Manuel Veth –
Gladbach v Leipzig kicked off with the backdrop of a fierce atmosphere as Borussia fans were loudly protesting against Red Bull’s involvement in Leipzig. On the pitch, Leipzig were little bothered by the protests as they walked away with the three points.
- Halstenberg scores twice
- Leipzig secure European spot
- Gladbach fall behind in the race for Europe
Gladbach v Leipzig
Goals: 0-1 (Marcel Halstenberg, 17’), 2-0 (Halstenberg, 52’), 1-2 (Alassane Plea, 61′)
Both sides opted to start with three in the back, which in turn meant that there was plenty of room for either side to attack. Gladbach striker Alassane Plea was the most prolific during the opening stage creating several chances, the biggest in the 11′ minute when Peter Gulacsi had to be on guard to stop a low drive.
Gladbach, in fact, were the more proactive side. But also allowed Leipzig to be hit Gladbach on the counter and in the 16′ minute one of those counters led to a penalty for the Red Bulls. Patrick Herrmann had brought down Marcel Halstenberg in the box, and the fouled player stepped up to make it 1-0 for the visiting side in the 17′ minute.
The goal played into Leipzig’s hands. The Red Bulls were now able to play reactive football, counter-press Gladbach and hit the Foals on the counter whenever they broke forward.
At the same time, neither side produced another promising chance in the first half. But Leipzig would score with their first chance in the second half.
Once again, Halstenberg was one of the protagonists. In the 52′ minute, left-back played a one-two with Emil Forsberg on the right to break into the box and beat goalkeeper Yann Sommer with a low drive.
Leipzig were cruising and had this game under control. At least, so it appeared. But in the 61′ minute, literally out of nowhere, Alassane Plea was unleashed with a long-pass by Florian Neuhaus and then caught Peter Gulacsi on the wrong foot to make it 2-1.
That goal sprung Gladbach to life and in the 68′ minute Plea almost scored the equaliser. A cross from the right found the striker wide open in the box, but Gulacsi came up with a brilliant stop to keep the French forward from scoring.
All of a sudden a game that seemed done and dusted was wide open with chances on both sides. Timo Werner had a big chance in the 71′ after a breakaway but was stopped by Sommer then on the other side Gladbach almost found the equaliser in the 83′ when Thorgan Hazard saw a shot stopped by Gulacsi from where the ball ended up eventually with Patrick Herrmann, who missed the target.
Then just one minute later Halstenberg broke away went one-v-one with Sommer but his shot zoomed past the far post of Gladbach’s goal. Finally, Yussuf Poulsen missed the target at the near post from just 12 yards out in the 88′ minute. In the end, it would not matter, however, as Leipzig managed to see out the result and secure their spot in the Champions League.
Gladbach v Leipzig – Man of the Match
Marcel Halstenberg was the man of the match. The left-back first earned RB Leipzig a penalty and then stepped up to score it himself in the first half. In the second half, he combined very well with Forsberg to score a fantastic goal to make it 2-0 in what turned out to be the eventual winner.
Gladbach v Leipzig – Talking Point
With the three points, Leipzig have more or less secured their spot in the UEFA Champions League. It will be the second time in just three Bundesliga seasons for Leipzig to finish in the top four. With Champions League football returning to Leipzig the Red Bulls continue to lay a foundation to establish themselves medium-term as a title challenger in Germany. Meanwhile, Gladbach lose significant ground in the race for the Champions League as Eintracht Frankfurt can move away once again in the standings on Monday against Wolfsburg.
Gladbach v Leipzig – Match Stats
- Gladbach have faced 51 different opponents in the Bundesliga and Leipzig are the only team that they are still without a win. They have lost four games and drawn on three occasions.
- Both teams headed into the match with the most clean-sheets of the season. RB Leipzig have 15 and Gladbach 12 but neither side was able to build on that record.
- RB Leipzig qualified for Europe for the third time in the row.
Gladbach v Leipzig – Line-ups
Sommer – Jantschke, Strobl, Ginter – Kramer – Hazard, Neuhaus (Hofmann, 62′), Zakaria, Herrmann – Plea, Raffael
Coach: Dieter Hecking
Gulacsi – Klostermann, Konaté, Mukiele – Halstenberg, Kampl, Laimer – Forsberg (Haidara, 74′), Sabitzer – Werner (Orban, 81′), Matheus Cunha (Poulsen, 46′)
Coach: Ralf Rangnick
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.