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Leipzigbook 1st-ever berth in Champions League quarterfinals

Leipzig (Germany), March 11 (IANS) Leipzig secured a berth in the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in the club’s 11-year history, easing past last season’s runner-up Tottenham 4-0 on aggregate thanks to a brace by Marcel Sabitzer in second leg.

The Bundesliga side led just 1-0 after the February 19 first leg in London, but dominated from start to finish in a 3-0 victory at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday, reports Efe news.

“It’s a great moment for the club. It’s a great moment for the history of the club. It’s a great moment for me as a manager and a great moment for my young team,” Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann said afterward.

Sabitzer, a long-range specialist, opened the scoring on Tuesday night in the 10th minute when he gathered a rebound and fired a blast from outside the penalty arc that sneaked inside the far post past a diving Hugo Lloris, who got his hand on the ball but couldn’t deflect it away.

Leipzig then nearly notched the second goal of the night in the 19th minute, but Timo Werner was called for offside after initially appearing to score from close range on a cross from AngeliƱo.

AngeliƱo recorded an assist though three minutes later on another cross sent in from the left side that set up Sabitzer for a goal on a header. Lloris had a chance to keep the ball out but it once again went off his hand and over the line.

The Spurs were losing the possession battle to that point and posing less of a threat in attack than the hosts, one exception coming in the 42nd minute on a curling shot to the far corner by Giovani Lo Celso that Leipzig keeper Peter Gulacsi did well to save.

Lloris then somewhat redeemed himself late in the first half when a failed clearance by Eric Dier ricocheted off of Leipzig forward Patrik Schick and would have gone over the line if the Frenchman had not scrambled to bat it away.

The second half was largely uneventful, with Leipzig sitting back and waiting for chances on the counter-attack against an ineffective Tottenham side that were clearly missing the contributions of two injured players — star striker Harry Kane and South Korean winger Son Heung-min.

Leipzig finally added one last goal in the 87th minute, when Emil Forsberg fired a shot past Lloris just moments after coming on as a substitute for Sabitzer.

The Bundesliga club’s victory makes the 32-year-old Nagelsmann the youngest manager in history to win a Champions League knockout stage tie.

Leipzig will learn their next opponent when the Champions League quarterfinal draw takes place on March 20.

–IANS

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