Christopher Nkunku (c.) scored twice for RB Leipzig in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg at Atalanta. - © Getty Images
Christopher Nkunku (c.) scored twice for RB Leipzig in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg at Atalanta. - © Getty Images
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Christopher Nkunku sends RB Leipzig past Atalanta into UEFA Europa League semi-finals

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Christopher Nkunku scored twice as RB Leipzig advanced to the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League semi-finals with victory over Atalanta.

Atalanta 0-2 RB Leipzig (Leipzig win 3-1 on agg.)
Goals: 0-1 Nkunku 18’ (assist: Laimer), 0-2 Nkunku (pen. 87’)

With the away-goals rules a thing of the past and the game all to play for following a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Leipzig were indebted to Peter Gulacsi for denying Davide Zappacosta’s early drive. Benjamin Henrichs tested Juan Musto as Leipzig returned fire, before Gulacsci thwarted Ruslan Malinovskyi. It proved a key intervention. Sixty seconds later, Konrad Laimer scythed through the Atalanta defence and found the feet of Nkunku, who was never going to miss from inside the box. Angelino and Laimer went close to adding a second towards the end of a frenetic first half.

Leipzig spurned another presentable opening soon after the restart. Musso could only parry Silva’s shot to Laimer, but recovered in the nick of time to turn the follow-up effort behind. Hans Hateboer miscued a close-range header on one of the rare occasions Atalanta did threaten an equaliser. Zapata then fluffed a headed attempt of his own, but not before Musso had been called on to keep out a fierce Nkunku shot from a tight angle. After being brought down by Musso, Nkunku sealed the deal with a late penalty to set up a last-four meeting with Glasgow Rangers.

Match stats

  • Nkunku has scored or assisted in all but one of Leipzig’s 10 away fixtures in 2022.
  • Sixteen different outfield players have scored for Leipzig in all competitions so far this season, with Silva (14 goals) second to Nkunku (30 goals) in the club charts.
  • Tedesco’s Leipzig have lost just one of 17 competitive matches since the turn of the year, winning 12.
  • Leipzig have scored in all of their European games this season, hitting 23 in 10.
  • Leipzig are through to the semi-final stage of a UEFA competition for the second time since gaining promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016. They made it through to the Champions League last four in 2019/20.
  • Leipzig could meet Bundesliga rivals Eintracht Frankfurt in the final.

Line-ups

Atalanta: Musso - De Roon, Demiral (Scalvini 70'), Palomino - Hateboer, Koopmeiners, Freuler (c) (Pasalic 88'), Zappacosta - Malinovskyi (Muriel 58'), Boga (Miranchuk 70') – Zapata
Unused subs: Rossi, Sportiello, Pezzella, Djimsiti, Mihaila, Pessina, Cittadini
Out: Cabezas (knee), Ilicic (depression)
Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini

Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) - Simakan, Orban, Gvardiol (Poulsen 79') - Henrichs (Klostermann 73'), Laimer (Adams 73'), Kampl (Halstenberg 79'), Angelino - Olmo - Silva (Szoboszlai 63'), Nkunku
Unused subs: Tschauner, Martinez, Forsberg, Mukiele, Raebiger, Novoa
Out: Haidara (knee)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco

As it happened!

0 - 2

(0 - 1)

Atalanta
FINAL
Leipzig
Europa League
Quarter-final, second leg
Quarter-final, second leg Gewiss Stadium, Bergamo
90'
+ 8

FULL TIME

Leipzig have done it and, after reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League just a few years ago, they are now into the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League!
90'
+ 7

ZAPATA SUMS IT UP

The Atalanta forward gets around the back, but screws his shot across goal, summing up his and Atalanta's night.
90'
+ 5

CARDS, CARDS, CARDS

The referee brandishes his yellow card three times, even for Kampl, who protested from the bench. That's 10 names now in his book.
90'
+ 5

Yellow card

yellowCard
Davide Zappacosta
90'
+ 5

Yellow card

yellowCard
Kevin Kampl
Kevin Kampl
90'
+ 5

Yellow card

yellowCard
Mohamed Simakan
Mohamed Simakan
90'
+ 2

PASALIC OVER

A header from Pasalic goes over the crossbar when that had to go in for Atalanta to have any real hope of recovering.
90'
+ 2

Yellow card

yellowCard
Hans Hateboer
90'

SEVEN MORE MINUTES!

