Nagelsmann Praises Team After “Strange Game”

RB Leipzig picked up a 4-2 win over FC Koln yesterday afternoon but manager Julian Nagelsmann still sees room for improvement. The team surrendered the first goal and had gaps in play that were not the norm for his club but were still able to fend off a feisty opponent.

“It was a strange game with lots of ups and downs,” said Nagelsmann. “We were a bit sleepy before they scored. We didn’t defend as well as we can. Overall, I think we could play better.”

Early on the game appeared to be following a recent trend where Leipzig concedes messy goals. Unable to clear balls properly from the defensive area led to Koln’s opening salvo. Even then, it took several more minutes for Leipzig to re-organize and get back into the game. It wasn’t until Christopher Nkunku’s 38th minute go-ahead goal that the team finally appeared to be in their usual form.

From there Leipzig did control the game but had shaky moments. Yes, they have missed several important defenders. Marcel Halstenberg was serving a suspension and Willie Orban still hasn’t fully recovered from an injury that has kept him sidelined for most of the campaign. Nagelsmann has had to be creative with formations to get the best out of his backline and, at times, it leads to disjointed efforts.

“A win was important for the table,” said Nagelsmann. “Coming from behind was important too. It wasn’t easy but we deserved the win.”

It was a win that pushed Leipzig back into a Champions League spot and just two points back of Borussia Dortmund. Next is a game on Saturday that should be far easier for Leipzig. A home game against relegation bound Paterborn should continue to put the pressure on Dortmund ahead of their meeting in three weeks.

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