Ethan Ampadu may not be as easily recognizable these days as when he had his glorious hair, but the Chelsea loanee put in a recognizably cool, calm, and composed performance at the heart of RB Leipzig’s defense as they kept a clean sheet and dominated proceedings at Tottenham Hotspur stadium on Wednesday night.
Ampadu, buried on the bench for practically the entire season, started in place of the injured Dayot Upamecano and hardly put a foot wrong in dealing with Spurs’ counter-attacks and late-game pressure, not to mention in keeping Leipzig’s possession ticking over and launching several line-breaking passes as well.
19-year-old Ethan Ampadu made more passes, completed more passes, made more interceptions and had a higher pass accuracy than any other player on the pitch during Spurs 0-1 RB Leipzig.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 19, 2020
Remember, he’s on loan from Chelsea. pic.twitter.com/jvvQvuy4D5
It was just the 2nd start and 7th appearance overall for the 19-year-old. He had barely over 180 minutes of game-time to his name before today. That he cramped up at the end of the full-90 tonight was hardly a surprise, and perhaps the only indication that he has not had any regular match time not just this season, but the season before back at Chelsea.
Hopefully he gets to build on tonight’s performance, be that in the Champions League or in the Bundesliga. He impresses almost every time he plays for either club or country!
Great seeing @ethanamp4 starting and playing in such a big games. Good to see him a better haircut as well.— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) February 19, 2020
As far as the game itself, Leipzig were unlucky to not blow Spurs out of the water early, but did eventually find a goal when Timo Werner, who had not brought his shooting boots today, converted from the spot in the second-half. Spurs are not out of it by any means, with the second leg to follow in Leipzig in three weeks.