Three things we noticed: RB Leipzig – FC Bayern 2:1 (1:1)

Tobias Separator March 19, 2018

After making it into the Champions League quarter-finals, the Reds met RB Leipzig this matchday, who also progressed one round during the week in the Europa League.

Jupp Heynckes rotated strongly in comparison to the game against Besiktas. Niklas Süle and Joshua Kimmich started instead of Jerome Boateng and Rafinha. Rudy, James, Bernat and Sandro Wagner were also part of the team right from the start.

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The game started with many duels, as both teams tried to attack the opponent aggressively in order not to let him come into play at all. In the fifth minute Kimmich lost the ball on the edge of the box and it turned into the first smaller chance for RB, but Sven Ulreich stood his ground and could still save.

FC Bayern in Leipzig gegen RB, GrundformationenStarting formations: FC Bayern in Leipzig against RB

After nine minutes Leipzig had to change due to injury, national player Timo Werner came on for Marcel Sabitzer. Ralph Hasenhüttl surprised a little with his line-up. In possession of the ball RB Leipzig acted with a back three, which became a back five against the ball, which made the center very close for Bayern.

After eleven minutes the record champion collected the second ball after a long pass and Müller found James at the edge of the box. James’ cross landed perfectly on the head of Wagner, who skilfully executed it into the lower corner.

It was almost immediately followed by Leipzig with a huge opportunity to equalize the score. After a long ball at which Hummels and Süle did not position themselves well, Poulsen was free and failed twice against the strong reactions by Sven Ulreich.

The game subsequently slowed down. Both teams acted aggressively against the ball and had few ideas to avoid the opponent’s pressing. As a result, both teams used long balls a lot. Bayern utilized Sandro Wagner very often as a target player, but were often not staggered well enough to get the second ball. In the 27th minute Timo Werner had a great chance, but Süle just managed to rescue the team.

From the 25th minute on, Leipzig dominated the game, but only half chances were created. Bayern had great problems in this phase to free themselves from the strong counter-pressing by Leipzig. Furthermore, Bayern defended the wings poorly. On the left Laimer came through from time to time, while Kimmich on the right had bigger problems with Timo Werner.

In the 36th minute Naby Keita scored the deserved equaliser. After Sebastian Rudy could not clear the ball on the outside and Hummels was too late, Keita used the rebound after Werner’s attempt for the 1:1.

Jupp Heynckes did not change during the break. The game went on as it had stopped. Bayern not compact at all. Rudy seemed lost in the centre and so it happened that Timo Werner received the ball in the room behind Hummels in the 56th minute after a diagonal run and finished for the 2:1.

Immediately afterwards Timo Werner was completely free on the right, feinted once and then only hit the outer net. Leipzig was in this phase dominating, because Bayern had simple turnovers and their counter-pressing was not existent.

Out of nowhere, Hummels had a good chance after a quick free-kick, but Gulasci saved it (61st minute).

The chances continued to be there every minute. After a pass from Laimer, Werner on the one hand could not make it to the ball because Hummels was on guard, Vidal on the other hand had the big chance to equalize after Kimmich crossed.

In the last fifteen minutes Bayern tried a lot, Heynckes brought Lewandowski as the second striker next to Sandro Wagner. However, the Reds did not have any ideas on how to crack this defence. That was one of the reasons why in the end Leipzig’s victory was logical.

Three things we noticed

1. Sandro Wagner brings a new element

The only player who reached his level against Leipzig was Sandro Wagner. He showed that he can bring another facet into Bayern’s offensive play. Wagner was very often sought in the first half when Bayern hit the long ball forward. Wagner showed his quality in securing long balls and then distributing them to others.

Also in the few scenes in which he got the ball on the ground, he was able to lay-off the ball to his team-mates again and again and made sure that the Reds managed to keep the ball in the final third at all.

2. Sebastian Rudy, the problem child

Sebastian Rudy made by far his worst game in the Bayern jersey. As a number six, he usually seemed very overwhelmed and often had the wrong position when Leipzig had the ball. Also during the game with the ball Rudy made many mistakes and he could not get control into Bayern’s possession game.

Besides Rudy being completely out of form, it has to be said that Jupp Heynckes doesn’t really know what Rudy is all about. Rudy anticipates well and usually positions himself during defensive work so that he can intercept passes. However, Bayern is currently defending very man-oriented.

This pushes Rudy into many 1-on-1 situations. This is where his deficits in athletics and duels become apparent. If Rudy continues like this and Heynckes does not adjust his role, the international is not an option in an important game this season.

3. Heynckes with a bad performance as well

In addition to the poor performance of almost all Bayern players mentioned above, Jupp Heynckes must also be criticised at this point. Apparently he wanted to try to bypass Leipzig’s pressing with long balls, which didn’t work at all. Partly because Hasenhüttl’s choice of the back three gave his team superior numbers in the last line.

Heynckes could no longer react tactically, the substitutions he made were also questionable. All in all, Bayern were not only lacking the tactical adaptation to their opponents, but also the team tactics were more than weak.

The ball possession game only survived on crosses and wing attacks with a lack of presence in the centre – also for this reason Bayern had no access in counter-pressing, which made many counter-attacks possible for Leipzig.

There is still a lot of work waiting for the team to complete to not get surprised in the Champions League.

RB Leipzig – FC Bayern
Leipzig Gulacsi – Laimer, Konaté, Upamecano, Ilsanker – Kampl, Demme, Keita (68. Forsberg), Bruma – Poulsen, Sabitzer (10. Werner / 83. Augustin)
Bayern Ulreich – Kimmich (79. Rafinha), Süle, Hummels, Alaba – Rudy – Müller, Vidal, James (72. Lewandowski), Bernat (61. Ribéry) – Wagner
Bench Starke, Boateng, Martinez, Shabani
Goals 0:1 Wagner (12.), 1:2 Keita (37.), 2:1 Werner (56.)
Cards Yellow: Kampl, Keita, Gulacsi / Rudy, Süle, Ribéry, Lewandowski
Referee Marco Fritz
Attendance 42,548

»Eier, wir brauchen Eier!«

— Oliver Kahn

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