Nagelsmann is Gutted by Poor Leipzig Showing

RB Leipzig had a chance to move into second place on Saturday but a draw at home against relegation bound Paterborn continued the late season collapse trend of the East German team since their promotion to the Bundesliga. Both manager Julian Nagelsmann and the players shared their dismay of the result which need to change if they hope to be title contenders in the future.

“At the end of the day, it’s gutting but deserved,” said Nagelsmann about his team’s performance. “We need to play much better on Friday against Hoffenheim.”

Paderborn, a team that has been known for solid play on offense but a lack of clinical finishing, was on brand against Leipzig. They had their moments but also left themselves open to the counter attack and players like Timo Werner had more than enough opportunities to bury them for their mistakes. None of that happened and the sending off of Dayot Upamecano right before the halftime whistle made it even more difficult for them in the second half.

“We had enough chances to win so it’s a tough one to take,” said defender Lukas Klostermann. “Our performances since the restart have been inconsistent. We hope to get back to our winnings ways.”

There was a point, before the new year, that Leipzig seemed poised to loosen Bayern Munich’s vice grip on the Bundesliga title. They were the best team through the first third of the season and looked as if they could hold on as both Munich and Dortmund found it difficult to deal with their own evolutionary issues. That all came crashing down after numerous inconsistent performances in February and March which have not changed since a return from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.

What the issue is remains unclear. The team has the talent, the coach and the organization that is willing to bring in some of the brightest young prospects in the world. Perhaps it is a lack of veteran leadership or a manager who know how to motivate at the end to achieve the result. Whatever it is, Leipzig are still searching for the formula while also attempting to convince their players that this is where they can lift silverware.

“We’re still in a good position to qualify for the Champions League,” said striker Patrik Schick. “We need to give it our all in the coming weeks in order to reach this goal.”

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