Youri Tielemans opened his Monaco account as last season’s semi-finalists held RB Leipzig to a 1-1 draw to deny Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side an historic victory on their Champions League bow.
The big-money signing from Anderlecht struck two minutes after Emil Forsberg scored his club’s first goal in Europe’s elite competition, with their first shot on target.
The 25-year-old timed his run to perfection to latch onto a ball down the left channel, before cutting into the penalty area and lashing the ball emphatically past Diego Benaglio with just over half an hour on the clock in this Group G encounter.
It was pure ecstasy for the newcomers, but their joy turned to sorrow only two minutes later when Monaco levelled, as Tielemans silenced the raucous home crowd when he capitalised on Peter Gulacsi’s fumble to tap in from close range.
Leipzig, founded in 2009, have enjoyed a rapid rise to the top of club football and, on this showing, Hasenhuttl’s men proved they have the quality required to compete at this level.
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) September 13, 2017
The inexperienced hosts took their time to settle into the game initially and it was the visitors who created the first opportunity after seven minutes when Radamel Falcao’s shot was blocked and Adama Diakhaby could not react quick enough to apply the finish.
Timo Werner has been Leipzig’s standout player so far this season and he should have done better when Forsberg’s corner delivery just evaded him at the back post.
The historic Leipzig goal finally came after 34 minutes, and in spectacular fashion. Forsberg was allowed to charge into the penalty area from the left channel before finishing emphatically past Benaglio.
But Monaco soon levelled as Tielemans silenced the raucous home crowd. Tielemans was at the back post to meet a superb right-wing cross, and though his first effort was blocked he was on hand to apply the finish from the rebound.
Leipzig ended the first half on a high and almost restored their lead when Lukas Klostermann’s cross was inch-perfect for Werner, but Kamil Glik stepped in to make a crucial intervention.
The hosts started the second period on the front foot and when Werner – usually so prolific – broke into the box after 52 minutes, he was favourite to score. Agonisingly, he sent the ball inches wide of the post.
And just before the hour mark, Glik saved his goalkeeper’s blushes when the Monaco defender cleared from the line after Benaglio had flapped at Forsberg’s excellent corner delivery.
Leipzig’s pressure was building and after 62 minutes, following a nice team move, Yussuf Poulsen had the ball in the back of the net, only for the goal to be ruled offside.
Benaglio had to be at his best to block Jean-Kevin Augustin’s goal-bound effort in the latter stages as Leipzig had to settle for a point.
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