There will be seven minutes added on, so some more defending to do for Leipzig.
88'

Substitution

sub
Mario Pasalic
sub
Remo Freuler
87'

NKUNKU AND OUT

That must be it! Nkunku earned and scores the penalty, and Leipzig are surely now heading into the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League!
87'

Christopher Nkunku

GOAL!

0 : 2
Christopher Nkunku
86'

PENALTY LEIPZIG!

Musso hauls down Nkunku and here's a chance to seal the deal!
84'

ALL IN ONE HALF

Twenty-one players all in one half here, with just Musso in the Atalanta half of the field, as the hosts seek an equaliser.
80'

TIME RUNNING OUT

Muriel takes a corner which is met by Zapata, but he heads over. Only ten minutes left for Leipzig to hold on here.
79'

Substitution

sub
Yussuf Poulsen
Yussuf Poulsen
sub
Joško Gvardiol
Joško Gvardiol
79'

Substitution

sub
Marcel Halstenberg
Marcel Halstenberg
sub
Kevin Kampl
Kevin Kampl
75'

FRUSTRATED HOSTS

Another yellow card born out of frustration, with Koopmeiners hacking down Kampl, who is in no rush to get up as he receives treatment.
75'

Yellow card

yellowCard
Teun Koopmeiners
74'

ZAPATA JUGGLING

The Atalanta forward tries to juggle the ball into the box, but two Leipzig players are no clowns and block his path.
73'

Substitution

sub
Lukas Klostermann
Lukas Klostermann
sub
Benjamin Henrichs
Benjamin Henrichs
73'

Substitution

sub
Tyler Adams
Tyler Adams
sub
Konrad Laimer
Konrad Laimer
70'

Substitution

sub
Giorgio Scalvini
sub
Merih Demiral
70'

Substitution

sub
Aleksei Miranchuk
sub
Jeremie Boga
69'

KOOPMEINERS BLOCKED!

Muriel has revitalised the Atalanta attack and he cuts the ball back for Koopmeiners, who has a shot blocked.
67'

NKUNKU SO CLOSE!

Almost a second for Leipzig with the magician Nkunku skipping past his marker and shooting from a tight angle, but Musso has his near post covered.
63'

Substitution

sub
Dominik Szoboszlai
Dominik Szoboszlai
sub
André Silva
André Silva
62'

ORBAN SUSPENDED

The first Leipzig name in the book is Orban's, and that means he will miss Die Roten Bullen's next European game, which could be the first leg of the semi-final.
62'

Yellow card

yellowCard
Willi Orban
Willi Orban
60'

Yellow card

yellowCard
Merih Demiral
60'

NERVES AND NEW FACE

Two yellow cards shown for two complaining Atalanta players, who are showing their frustration. Meanwhile, Muriel comes on to give more weight to the Nerazzurro attack.
59'

Yellow card

yellowCard
Duvan Zapata
59'

Yellow card

yellowCard
Remo Freuler
58'

Substitution

sub
Luis Muriel
sub
Ruslan Malinovskyi
55'

PRESSURE MOUNTING

Atalanta pushing, but Leipzig go close on the break, Musso not getting a strong hand to Andre Silva's shot and the ball reaches Laimer, whose effort is turned behind by the recovering Atalanta custodian.
52'

NO PENALTY FOR ATALANTA

The referee says it is not an punishable handball from Olmo, and so no penalty is given.
49'

ANOTHER HANDBALL?

The referee is checking VAR for a potential handball from the next Atalanta free-kick. He goes to check the monitor...
48'

Yellow card

yellowCard
Benjamin Henrichs
Benjamin Henrichs
48'

EDGING CLOSER

Atalanta have a free-kick almost 30 yards out which hits Henrichs' arm, and the referee books the Leipzig defender and gives Atalanta another free-kick, closer to goal.
46'

AWAY WE GO!

Forty five more minutes and, if Leipzig do not concede, that will be it. If they do, then we might need an extra 30.
45'

TEAMS RE-EMERGE

The second half is about to start - can Leipzig hold onto this one-goal advantage and reach the semi-finals? We will find out soon!
45'

HALF TIME

No time added on and it is a case of so far, so good for Leipzig, thanks to the outstanding Laimer-Nkunku axis.
42'

ORBAN IN THE WAY

An excellent clearance from Orban to turn Boga's cross behind when he has Zapata breathing down his neck.
39'

LEIPZIG CREATING

Another chance for the guests with Angelino's looping cross headed back into the danger area by Andre Silva, who earns a corner. Laimer then shoots just wide with just a touch needed to divert it in. Chances for Leipzig.
36'

NKUNKU HELPS OUT

Just to prove what an outstanding all-rounder he is, Nkunku tracks back and pickpockets Malinovskyi on the edge of his own area, coolly trotting away with the ball at his feet after snuffing out a good Atalanta attack. One scored, one prevented. All in a night's work.
34'

AND STILL NO GOAL...

