The full-time whistle goes, confirming Leipzig’s place in the semi-finals of the Europa League after beating Atalanta.
That was a crazy second half, with much ill discipline and chances aplenty! Leipzig held firm, though.
And Nkunku’s late penalty sealed his second of the game and Atalanta’s fate as the German side advance to the next stage.
ATALANTA (3-4-2-1): Juan Musso;
Marten De Roon, Merih Demiral, Jose Luis Palomino;
Hans Hateboer, Teun Koopmeiners, Remo Freuler, Davide Zappacosta;
Ruslan Malinovskiy, Jeremie Boga; Duvan Zapata.
ATALANTA SUBS: Francesco Rossi, Marco Sportiello, Luis Muriel, Giuseppe Pezzella, Berat Djimsiti, Valentin Mihaila, Matteo Pessina, Giorgio Scalvini, Giorgio Cittadini, Aleksey Miranchuk, Mario Pasalic.
RB LEIPZIG: (3-4-1-2): Peter Gulacsi;
Mohamed Simakan, Willi Orban, Josko Gvardiol;
Benjamin Henrichs, Konrad Laimer, Kevin Kampl, Angelino;
Dani Olmo; Christopher Nkunku, Andre Silva.
RB LEIPZIG SUBS: Philipp Tschauner, Josep Martinez, Yussuf Poulsen, Emil Forsberg, Tyler Adams, Lukas Klostermann, Dominik Szoboszlai, Nordi Mukiele, Marcel Halstenberg, Sidney Raebiger, Hugo Novoa.
The Bulls hit the front!!! Laimer steams clear down the right and enters the box, cutting the ball back to Nkunku, who fires home!!! It hits the post on its way in, as RB Leipzig takes a 1-0 lead! He loves these high-stakes European ties!
That might do it!!! Nkunku, who won the spot-kick, steps up from 12 yards, and despite Musso going the right way, the Frenchman smashes the ball into the top corner to make it 2-0!!! A 3-1 lead on aggregate now, and Atalanta are in the last-chance saloon to save this tie!
Nkunku makes the difference:
It pays to have a finisher like Nkunku, which is why France boss Didier Deschamps called up the 24-year-old and gave him his first two caps for Les Bleus in March.
Perhaps he will be a factor in the World Cup at the end of the year too.
Tedesco is the fortunate club coach to have Nkunku in his ranks, and from his three shots on Thursday the striker found the target each time.
He perhaps struck a little lucky when his opener rapped the post on its way in, but Nkunku’s remarkable haul in Europe this season speaks volumes of his blossoming ability.
So, what’s next?
That result sends RB Leipzig into the semi-finals, where they will play the winner of the Rangers v Braga tie.
And the first-ever European final beckons for the young German club should they get past their next opponents.
Meanwhile, For Atalanta, their wait for a European semi-final will extend into the 35th year.
But they were cheered to the hilt by their fans in a raucous Gewiss Stadium in this one.
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