Champions League: RB Leipzig starts successfully in the premier class

Champions League
RB Leipzig starts successfully in the premier class

RB Leipzig defeated Young Boys Bern 3-1 at the start of the Champions League. photo

© Jan Woitas/dpa

The new season in the Champions League begins with success for RB Leipzig. The Bundesliga team’s victory in Switzerland also poses a mystery.

After the successful start to the The RB Leipzig players high-fived each other with relief in the Champions League. Because after the 3:1 (1:1) win at Young Boys Bern on the artificial turf in the Wankdorf Stadium, they knew full well that this success was a lot of hard work.

Mohamed Simakan (3rd minute), Xaver Schlager (73rd) and Benjamin Sesko (90th+3) scored the goals for the Bundesliga club, who had initially mysteriously declined after a strong initial phase. Meschack Elia (33′) took advantage of this weak phase to equalize for the hosts.

“We started with a lot of energy, we really wanted to win. Then the energy was lost a bit,” said Leipzig’s new signing Xavi Simons on the sports broadcaster DAZN. But the host didn’t achieve anything more in front of 31,500 loud spectators. Thanks to the win, Leipzig is now not under as much pressure against defending champions Manchester City on the second matchday as they would have been if they had lost a point – even though it was unusual on artificial turf. “It made it a little harder to get into the rhythm of the game. That was different,” said Simons.

Strong Leipzig start

The Leipzig team still got going as if they could hardly wait to finally compete in the premier class again. After just over 30 seconds, new signing Loïs Openda had the first good chance, but his shot went into the side netting. Just two minutes later, after a corner from David Raum, Simakan headed the ball into the near corner. Bern’s goalkeeper Anthony Racioppi looked anything but good.

So everything actually went according to plan for the guests. Actually – because after the clear playful dominance at the start of the game, the Leipzig team suddenly stopped. Instead of continuing to combine quickly forward, almost only long balls followed. All precision was lost when switching. Rose noticed this on the sidelines and complained loudly about his team’s bad passes. But it didn’t help. Elia scored with a pike into the far corner for the ever-improving Swiss.

Due to RB’s mysterious break-in, the stadium also became increasingly loud. Former Bundesliga professional Raphael Wicky led Bern to championship and cup victory last summer – the spectators were correspondingly enthusiastic about the club’s third participation in the group phase of the Champions League. In this phase, the game was played almost exclusively in half of the increasingly passive Leipzig team.

Mysterious RB break-in

Why RB dismantled in such a way was probably a mystery, and not just to Rose. Even after the break, there was hardly anything from his team at first. The only hope for a turnaround was a controversial scene in the hosts’ penalty area. A few minutes after the break, Xavi Simons fell after a challenge with Racioppi, but the referee initially decided to continue play. Then he looked at the scene on the screen: Because Xavi had actively sought contact with the goalkeeper’s foot, there was no penalty.

Nevertheless, the Bundesliga team got back into the game better afterwards. After another strong cross from Raum, Openda only had to head it into the goal from close range – but Racioppi failed. Shortly afterwards, substitute Benjamin Sesko (67th) scored with a header after another pass from space – but he was just offside. Leipzig now got back into the game better and better, also because Bern was apparently running out of breath. Schlager took advantage of the Swiss’ increasing passivity and shot into the far corner from a good 18 meters.

Leipzig now dominated the game, which at least helped Timo Werner make a short appearance. The out-of-form national striker came into the game for Openda in the 88th minute. Shortly afterwards, Sesko made the final score.


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