Christopher Nkunku scored twice in Bergamo as RB Leipzig’s 2-0 win over Atalanta carried the in-form Bundesliga side through to the UEFA Europa League semi-finals.
The French striker was there to get the first chance, the attacking goal, and his latest penalty won 3-1, increasing the chances for Leipzig to lift the first European trophy in their history.
Head coach Domenico Tedesco has transformed Leipzig’s fortunes since taking over from Jesse Marsch in December and the German visitors had a lot more for their Italian athletes here.
After seven goals in the Champions League this season, Nkunku still has three in the competition. Two years after the defeat of the Champions League semi-finals in Paris Saint-Germain, the German team is back at the end of its European campaign business.
Atalanta’s David Zappacosta provided a good defense early Leipzig captain Peter Gulacsi, who had managed to block a small shotgun in his vicinity.
Leipzig then took the lead in the 18th minute when Konrad Laimer was allowed to run 50 yards without a right-footed shot and into the Atalanta penalty area, before deflecting God to hit the nearest goal post.
Dani Olmo had a chip held tightly by Juan Musso as Leipzig sought a second goal, while Jeremie Boga’s short shot was blocked.
Atalanta were looking for a penalty early in the second half when Ruslan Malinovskiy’s powerful free-kick hit Olmo in the arm, and it appeared to be an honest shout, yet the players were denied after the VAR review.
Laimer almost added a second to Leipzig when a quick attack ended when Musso appeared to be making a fuss about learning the goals of his defenders, he had to rush to finish scoring one goal.
Nkunku was keen on Leipzig and booked a chance to make the most of his chances as Musso blocked for a fee. With Atalanta despairing, Musso’s mistake in God gave the striker a chance to finish off the tie, taking it by shooting up in the top left corner.