Tyler Adams Just Did Something Only 9 Americans Have Done Before

American Tyler Adams helped RB Leipzig snuff out Tottenham in the Champions League.

Tyler Adams hasn’t had the best of starts to the 2019-20 campaign in Germany. The American, who turned 21 last month, has been in and out (mostly out) of the RB Leipzig lineup all season with various injuries.

But on Tuesday, Adams did something just nine Americans have ever done before: He appeared in a Champions League knockout-round match.

Even better, he did so in a convincing victory, as his RB Leipzig dusted Tottenham 3-0 on Tuesday and 4-0 on aggregate. And because we’re biased Americans, we’re going to give Adams credit for an assist on Leipzig’s third goal.

Adams became the fourth American to appear in the Champions League this season after Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Sergiño Dest (Ajax) and Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), arriving as a 56th minute substitute. Adams replaced the injured Nordi Mukiele, who appeared to have the ball deflect off his foot into his face, forcing him off on a stretcher. 

Adams played in a right-wingback role. With the Germans having won the first leg in London 1-0, the main priority was keeping Spurs off the scoreboard and in that regard Adams and his cohorts were flawless. Tottenham barely had a sniff at goal and Adams looked sharp despite not having played a competitive match in a month and with just five appearances all season. 

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Additionally, if you’re feeling generous, and we’re nothing if not magnanimous, Adams recorded an assist. Late in the match, a blocked shot from Adams fell to the feet of Emil Forsberg, who buried the rebound for the final goal of the night.

Unlike the first leg, in which RB Leipzig dominated but only scored once, Tuesday’s score accurately represented the gulf in class on the pitch between the two sides. This Spurs is far from the team that reached the 2019 Champions League final, though injuries certainly have played a role. 

There was a moment during the first half when Dele Alli barely even tried to disguise a late challenge on Timo Werner. The Spurs forward, chasing in vain as the German side toyed with its English opposition, bounded into Werner, who had long since passed the ball away.

The contact wasn’t too violent; the referee allowed play to continue as Leipzig maintained possession. But the intent was clear: Alli was frustrated and wanted to leave something on Werner. 

Werner’s response said everything about the match: He did absolutely nothing.

Were this a tight match in which every little inch could mean the difference between victory and defeat, there’s little doubt Werner would’ve reacted. A simple raised leg and wincing reaction may not have earned a foul, but it would’ve put Alli in risk of a yellow with another ill-advised challenge. (Alli was booked in the 70th minute.) 

Instead, Werner, comfortable with his side in cruise control, didn’t even look at Alli; he just pretended nothing happened, that nothing the Spurs could do would bother RB Leipzig.

It reflected how the German club went about its business on Tuesday. 

It started with two first-half goals from Marcel Sabitzer, which I believe is Austrian for banger

The first was a low rocket to which Hugo Lloris could only get his fingertips too.

About 10 minutes later, Sabitzer used his noggin to score at the near post.

With two goals in the first 21 minutes, Spurs never could get a foothold on the match. Jose Mourinho’s side now hasn’t won in nearly a month, dating back to a Feb. 16 win over Aston Villa. The barren run of form has included defeats to Top 4 (5?) challengers Chelsea and Wolves, plus a loss in penalties to Norwich City in the FA Cup. 

Now the question is: Will Spurs’ 2019 final opponent, Liverpool, follow suit with a disappointing defeat to Atlético Madrid on Wednesday?

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