Leipzig draws 1-1 with Monaco on Champions League debut
LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) Eight years after the club’s formation, Leipzig made its Champions League debut and drew with visiting Monaco 1-1 on Wednesday.
Swedish midfielder Emil Forsberg claimed the team’s first ever Champions League goal, only for Youri Tielemans to answer straight away for the French champion, which was knocked out by Juventus in the semifinals last season.
”The atmosphere would give you goose bumps today,” Leipzig and Germany striker Timo Werner said. ”Of course we would have liked to have won, but Monaco defended very well.”
Leipzig could not compete with Monaco’s pedigree, having been formed in 2009 when Dietrich Mateschitz of energy drinks giant Red Bull bought a local fifth-tier team, SSV Markranstaedt. The 73-year-old Austrian billionaire rebranded the club with his company’s livery before financing its steady promotion through the German league system.
But Leipzig, which shocked the Bundesliga by finishing runner-up as a promoted team last season, showed no inferiority complex on its debut in Europe’s premier club competition.
Yussuf Poulsen, who just extended his contract with the club, went closest midway through a first half of few chances.
Monaco, which in the offseason lost the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Benjamin Mendy and Tiemoue Bakayoko, looked secure in defense.
That was until Forsberg – the only starter for Leipzig to have previously played in the competition – broke through and beat Diego Benaglio at the near post in the 33rd minute.
The celebrations were cut short, however, when Tielemans – a 20-year-old summer signing from Anderlecht – hit back by prodding home the rebound after Peter Gulacsi saved his initial header.
”It’s something special and makes me very proud,” Forsberg said of his goal. ”Unfortunately we conceded the equalizer in the next play.”
After the break, Poulsen had a goal ruled out for offside before Leipzig settled for a point.
”The point’s in order,” Forsberg said.
Also in Group G, Besiktas won 3-1 at Porto.
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