RB Leipzig put the stink of the scoreless Augsburg game behind from the weekend with a dominant 2-0 win over Celtic in the Europa League. The win gives the East German club a solid hold of second place in Group B and sets up the eventual decider of the top of the table when Leipzig visit Salzburg a month from now.
Leipzig Handle Celtic and Keep Form in Europe – EUROPA RECAP
A packed crowd of 38 thousand fans watched Ralf Rangnick’s side press Celtic who looked shaky defensively. They finally broke in the 31st minute when Matheus Cunha fired home a shot from the middle of the penalty box. Leipzig wasted little time doubling the lead just four minutes later when a blocked shot fell to the foot of Bruma who doubled the lead.
“After the first 20 minutes we had control of the game just as we planned,” said manager Rangnick. “The team worked very hard off the ball, which was the key to our win today.
“Now we’re fully focused on the game on Sunday against Schalke. We know that a tough match awaits us. Schalke are in the bottom half and want to change that, but we want to keep fighting near the top.”
The win was significant because it puts a gap between new European hopefuls like Leipzig and the old-guard teams such as Celtic. Despite years of domestic success, Celtic under Brenden Rodgers is finding it difficult to maintain a grasp on the narrative. Especially with the success of Red Bull’s youth movement taking hold. There still isn’t a tentpole moment such as a trophy but the work is moving in that direction in Europe.
Next up is a game against Schalke which Leipzig will hope they can win. Currently they sit in fifth in the Bundesliga, just two points out of second place and five out away from top rivals Borussia Dortmund in first. A win against Schalke will put pressure on the rest of the league to keep up a the winter break approaches.