibly fun encounters. You could just tell that there was a certain desperation from both teams, with the two knowing that one or two mistakes could lead to elimination.
Christian Pulisic of the United States, Alphonso Davies of Canada, Tyler Adams of the United States. Over the course of the last few months we’ve seen all three of these North American stars rise up and make a name for themselves, and Tyler Adams certainly did just that on Thursday night as he scored the winning goal to take Leipzig through to the semi-finals. He’s one to watch for the future, and with the 2026 FIFA World Cup being less than six years away, we could be witnessing a revolution across the pond.
The rise of the newcomers
RB Leipzig, in its current incarnation, was founded back in 2009. Virtually everyone reading this is older than the club, which speaks volumes to the kind of progress they’ve been able to make across the last decade. Atletico had the experience on their side both in terms of age and Champions League pedigree, but it didn’t matter. The future is here to stay, and Leipzig are now just two wins away from doing something that many would’ve considered to be unthinkable a few years ago.
The fall of Spanish football
In the last week, La Liga’s elite really have been exposed in ways that few could’ve envisaged. Real Madrid were humbled by Manchester City, Atletico Madrid were outplayed by RB Leipzig, and Barcelona were absolutely destroyed by Bayern Munich. For years we’ve been taught to believe that Spanish football represents the very best of the best, but in our opinion, that clearly isn’t the case anymore. There’s an uprising in play, and it’s something we all need to take note of.
Leipzig’s reward for winning this game will be a date with Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League with the winner going on to face either Bayern Munich, Manchester City or Lyon in the final. At this moment in time Leipzig are distant 18/5 underdogs with 888sport to cause the upset, but being in that position has never bothered them before. PSG are incredibly good at what they do, but you only need to look at the German side’s resilience as well as Atalanta’s close call to understand that this is going to be a very competitive game.
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi (6.5), Angelino (7), Halstenberg (6.5), Upamecano (8), Klostermann (6.5), Kampl (7), Laimer (6.5), Nkunku (6.5), Olmo (7), Sabitzer (7.5), Poulsen (6.5), Adams (7.5), Haidara (6), Mukiele (6.5), Schick (6)
Atletico Madrid: Oblak (5.5), Trippier (7), Savic (6), Gimenez (7), Lodi (6.5), Koke (6), Herrera (6), Niguez (6), Carrasco (6.5), Llorente (6), Costa (6.5), Morata (5.5), Felix (7.5), Felipe (6)
Referee: Szymon Marciniak
Goals: Olmo, Adams :: Felix
Yellow Cards: Klostermann, Kampl, Haidara, Gimenez, Lodi
Red Cards: N/A