Emil Forsberg scores twice in stoppage-time to send Leipzig into Champions League last-16 for the first time as Zenit leapfrog Lyon with win in St Petersburg
- Leipzig came from 2-0 down in the last minute to snatch a draw at home
- Emil Forsberg’s stoppage-time brace has put them through to the knockouts
- Lyon and Benfica will contest the final spot in Group G in matchweek six
Two late goals from Emil Forsberg brought Leipzig back from the brink of defeat to draw with Benfica and qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time.
At 2-0 down in the 90th minute, Emil Forsberg and Leipzig were just getting started.
Two late goals from the Sweden forward salvaged a 2-2 draw with Benfica on Wednesday and secured a spot for Leipzig in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time.
Emil Forsberg celebrates with Dayot Upamecano and Yvon Mvogo at the full time whistle
Leipzig recovered from 2-0 down with two stoppage time goals to earn a draw with Benfica
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi (Mvogo 64), Klostermann, Ampadu (Mukiele 56), Upamecano, Saracchi (Schick 70), Laimer, Demme, Sabitzer, Forsberg, Nkunku, Werner
Subs not used: Haidara, Lookman, Matheus Cunha, Krauss
Goalscorers: Forsberg 90 pen, 90+6
Benfica: Vlachodimos, Andre Almeida, Dias, Ferro, Grimaldo, Pizzi (Caio 90+3), Pires, Taarabt, Cervi (Jota 90+8), Vinicius (De Tomas 82), Chiquinho
Subs not used: Jardel, Florentino, Zlobin, Tomas Tavares
Goalscorers: Pizzi 20, Vinicius 59
Booked: Taarabt, Ruben Dias
Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano
Benfica were leading 2-0 when Ruben Dias conceded a penalty, allowing Forsberg to score his first goal in the 90th minute.
With nine minutes of added time announced following an earlier injury for Leipzig’s goalkeeper, the German hosts threw players forward and were rewarded in the 96th minute when Timo Werner’s cross found Forsberg in space to head in and level the score.
‘Reaching the knockout stages for the first time in the club’s history means that we’re doing the right things and moving in the right direction,’ Forsberg said. ‘We have a fantastic team with a lot of young players who have a lot of potential.’
Earlier, Benfica had scored both goals after errors in defense from Leipzig.
Pizzi opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano failed to intercept a pass and the ball bounced off his heel.
A stumble from Lukas Klostermann left the way open for Carlos Vinicius to score the second in the 59th minute.
Emil Forsberg scored both goals to send the German side into the knockout stage
Forsberg scored a penalty before then heading home (pictured) in the 96th minute
Worse, goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi went off with an apparent head injury after colliding with Vinicius as the Benfica player wheeled away in celebration.
Leipzig’s eventual comeback delighted home fans but they still needed substitute goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo to pull off a late save to protect the result.
When the referee finally blew the whistle after 101 minutes, it ended Benfica’s hopes of qualifying.
Zenit St Petersburg beat Lyon 2-0 in the early Group G game Wednesday, and the Russian and French teams can still qualify in the final round of games on December 10.
Leipzig travel to Lyon, and Benfica host Zenit.
Drinks manufacturer Red Bull have been the financial engine for Leipzig’s rapid rise in recent years and it could yet boast two teams in the last 16 if Salzburg can qualify from a tough Group E also containing Napoli and Liverpool.
Earlier Zenit St Petersburg defeat Lyon 2-0 to keep their hopes of reaching the last-16 alive