Marcel Sabitzer scored two early goals as RB Leipzig proved too strong for last year’s Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday (local time).
The German club, established in 2009, won (4-0 on aggregate) to reach their first quarter-finals and were joined by Atalanta, who beat Valencia 4-3 to advance 8-4 in the tie.
Josip Ilicic scored all four goals including two first-half penalties for Atalanta as the Italian Serie A side progressed at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium behind closed doors.
.@Atalanta_BC in DREAMLAND 💭🤩
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But it was mostly one-way traffic in Germany as Sabitzer fired the German side in front with a low shot from about 20 metres after 10 minutes.
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They rarely lookin in discomfort, pinning the visitors, who were without injured strikers Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, in their own half.
Leipzig captain Sabitzer was given far too much space in the 21st minute to head home Angelino’s cross at the near post after Serge Aurier’s poor clearance, as Tottenham heads began to drop.
Emil Forsberg then completed the win with a third in the 87th.
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.
Jose Mourinho’s team, without a win in any competition since their 1-0 first-leg defeat by Leipzig in London last month, did manage a shot on goal through Giovani Lo Celso late in the first half but the absence of Kane and Son proved costly.
Dele Alli apologised to Spurs’ travelling fans for the defeat and the performance.
“I have to apologise to the fans, they’ve travelled all this way and to lose like that,” he told BT Sport 2.
“It’s the mentality, we were second to a lot of balls and to concede those goals in that manner just shows the mentality wasn’t strong enough.
“You have to look at yourself first before you start blaming anyone else or blaming the team. I’ll do that and I’m sure a few others will as well because tonight wasn’t good enough.
“We can’t hide, it hasn’t been a nice season for us but we have to keep fighting. We’re in a bad situation and we’re the only ones who can turn that around.”
On Wednesday, defending champions Liverpool host Atletico Madrid (0-1), while Paris Saint-German meet Borussia Dortmund (1-2) behind closed doors at the Parc des Princes.