Christopher Nkunku's outstanding season continued as RB Leipzig advanced to another European semi-final thanks to his goals.
advanced to the
Europa League semi-finals
with a 2-0 win overAtalanta
in Bergamo, thanks to two goals from
. The France striker tucked in an early chance, a predator's goal and his late penalty sealed a 3-1 aggregate victory, raising the prospect of Leipzig winning their first European championship.
in December, head coach Domenico Tedesco has altered Leipzig's fortunes, and the German visitors had too much for their Italian hosts here. Nkunku currently has three goals in the Champions League after scoring seven in the league this season. The German side is back at the business end of a European campaign, two years after losing in the Champions League semi-final to Paris Saint-Germain.
Davide Zappacosta of Atalanta drew a good stop from Leipzig captain Peter Gulacsi early on, who went down effectively to deny a low drive at his near post. Leipzig took the lead in the 18th minute when Konrad Laimer was allowed to go 50 yards unopposed down the right-wing and into the Atalanta penalty box, before cutting back for Nkunku to slam in from close range off the right post.
As Leipzig looked for a second goal,Dani Olmo
's chip was cleanly held by Juan Musso, while Jeremie Boga's low attempt was blocked. When Ruslan Malinovskiy's strong free-kick struck Olmo on the arm early in the second half, Atalanta demanded a penalty, which appeared to be a legitimate claim, but the hosts were refused after a VAR review.
When Musso appeared to make a mess of reading his opponents' intentions during a quick counter-attack, Laimer almost added a second for Leipzig, forcing Musso to scramble to keep the lead at one goal.
For Leipzig, Nkunku was sharp, wriggling through to create a chance for himself as Musso blocked at the expense of a corner. As Atalanta's desperation grew, Musso's foul on Nkunku provided the striker with an opportunity to seal the tie, which he took by blasting high into the left corner.
Leipzig were waiting to find out who their semi-final opponents would be, with Braga and Rangers battling it out for the opportunity to play in the final. Leipzig's next Bundesliga match is against Leverkusen on Sunday, while Atalanta's next Serie A match is against Hellas Verona on Monday.
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