The division of roles in the Europa League semi-finals was clear from the start: Although RB Leipzig were clearly superior in the first half, the home team rarely had great chances because the Rangers defended very compactly and made only a few mistakes on the defensive. .
After just over fifteen minutes, Leipzig were unable to take advantage of one of the visitors’ few errors when Borna Barisic misjudged a post and Benjamin Henrichs hung up for Christopher Nkunku. The Frenchman then took too long and was eventually blocked by Calvin Bassey.
The visitors ‘only goal in the first half came in the form of a header from Connor Goldson, who clearly missed the opponent’s goal (30’). Leipzig were otherwise often only dangerous through posts, even though the two strikers Yussuf Poulsen and André Silva were not in the starting lineup. A volley by Angeliño after Dani Olmo’s shot had just rendered Glasgow harmless in the sixteenth minute (32 ‘).
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The people of Leipzig slept through the initial phase of the second half, but the Rangers were unable to take advantage of this. Nevertheless, the Scots twice through Ryan Kent (49th) and James Tavernier (52nd) came to end dangerously in the opposite sixteen.
Due to the BVB conqueror becoming a bit more offensive in the second half, there were more holes in the defensive. Nkunku was close to exploiting this, but Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor was able to fend off the Frenchman’s long shot with both fists (54 ‘).
After the Leipzig opportunity, the visitors withdrew a little further on their own half of the field and relied more on counter-attacks, which overall worked better than in the first half.
Nevertheless, Nkunku had the lead for RB on the foot a little later when he let several defenders and goalkeeper McGregor come out, but then missed the empty goal from 15 yards (71 ‘). Rangers’ strongest player in the second 45 minutes was Kent, whose long-range effort was denied by RB goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi 15 minutes after playing time.
In the final minutes, Leipzig turned up the heat again: First, Nkunku missed the next big chance – this time with a header from close range (79th). McGregor was only able to reject a shot from Tyler Adams to a corner that would be fatal for the Rangers. The visitors were able to clear Nkunku’s cross with a header – but right at the feet of Angeliño, who from the edge of the box sent the ball into the bottom left corner for McGregor to make it 1-0 (85 ‘).
For Leipzig, it was the deserved victory goal that gives them a comfortable starting position for the second match in a week. The decision will be made on May 5 at Ibrox Stadium, where Borussia Dortmund’s Europa Cup season ended in February. Then RB must also see the atmosphere in Rangers’ boiler.
The game’s voices
Angelino (RB Leipzig): “The team worked hard to win. We had played under control, only the goal was missing for a long time, eventually we did it. It stays close and it gets tough in Glasgow. We go for our goal, the final in Sevilla, give it your all ! “
Benjamin Henrichs (RB Leipzig): “The Rangers demanded a lot from us, especially in the first half. We did better after the break and created a couple of chances. We have Angeliño to thank for that shot on Sunday. It put us in a good position for the second game. It should be ours. goal to reach the final, and we are working hard for that. “
Domenico Tedesco (RB Leipzig coach): “A semi-final in the Europa Cup is not a dream concert. After a tough first half we had a really good second half. That way you do not get many chances against opponents. We can only learn from this match. Glasgow has to come in the second round now, though perhaps not from the beginning. “
Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Glasgow Rangers team manager): “We did not allow many chances here. But when you concede a goal just before the end, it is always disappointing. We know what to do next week. It will be a different match there. We will do everything we can to get to the final to achieve. Ibrox will definitely give us energy. “
Tweeted about the game
It was noticeable: almost lost his teeth
Leipzig delivered a safe performance for almost a full 90 minutes and were the better and more dominant team in general. Nevertheless, the home team had a hard time breaking through the compact and well-organized defensive block of the Scots. Again and again Leipzig had to use high balls, but high strikers like André Silva or Yussuf Poulsen only came into the match late. In addition, the eye-catching Christopher Nkunku was able to build on his top performances over the past few weeks – but his chances left much to be desired. In the second match, Leipzig will have to shift a gear or two up, primarily because the Scots will perform differently at their own stadium than in the first match on Thursday.
For Leipzig, the victory on Thursday was the 16th competitive victory of the 2022 calendar year, no other German professional team has more victories to its credit during this period.
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