Both German-Spanish ties of this round saw Bundesliga sides come out victorious. Much was made of Leipzig’s greenness and Atletico’s history in European competitions, but it was the younger, more dynamic Leipzig side that prevailed, and they undoubtedly deserve their place in the semi-finals.
Dani Olmo opened the scoring for Leipzig in the 50th minute, after a drab first half. Atletico looked uncharacteristically shaky at the back, but Red Bull’s German outfit were unable to capitalise until Olmo was able to ghost into the box and steer a header into the far corner from a Sabitzer cross. Olmo was quiet otherwise, finishing on a 43p payout. Joao Felix was introduced to the game in the 58th minute and helped Atleti gain a foothold, as he won and converted a penalty with 20 minutes remaining. It was a Leipzig substitute that settled the tie though, as American midfielder Tyler Adams struck a decent effort in the 88th minute and it deflected cruelly off Stefan Savic into the Atletico goal.
Leipzig were by far the better team, but there is no doubt that the performance was built upon a monstrous display from Dayot Upamecano, the rock at the heart of the Leipzig defence. The 21-year-old was the eventual SuperStack winner, paying out 69p. Atletico often looked for the long ball up to Diego Costa, and this played into Upamecano’s hands, as he bullied Costa to eat up 16p in CBIs. More impressively though, he had 10p in passes made, 10p in shots on target and 6p in dribbles. He looked like the model modern centre-half, making it easy to forget he is still only a youngster.
Felix was indeed the star performer for Atleti, paying out 43p in just 32 minutes. He provided the link between midfield and attack that the Madrilenos had been so badly missing in the first half, and it was his own desire to make things happen that earned Atletico their penalty. He tucked it away in style, and although he’s had a difficult first season at the Wanda Metropolitano, that sort of performance in such a match bodes well for his future. As we can see in the chart below, only three of Atleti’s starters paid out more than Felix.
While Kieran Trippier, Yannick Carrasco and Stefan Savic all secured reasonable payouts, Renan Lodi did not fare so well. He went close to assisting Carrasco in the first half with a cross slid into the box from the left wing, but from there he melted away. In the second half he lost 10p for the two goals that Leipzig scored, and, in a knife-edge moment, he was booked for diving in the Leipzig box as Upamecano approached. The referee had a good angle on the incident, and it will have infuriated Lodi holders no end that he surrendered 7p so quickly and in such a weak manner – he didn’t even try to protest to the referee.
Now if you’re reading this on the 18th August 2020, you’re possibly trying to find some inspiration for the Leipzig v PSG game in a few hours.
We have the predicted line ups for you…
Upamecano is likely to be a hot player to trade tonight, currently a 44p sell and a 45p buy, you’d naturally expect him to be the heart of the Leipzig defence, with him also being the clear dominant defender, 45p would feel like a bit of a steal, especially when you consider that he is Leipzig’s prime target from set pieces!
However, you would also want to consider the fact that PSG play very differently to Atletico, they are unlikely to pump the ball upfield to the likes of Mbappe, Icardi & Neymar.
Sabitzer is also one to keep an eye on, he is currently 45p to sell & 47p to buy, he is the commander and chief of Leipzig, and will likely be involved in any attacking move they make. He’s on most set pieces, and is fully capable of bagging a goal from the most unlikely of positions! (Think back to Zenit earlier in the season!)