The winger of Malian descent scored Die Werkself’s only goal as Steven Gerrard’s team kissed the European competition goodbye
Before football was placed on a hiatus owing to the outbreak of Covid-19, the Germans secured a 3-1 first-leg win in Scotland – leaving Steven Gerrard’s men with an arduous task to secure a place in the quarter-final.
With limited scoring opportunities, the first-half ended goalless at the BayArena. Nonetheless, the hosts took the lead through Diaby after 51 minutes.
The 21-year-old winger timed his run perfectly as Charles Aranguiz played his pass across defender Filip Helander on the edge of the box. He controlled the ball with his chest before firing his shot past Allan McGregor.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) August 6, 2020
Thanks to his latest feat, he has now scored a goal and assisted twice in all three of his Europa League appearances.
Also, he boasts eight goals in all competitions for Bayer Leverkusen in 2019-20, twice the amount he netted for Paris Saint-Germain during the 2018-19 season (four).
Seven minutes before full-time, Rangers could have reduced the deficit after Joe Aribo won the ball on the edge Leverkusen’s box but ended up being dispossessed by Edmond Tapsoba after he took too long to decide what he wants to do.
After putting up an impressive shift, he was replaced by Leon Bailey in the 68th minute as Peter Bosz’s team sealed their place in the last eight after a 4-1 aggregate triumph.
They will face Victor Moses’ Inter Milan in their bid to reach the semi-final of the tournament.
Born to Malian parents in France, Diaby has represented the French team at U18, U19, U20 and U21 levels. He produced a goal and three assists at the 2018 Uefa European U19 Championship, earning a place in the team of the tournament.
In 2019, he scored one goal and assisted two more in four matches at the 2019 Fifa U20 World Cup where France were eliminated at the Round of 16 stage. He is still eligible to represent Mali at senior level.