RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann was full of praise for left-winger Angelino following his brace in the UEFA Champions League victory over Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday, singling out his first goal as “close to world class”.
Die Roten Bullen, who reached the semi-finals of the competition last season, got their 2020/21 Group H campaign off to the perfect start with a 2-0 triumph at home to the Turkish Süper Lig winners.
Angelino scored both goals, a quickfire brace in the space of four first-half minutes, to swing the tie in Leipzig’s favour and his first effort, in particular, was sensational. Darting into the Basaksehir penalty area to collect a lofted ball forward from Kevin Kampl, there appeared to be little immediate danger as the 23-year-old shaped to control the ball with his back to goal.
Cue a moment of brilliance from Angelino, who, in one movement, brought the ball down and bamboozled former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel with a Cruyff turn, creating the space he needed to rifle in the opener from 12 yards.
The Spaniard’s second effort wasn’t bad either, peeling away into space on the left as Leipzig countered before smashing a first-time shot high into the net from Christopher Nkunku’s pass.
And Nagelsmann, like everyone else watching on, was impressed. "Angel’s a guy who always wants to play and always wants to win,” said the 33-year-old. “Win, win, win. Everyone in the team knows how unpleasant he can be when he doesn’t have the ball at his feet.
“He’s just a big kid – he’s almost as bad as me. He always wants to keep playing after training. He’s a superbly trained player who’s very inquisitive and he always listens. His first goal was close to being world class.”
It was no one-off either. Angelino’s brace is part of a wider trend this season in which he has added a ruthlessness in front of goal to his all-round game.
“Obviously I’m happy about my goals,” the player himself said after the final whistle on Tuesday. “The boys have given me lots of chances in the last few weeks, so I’m thankful to them. We’re trying to improve from game to game. Now our focus is on Saturday and our Bundesliga game against Hertha Berlin.”