...for Koopmeiners, who squanders his second chance in 60 seconds.
34'

KOOPMEINERS CLOSE

Four goals in this, his first season in Serie A, but no goal tonight as he strikes his effort high and wide.
33'

ZAPATA LOOKING FRUSTRATED

Not only are Leipzig leading, they appear also to be frustrating Atalanta with Zapata in particular not looking too happy with his and his teammates' performance so far.
27'

CHANCE ON THE BREAK

Nkunku takes the ball down the left wing and cuts it back for Angelino, but he shoots straight at Musso.
27'

ORBAN CALLS FOR CALM

Atalanta inevitably have to respond and Orban calls on his teammates just to keep things calm and, like earlier in the game, try to take the sting out of the game a bit.
18'

NKUNKU DOES THE TRICK

Easy to see why he's just been named the Bundesliga's Player of the Month again, but what a run from Laimer to create the chance, leaving the Atalanta defence for dead before cutting it back for Nkunku's finish. Leipzig lead!
18'

Christopher Nkunku

GOAL!

0 : 1
Christopher Nkunku
17'

GULACSI TO THE RESCUE

A good attack from Atalanta with Malinovskyi's effort pushed away by Gulacsi, and Zappacosta skies the rebound.
16'

ANDRE SILVA!

Another shot on goal for Leipzig, who are now ahead in this statistic by 3-2, with Andre Silva somewhat slicing his effort from long range.
14'

HENRICHS FLICK

This is much better from Leipzig and a cross from the right is flicked towards goal by Henrich, just lacking the power to threaten Musso.
10'

LAIMER WIDE

From the corner, Laimer has a go from long range and it takes a deflection for a second Leipzig corner.
9'

SLOWING IT DOWN

Leipzig finally able to get a bit of the ball and they are slowing things down a bit, trying to take a bit of the sting out of their hosts. And they create their first chance too, Andre Silva's shot deflected behind for a corner.
5'

ZAPPACOSTA SHOT SAVED!

Atalanta now getting their first shots of the game, and this is a dangerous one from Zappacosta, cutting in from the left and driving the ball in low. Gulacsi is down to his right and smothers it.
2'

HOSTS START WELL

Atalanta have been somewhat quicker out of the blocks. Although they've not had a shot on goal, Zapata has been sniffing around the Leipzig box.

KICK-OFF

The ball is rolling in Bergamo!

FULL HOUSE

The stadium is sold out for this evening's clash and it's bouncing in Bergamo.

TEAMS IN THE TUNNEL

Just under five minutes to kick-off and the teams are about to make their entrance.

CONFIDENT RED BULLS

"It's all to play for in Bergamo and we feel like we have the quality to get the result we need," said Emil Forsberg, who missed that penalty in Leipzig and will be out to atone for it this evening, though he starts from the bench.

FINELY POISED

After a 1-1 draw in Leipzig last weekend, this tie is finely poised. That first leg had everything - shots against the post - two on either side - and a Leipzig missed penalty, which indicates we could be in for more drama in Bergamo tonight. So don't take your eyes of this one!

LEIPZIG SUBS:

Tschauner, Martinez, Poulsen, Forsberg, Adams, Klostermann, Szoboszlai, Mukiele, Halstenberg, Raebiger, Novoa

LEIPZIG STARTING XI:

Gulacsi (c) - Simakan, Orban, Gvardiol - Henrichs, Laimer, Kampl, Angelino - Olmo - Silva, Nkunku

ATALANTA SUBS:

Rossi, Sportiello, Muriel, Pezzella, Djimsiti, Mihaila, Pessina, Scalvini, Cittadini, Miranchuk, Pasalic

ATALANTA STARTING XI:

Musso - De Roon, Demiral, Palomino - Hateboer, Koopmeiners, Freuler (c), Zappacosta - Malinovskyi, Boga – Zapata