Angelino gifts Leipzig a 1-0 win against Rangers

Angelino’s 85th-minute volley gave RB Leipzig a 1-0 win over visiting Rangers in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday.

Leipzig had a succession of opportunities in a strong second half but were unable to score, with Rangers keeper Allan McGregor saving them on many occasions.

The keeper was defeated in the 85th minute, though, as the Spanish midfielder thundered home a volley from 18 yards after Rangers had cleared a corner.

In the other semi-final, Eintracht Frankfurt defeated West Ham United 2-1 in the first leg.

“It was one of those games where we had to dig deep, they had a clear game plan and made things difficult, but we got the win,” Leipzig midfielder Tyler Adams said.

“We realize it’s just halftime, and we need to keep our attention and performance up for the second half. We’ve gone to a few cup finals in the past, but reaching a European cup final would be something exceptional.”

There was virtually little goalmouth action in a lackluster first half that included no shots on goal for either side.

Despite the fact that Leipzig were without numerous defenders due to suspension, Rangers struggled to penetrate into the German box and had to wait three minutes after the restart for their first opportunity, a low shot by Ryan Kent that sailed wide.

Leipzig soon increased the pace and answered with a thunderous attempt from Christopher Nkunku, which McGregor stopped.

In the 70th minute, the Frenchman rounded the goalie but lost his balance, sending his attempt high. Minutes later, he headed over the bar from close range, but McGregor came up with another excellent stop to tip Adams’ attempt over the bar.

The visitors could do nothing as Angelino connected superbly with the ball from just beyond the box to fire in the winner and give his club a 1-0 lead heading into the second leg next week in Glasgow.

“It’s always sad to lose a goal so late in the game, but it’s just a 1-0 loss,” Rangers coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst remarked.

“The players performed well, and we now know what we must do the next week. We play at home, and the supporters at Ibrox will provide us with the impetus we need.”

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