Lisbon: Leipzig stunned Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Thursday to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time as Tyler Adams’ 88th-minute winner earned it a showdown with Paris Saint-Germain.
Atletico looked to have secured extra-time at the Estadio Jose Alvalade when Joao Felix won and then scored a penalty to cancel out Dani Olmo’s headed opener early in the second half.
But Adams proved an unlikely hero for Leipzig, coming off the bench to snatch victory in Lisbon after his fired effort took a cruel deflection off Stefan Savic and flew in.
The win marks an historic night for Leipzig, which was only formed 11 years ago and played its first ever season in Germany’s top flight in 2016.
Progress to the last four also puts another feather in the cap of its coach Julian Nagelsmann, whose stock will rise even further after ousting Diego Simeone, one of this competition’s most gnarly tacticians.
‘I’m perhaps one of the happiest coaches in the world,’ Nagelsmann said. ‘We were the better team, the result is totally OK. The second goal is a bit lucky but we found the space behind the defensive line. I think we were the better team today.’
‘It’s normal that when you get to the next round, you want more,’ Nagelsmann said. Tonight we’re happy. Tomorrow we’ll start looking at Paris. That will be another difficult game but we’ll have a plan.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain snatched a dramatic victory from the jaws of defeat as substitute Eric Choupo-Moting’s goal three minutes into added time allowed it to beat Atalanta 2-1.
Atalanta was on the brink of extending its remarkable run on into the last four after Mario Pasalic gave the Italians a 27th-minute lead in the first game of the ‘Final Eight’ at an empty Estadio da Luz.
But PSG was rescued as Marquinhos came forward to scramble in a last-minute equaliser and it did not even need extra time to complete the turnaround, with Kylian Mbappe setting up fellow substitute Choupo-Moting to win the tie right at the end.
“When I came on I said to myself, ‘we can’t lose, we can’t go home like that’. The rest is history,” said Choupo-Moting, who signed a two-month contract extension to stay at PSG for the ‘Final Eight’ after his deal expired in June.