At the Red Bull Arena it ends even: for the passage everything postponed to the return. Musso saves a penalty from André Silva, two posts on each side
In the first leg of the quarter-finals of Europa League L’Atalanta drew 1-1 with Leipzig and postpones the qualification speech to the return to Bergamo. At the Red Bull Arena in the first half Muriel (17 ‘) unlocks the match with one spell per turn, then attempts to André Silva And Pasalic crash on the pole. In the recovery Musso saves a penalty ad André Silvathen Tedesco’s men equalize thanks to a own goal by Zappacosta (58 ‘), Koopmeiners hits another post and the crossbar stops a header by Szoboszlai.
Leipzig-Atalanta ended in a draw, but at the Red Bull Arena the 1-1 on the triple whistle is a liar. Liar because he doesn’t really tell what happened on the pitch. A show that pitted two brave, technical and strong teams up against each other. Under the orders of two technicians with clear ideas about the desire to propose a game, Leipzig and Atalanta faced each other openly, creating many opportunities and postponing everything to the second round in Bergamo. Net of the individual test (Muriel and Musso above all), Atalanta has shown that they want and can aim high in the Europa League. Also because Leipzig are a tough opponent to face right now. A team to be taken with a grain of salt as demonstrated by the thrilling endgame.
Without Djimsiti and Toloi and with Zapata on the bench, at Red Bull Areana Gasperini chooses the back four and places De Roon, Freuler and Koopmeiners in the median to better cover the field behind Pessina, Muriel and Pasalic. Tedesco instead relies on Henrichs and Angelino on the outside and Dani Olmo behind Nkunku and André Silva. Compact and tidy, at the start it is the Leipzig that takes possession by maneuvering from behind. Precise in the dribble, Tedesco’s team keeps the pace low in construction, but when he attacks the depth he changes pace and pushes with Nkunku, Laimer and Henrichs. Attitude that forces the Goddess to accept one-on-one in defense and to raise the pressure. On the one hand Musso stops a weak left from Nkunku, on the other Zappacosta kicks to the side from the edge. Attempts that initiate hostilities and open up spaces. More aggressive, Gasperini’s band gained meters, verticalized more quickly and at the first good opportunity took the lead thanks to a magic by Muriel: slalom in the area and right with an implacable lap. Flash that the Colombian shortly after tries to repeat with his left, almost doubling and triggering the reaction of Leipzig. At a disadvantage, Tedesco’s team tries to increase the laps in the median and after a mistake by Pessina hits a sensational post with André Silva. Danger to which the Goddess responds by tightening the lines, attacking the bearers and trying to strike on the counterattack. Muriel wasted a good restart, then the Leipzig defense blocked a Koopmeiners left and the first half ended on a post from Pasalic.
The recovery begins with Atalanta high and under pressure and Leipzig struggling to find space to set up from behind. Gulacsi blocks a powerful right from Zappacosta from the edge, then flies to a dangerous right from Muriel. Flashes to which Leipzig responds by increasing the laps in the middle of the field and clinging to the plays of the strikers in the strait. Demiral knocks out Nkunku in the area, but Musso first rejects André Silva’s penalty and then Orban’s header. Savings that shortly after the Nerazzurri rearguard wasted on a cross from Angelino that Orban himself deflected into the net with the complicity of Zappacosta. Draw that puts everything back in balance and gives a shock to the race. On the hunt for fresh and thrusting forces, Gasperini takes away Pessina, Muriel and Pasalic and sends Scalvini, Zapata and Boga into the field. German instead throws Forsberg into the fray in place of André Silva. Changes that inflame the last half hour. Served in the area by Zapata, Scalvini shoots high and wastes a great chance. Then a left foot from Koopmeiners hit the post and Forsberg failed to catch a dangerous cross from the left. Under pressure, the Goddess pushes. The Leipzig, however, does not give up and responds blow for blow giving life to a thrilling ending. On the one hand, Zapata tries from a distance on a couple of occasions, then Demiral sends a header. On the other hand Szoboszlai hits the crossbar after a good restart and in the recovery Demiral saves on the line the last attack of Mukiele in the fray. Between goals, saved penalties, poles and crosspieces at the Red Bull Arena it ends even. And even on the return, fireworks are expected with the semi-final up for grabs.
Muriel 7: leads the attack by giving quality, depth and ideas to the maneuver. He unlocks the race with a spell per turn, then touches the doubling of his left. In the second half he gives way to Zapata
Koopmeiners 6.5: dynamic and aggressive. He touches many balls, presses and is found by his teammates between the lines. In the second half, his left foot hits the post
Pessina 5: of the three in the middle, he is the one with the least pace and the most distracted. Miss a couple of bloody balls coming out. On one occasion André Silva hits the post. In the second half, Scalvini enters his place and does much better
Musso 7: saves the penalty to André Silva and flies on Orban’s header, but that’s not enough. Zappacosta “pierces” him immediately after the super double intervention, in the final excellent intervention also on Szoboszlai
Nkunku 6: he starts with a couple of dangerous accelerations and forces Palomino to immediately use the hard way, then in the second half he lights up intermittently and gets the penalty with a flash on Demiral
André Silva 4.5: in front of you you see little and when the ball arrives in its parts it never manages to make a difference. In the first half he kicks a good chance on the post, in the second half Musso saves him a penalty
Leipzig (3-4-2-1): Gulacsi 6; Klostermann 6, Orban 6.5, Gvardiol 5.5 (28 ‘st Halstenberg 6); Henrichs 6 (41 ‘st Mukiele sv), Kampl 5.5, Laimer 6.5, Angelino 6.5; Dani Olmo 6 (28 ‘st Szoboszlai 6.5); Nkunku 6 (41 ‘st Novoa sv), André Silva 4.5 (17’ st Forsberg 6).
Available: Tschauner, Martinez, Simakan, Raebiger. All .: German 6
Atalanta (4-3-3): Musso 7; Hateboer 6, Demiral 5.5, Palomino 6, Zappacosta 5.5 (44 ‘st Pezzella sv); De Roon 6, Freuler 6 (22 ‘st Miranchuk 6), Koopmeiners 6.5; Pessina 5 (17 ‘st Scalvini 6.5), Muriel 7 (17’ st Zapata 6), Pasalic 5.5 (17 ‘st Boga 6).
Available: Rossi, Sportiello, Malinovskyi, Mihaila, Citizens. All .: Gasperini 6
Referee: Oliver (ENG)
Markers: 17 ‘Muriel (A), 13’ st aut. Zappacosta (A)
Ammonites: Gvardiol, Halstenberg (L); Palomino (A)
Note: at 58 ‘Musso (A) saves a penalty from André Silva (L)