Leipzig vs Tottenham was perhaps an underrated fixture in this year’s round of 16 ties. With the all focus on the likes of Dortmund vs PSG, Chelsea vs Bayern and Atletico vs Liverpool, this one went under the radar. Mini Mourinho (Julian Nagelsmann) vs Jose. A dynamic and exciting RB side against a Spurs side showing more character and grit under the Special One. The game was dominated by the visitors, whilst the North London side only really got going in the second half. But the star of the game was in fact central defender Ethan Ampadu.
Ethan Ampadu – The present and the future
The Chelsea youngster, on loan in Germany, put in a fine display today. With the spotlight on how he would fare in a Champions League knock out first leg at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, he was excellent. Effective in the back line making key tackles and interceptions whilst also showcasing his excellent technical ability. Ampadu certainly made an impression on Blues fans online, who praised the composure of the 19 year old on the big stage. Frank Lampard must have been watching and encouraged by the centre back, who can also play in midfield. The latter clearly shown by his passing and general ability in possession.
The Welsh international was incredibly good on the ball in particular. Throughout the game, he was pinging precise balls from deep in his own half to the wide men to run onto with such ease. Part of the reason why Leipzig were so good on the break today. The accuracy and consistency too, with an impressive 93/98 (95%) passes completed on the night by the Exeter youth product. Fair to say he filled in well for arguably Europe’s most wanted centre back Dayot Upamecano.
Granted Tottenham weren’t incredibly dangerous going forward. The injuries to both Son and Kane left them with Lucas Moura leading the line. They were blunt in attack for the most part and, as aforementioned, were not good in the first half. Far too deep, not enough movement off the ball and quite rigid.
Yet Ampadu held his nerve and delivered when it mattered most. This was just the Chelsea prospect’s 7th appearance in all competitions for Leipzig in 2019/20, but he certainly made it count. Ethan Ampadu and Fikayo Tomori next season for Chelsea sounds incredibly promising for Lampard. Intelligent, quick and hungry defenders that have so much potential. Worth watching this space…
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