Leipzig (Germany) (AFP) – A superb Angelino volley grabbed RB Leipzig a 1-0 home win over a dogged Rangers side in their Europa League semi-final, first leg on Thursday.
The Spaniard powered home a sweet left-footed strike five minutes from time at the Red Bull Arena to breach Rangers’ stubborn defence.
Leipzig had struggled to break the deadlock as Rangers restricted them to just 10 shots despite boasting 70 percent possession.
The Germans will be looking to reach their first European final — in Seville on May 18 against either Eintracht Frankfurt or West Ham — in next Thursday’s return game in Glasgow.
However, this was a below-par display from the hosts, who had a 15-game unbeaten run ended last Saturday when they conceded two late goals at home to Union Berlin in the Bundesliga.
Leipzig coach Domenico Tedesco started with a three-man attack of Dani Olmo, Dominik Szoboszlai and Christopher Nkunku, with both Andre Silva and Yussuf Poulsen left on the bench.
Rangers’ back four sucked up everything the Leipzig attack threw at them early on, with Gers captain James Tavernier throwing himself into countless tackles.
A quarter of an hour had passed before the hosts created the first clear chance, but Nkunku could not get his shot away.
Both teams had opportunities early in the second half.
Ryan Kent fired just wide after dribbling into the area, then Tavernier had a shot charged down for the visitors.
Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor turned 40 in January, but he showed great reactions to block a powerful shot from Nkunku, who later fired wide with the goal at his mercy.
With 20 minutes left, Leipzig boss Tedesco swapped Olmo for Swedish playmaker Emil Forsberg.
USA midfielder Tyler Adams fired over just before Angelino settled the first leg when a corner was cleared to the wing-back, whose volley flew past McGregor.
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