Salzburg Surges into Europa League KO Stage; Leipzig Fizzles

It’s a tale of two cities in Red Bull Global as Salzburg surges into the Europa League knockout stage and Leipzig falls short when their fate was in their own hands. Both teams were drawn into the same group this year and the Austrian OG Red Bull club not only bested their East German brothers but took the group going undefeated.

Leipzig will be doing major soul-searching this week after a brutal loss cost them second place in the Bundesliga over the weekend and now a draw against a lesser Rosenborg sees them out of Europe entirely. The team has shown their talent but also shown their propensity for losing when it matters most. 

Their stay in Europe overall was incredibly disappointing, losing both games to Salzburg as well as well as dropping one to Celtic. The team was Jekyll and Hyde at times, showing why they are the dynamic, entertaining club but then showing a lethargic streak that has cost them results.

Now it is up to manager Ralf Rangnick to refocus the club on their main prize, a spot in the UEFA Champions League that can only be locked down with a top four finish in the Bundesliga. Whether it happens will remain to be seen but reinforcements are expected in January with Tyler Adams from New York as well as other young names anticipated from around Europe.

Leipzig Europa League Results:

RB Leipzig: 2, FC Salzburg: 3 – September 20th, 2018
Rosenborg: 1, RB Leipzig: 3 – October 4th, 2018
RB Leipzig: 2, Celtic FC: 0 – October 25th, 2018
Celtic FC: 2, RB Leipzig: 1 – November 8th, 2018
FC Salzburg: 1, RB Leipzig: 0 – November 29th 2018
RB Leipzig: 1, Rosenborg: 1 – December 13th, 2018

Red Bull Salzburg will be celebrating with confidence heading into the knockout stage. They dispatched Leipzig and Celtic twice and probably feel like they can take on anyone in Europe. They haven’t tasted defeat in any competition and manager Marco Rose is playing a diamond formation that makes his team one of the most dangerous in Europe.

Despite losing players like Amadou Haidara and Reinhold Yabo to injury, the team has leaned on the likes of Fredrik Gulbrandsen and Takumi Minamino to carry the burden. They have done so surprisingly well, scoring four and five goals in Europe respectively. 

There is also a confidence about Salzburg that has sprung from their league success. They are 14 points clear atop the Austrian Bundesliga and are on pace to win their sixth straight title. 

Salzburg Europa League Results:

RB Leipzig: 2, FC Salzburg: 3 – September 20th, 2018
FC Salzburg: 3, Celtic FC: 1 – October 4th, 2018
FC Salzburg: 3, Rosenborg: 0 – October 25th, 2018
Rosenborg: 2, FC Salzburg: 5 – November 8th, 2018
FC Salzburg: 1, RB Leipzig: 0 – November 29th, 2018
Celtic FC: 1, FC Salzburg: 2 – December 13th, 2018

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