It’s two very different tales for Red Bull this week. One club that has to be prevalent and expect to be dominating, finding themselves floundering. The other club with low expectations from those around, surprising many and showing that they belong
FC Red Bull Salzburg
It comes to no one’s surprise that if you remove two star quality attacking players; specifically Takumi Minamino and Erling Håland that a team such as Salzburg would struggle. Despite the long winter break; it seems Head Coach Jesse Marsch is trying to get his foot back on the peddle. The club finding itself struggling with the Austrian Bundesliga, and the Europa League. Now caught on his back foot; Marsch will need to innovate and come up with ways to fill those missing pieces correctly.
In Europa League; Salzburg’s match against Eintracht Frankfurt, saw them getting completely outclassed, a staggering loss of 4 – 1. The only saving grace for Salzburg was a lone converted penalty taken by Hwang Hee-Chan, giving them the one away goal. Marsch spoke about the match afterward with respect, but a feeling of disappointment about what more could have been done.
Frankfurt were good opponents, but we weren’t at our best. We need to consider how we can be braver in the second leg. We didn’t put what we planned in action well. I also need to consider what I can do better. I am not pleased with myself either.
In the Austrian Bundesliga, Salzburg find themselves in a bit of a bind. The season is far from over, but the 2 – 2 tie against Austria Wien did not help. Patson Daka netting himself the brace in the game, but the team let the game slip away in the final dying minutes allowing Austria Wien to equalize. Marsch again vocal about the mistakes that were made.
“If we hadn’t had made those mistakes, we would have taken three points back. We didn’t have the luck today though either. We need to stay positive though and make amends in our next match.”
Salzburg face off against Eintracht Frankfurt again on the 27th for the second leg of the Europa Cup. Then play SC Rheindorf Altach in the Austrian Bundesliga on March 1st.
In Leipzig, Head Coach Julian Nagelsmann is all smiles after getting an all-important away win in the Champions League. Also seemingly finding their footing again after an odd start after the Winter break. However, it seems that Tyler Adams is injured again. Adams should be back in the field quicker this time around than previously, his abductor muscle luckily not the cause for concern.
In Champions League, Leipzig had dominance over the match. They could not connect on their final passes, or finish on the small number shots that they did have on goal. The sole goal came from a penalty given after Konrad Laimer was taken down in the 18 yard box. The person that was expected to take it stepped up to the spot, Timo Werner struck the ball in the top center of the goal. Nagelsmann was jubilant after the game.
“We deserved to win. We even had the chances to win by more, which would have been great, but with all things considered – particularly that it’s the first-ever Champions League knockout game for most of these players – we can be happy with the performance. Our game plan worked well and we were able to implement our ideas. Hopefully, we can play just as well in three weeks’ time with some more courageous, attacking and confident football.”
In the Bundesliga, the fight for first place is as close as it can be between Bayern Munich in first, RB Leipzig in second, one point all that separates them. Leipzig faced off against FC Schalke 04, the game started off with a bang in the first minute, Marcel Sabitzer finding the back of the net. However, that would be all for the first half, not much more coming in the way of goals or excitement. Then in the second half, the flood gate was cut open, Timo Werner, Marcel Halstenberg, Angeliño, and Emil Forsberg all finding the back of the net. An ecstatic Nagelsmann was happy that the team was firing on all cylinders, especially newcomer Angeliño.
“A great match! We defended really well and hardly let them get a shot off. It was a strong performance. The boys used the space really well. I like that Angeliño runs a lot and gets stuck in. I’m happy for him that he scored because he’s settled in so well here.”
Leipzig plays Bayer Leverkusen next on March 1st.