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Leipzig Shock the System by Advancing to UEFA Champions League Final

Leipzig have arrived on the big stage with a major win over Atletico Madrid and advancing to the UEFA Champions League semi-final. The win exemplified years of work that the East German club has made towards legitimizing their process and now have the ability to put themselves among the giants of Europe.

"You couldn't write a better story," said long-time striker Yussuf Poulsen. "It is a huge day and an amazing moment - we have to enjoy it. Another fantastic game is around the corner. We were the better team and are deservedly through to the semi-final."

Leipzig were certainly the better side, showing that they can break down one of the staunchest defenses in Europe. Madrid are multiple time Champions League finalists and have lifted the Europa League in recent years. One of Leipzig's biggest criticisms over the past few years has been their inability to defeat top teams. In the last two rounds that has changed with wins over Tottenham Hotspur and now Atletico Madrid.

Even more impressive was that this was done without star striker Timo Werner. The team changed formation and appeared more patient in attack. Their build up was strong and passing was incisive. Both goals came in the second half from unlikely sources. Dani Olmo's header early in the second half was his first for the club in international play and Tyler Adams' in the 88th minute was the same.

"We defended with a lot of passion," said head coach Julian Nagelsmann. "We were the better team against a very good and experienced side. We were brilliant."

Next up is a different test. Paris Saint Germain are a club that has under-performed at this level but is looking to fulfill a promise made to fans nearly a decade ago. The team has some of the highest paid talent in the world but struggled to dispatch Atalanta in the quarterfinal. Tuesday, Leipzig will need to continue their strong play in order to topple Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

"Paris Saint Germain are a top-level side with a top-notch coach. They have a lot of quality and are a threat right until the final minute. You saw that during the match against Atalanta. They have a star-studded squad. We will need to give it 100 percent, but we are looking forward to the match and will go in highly motivated."


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