Xaver Schlager and Benjamin Sesko gave RB Leipzig a successful start to the Champions League despite a mysterious drop in performance. The Austrian (73rd minute) turned things around in the 3-1 (1-1) win at outsiders Young Boys Bern, Benjamin Sesko (90th + 3) scored the late winning goal. Mohamed Simakan (3rd) had previously given the Saxons a perfect start.
But in front of 31,500 spectators in the sold-out Wankdorf Stadium, Bern equalized through Meschack Elia (33′). Thanks to the victory on artificial turf, Leipzig is now not under as much pressure on matchday two against defending champions Manchester City as if they had lost a point.
The Leipzig team started as if they could hardly wait to finally compete in the premier class again. After just over 30 seconds, 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.
Why RB cut back like that was probably a mystery to coach Rose
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.
At this stage the game was played almost exclusively in Leipzig’s half. 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.
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.