RB Leipzig: 90 minutes to Seville – Sport

Glasgow Rangers and Hamburger SV have enjoyed a fan friendship that has blossomed again on Thursday. A number of Scottish fans, with the help of their Hanseatic friends, stocked up on an impressive number of tickets for the semi-final first leg of the Europa League at RB Leipzig. The level of infiltration of the stands was remarkable, but not quite as high as in Eintracht Frankfurt’s recent game at FC Barcelona. And unlike Frankfurt, the Scots didn’t take a win as a souvenir – but a defeat. RB Leipzig won 1-0 with a late dream goal from left-back Angeliño. And can now feel very close to the Europa League final in Seville, Andalusia (May 18).

Glasgow Rangers lined up all in blue – and behaved as if they wanted to be the Scottish version of the most defensive squadra azzurra make an impression on history. It took a full quarter of an hour before they played their way up to half of Leipzig. Conversely, their defensive bar, obviously inspired by Italian catenaccio, was so impenetrable that the Leipzig team, who started with the three-man attack but without a clearly defined point, never had a clear view when they made it into their guests’ penalty area. Whether it was Christopher Nkunku (17′), Konrad Laimer (18′) or Angeliño (30′) trying to shoot, the Scots always managed to get a calf into the ball’s trajectory. Often enough, however, the passes into the dangerous zones lacked the necessary precision. Or the right runs of the three Leipzig strikers.

It was all the more remarkable (and important) that the largely improvised Leipzig defense never lacked attention. Coach Domenico Tedesco had to reorganize their structure because Willi Orban and Mohamed Simakan were yellow-locked. Flanked by Lukas Klostermann and Marcel Halstenberg, Josko Gvardiol was a very passable libero; but as a clean-up he rarely had to attack because Tyler Adams and Laimer played a lot of balls in midfield.

How dangerous the Rangers can be was assessed shortly after the break. A ball loss by Leipzig in the build-up game offered them the invitation to quickly move the game. Ryan Kent broke through at left-back but missed a shot from the left; shortly thereafter, Leipzig’s Tyler Adams risked his head when Rangers captain James Tavernier chased the ball onto Leipzig’s goal. Conversely, Rangers goalie Allan McGregor was allowed to call “Here!” for the first time when Nkunku shot. roar; he parried the ball with his fists (53′).

Angeliño volleys from 20 meters – McGregor has no chance

Then Dominik Szoboszlai found a crack in the concrete of the bulkheads for the first time and passed to Nkunku, who with a body trick left John Lundstram in the penalty area. After the Frenchman had also rounded Rangers keeper McGregor, he put the ball over the almost empty goal from nine meters (70th). A good nine minutes later, Nkunku had another big chance. Left-back Angeliño found in Nkunku an addressee for a long, perfectly curved cross from the wing. The Frenchman, who was so spectacularly successful this season, managed to jump over the giant Calvin Bassey; but not to push the ball down.

Shortly thereafter, Tyler Adams forced a save from the Scottish goalkeeper that produced a corner kick – and ultimately the goal. Because a defensive action by the Scots failed. The ball came to little Angeliño, and he volleyed it with his left hand from 20 yards out. McGregor desperately flew after the ball, but he was too late. The ball hit the bottom left.

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