Julian Nagelsmann was delighted with RB Leipzig’s stunning Champions League win over Atletico Madrid but was keen to quickly turn his focus towards semi-final opponents Paris Saint-Germain.
Leipzig reached the last four of Europe’s elite club competition after Tyler Adams’ 88th-minute strike – deflected beyond Jan Oblak – clinched a 2-1 victory on Thursday.
The Bundesliga side were good value for their success despite seeing Dani Olmo’s opener cancelled out by Joao Felix, who won and converted a penalty inside the last 20 minutes.
The win represents surely the greatest moment in Leipzig’s short history, yet head coach Nagelsmann acknowledged there was little time to celebrate.
“There are great emotions for my club, for my team,” the 33-year-old told BT Sport. “I’m very proud of my team. They did very well, and I’m happy as well.
“But as a manager, you have to look forward and look at the next game, prepare the next game, the next opponent.
“We did not have a lot of time to celebrate this victory, but perhaps we will drink a beer together in the hotel and then tomorrow we’ll focus on PSG.”
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) August 13, 2020
Taking on a PSG side containing star forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe appears a daunting task.
But Leipzig defended well against Atleti, with centre-back Dayot Upamecano particularly outstanding in a man-of-the-match display, and Nagelsmann believes they can combat the threat of the Ligue 1 titleholders.
“We have to be very fast in the defensive line, but you could see today that Upamecano and [Lukas] Klostermann are very fast,” he said. “They defended very well.
“There will be situations where you cannot defend these guys on your own. You saw it yesterday: Atalanta tried to cover them man on man and it’s not that easy. If you lose a duel, they have numbers up in the next line.
“There are a lot of stars in this team. It will not be that easy, but we’ll try to go to the final.”
Leipzig were formed just over 11 years ago but are already Bundesliga and Champions League regulars and can now compete for Europe’s top prize.
Nagelsmann explained: “The club develops very fast. Since they reached the Bundesliga, they qualified for the Champions League three times – that’s a great result – and we’re still in the Champions League of last season.
“The progress is very fast, faster than usual, but they did a lot of good results and good decisions.
“Good players like Yussi [Poulsen] and Emil [Forsberg] played in the third division for RB and are still now in our squad. They did great decisions and that’s the result.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!