RB Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer scored two early goals as they eased past last year’s Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 in their last 16 second leg tie on Tuesday to reach their first quarter-finals by 4-0 on aggregate.
Sabitzer fired the lively German side in front with a low shot from about 20 metres after 10 minutes and they never looked back, pinning the visitors, who were without injured strikers Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, in their own half.
Leipzig’s captain was then given far too much space in the 21st to head home Angelino’s cross at the near post after Serge Aurier’s poor clearance as the Spurs’ players heads started to drop.
Emil Forsberg completed the victory with a third goal from inside the box in the 87th as Leipzig, who only got promoted to the Bundesliga in 2016, reached their first quarter-final in Europe’s premier club competition.
“We did it better than in our recent Bundesliga matches,” Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann told reporters. Leipzig had drawn their last domestic league two matches.
“The fans are moved. This is a very big deal for the club. We are now looking forward to the draw. A special moment.”
Leipzig were founded by Red Bull in 2009 by acquiring a fifth division licence and started in the amateur divisions.
Injury-ravaged Tottenham, who were also missing winger Steven Bergwijn and full back Ben Davies, struggled to keep up with Leipzig’s pace and were constantly exposed at the back while posing no threat up front.
Leipzig pounced on almost every sloppy pass and inaccurate clearance and could have added several more goals in a dominant first half with Timo Werner and Patrik Schick coming close.
Spurs coach Jose Mourinho had warned the absence of “box sharks” Kane and Son would make it more difficult for his side to score and the Portuguese’s prediction proved accurate.
His team had to wait until the 43rd minute for their first corner and managed to carve out only half a chance in the second period with a Dele Alli effort in the 75th.
“It’s hard for us to score at the moment,” Mourinho said.
“Our first couple of mistakes they score and then it’s very difficult. Their physicality is incredible, their defenders win the duels, they stop the game. They are very fast in attack. They can hurt us all of the time. They deserve to go through.”
Without a win in any competition since their 1-0 first-leg defeat by Leipzig in London last month, Tottenham must try to turn their Premier League season around if they are to have any chance of being back in the Champions League next term.
“People can say it is excuses but it (injuries) is pretty bad for anyone,” Mourinho added. “We have matches to play and we go to our limits. Let’s see how we end the season.”
Reuters | LEIPZIG, Germany