Manuel Veth –
Salzburg v Leipzig was a match of much controversy with group rivals Celtic, in particular, fearing that the two teams could agree on a result ahead of time. But the integrity of the competition was never in doubt over the 90 minutes as Salzburg ended up winning a match fought with much intensity 1-0.
- Salzburg qualify
- Leipzig are on the brink or elimination
- Fredrik Gulbrandsen, the hero
Salzburg v Leipzig
Goals: 1-0 (Fredrik Gulbrandsen, 74’)
It was an intense start to the match in which Salzburg had the better start. Zlatko Junuzovic had the first taste of goal when he tested Yvon Mvogo with a freekick from 25-yards in the 6′ minute. Munas Dabbur then had the next chance for Salzburg in the 10′ minute, but his header from a few yards missed the target.
During those early stages, it was almost a chaotic matchup in which the two pressing machines on either side were unable to find any structure to their match. Salzburg, however, had the better of Leipzig in the early stage and Fredrik Gulbrandsen should have opened the scoring in the 20′ minute when he received a lob inside the box, but his volley was stopped by Mvogo.
That chance was almost like a wakeup call for die Roten Bullen from Germany. Leipzig were now able to settle the game and started to gain more possession of the ball in the middle third, but it took the Germans until the 43′ minute to finally produce a chance. Timo Werner stripped the ball off Ramalho and then turned on the afterburner, broke into the box but then saw his curled effort go wide of the goal.
Salzburg came storming out of the dressing room. Getting on the end of a low cross inside Leipzig’s penalty box in the 55′ minute Gulbrandsen had a shot deflected from just a few yards out, and in the 61′ Hannes Wolf saw his shot from a tight angle pushed away by Mvogo.
Gulbrandsen finally broke the deadlock in the 74′ minute. Junuzovic played a ball to the right to Andreas Ulmer, who in turn played a low ball to the centre of the box where Gulbrandsen was given to much space and easily beat Mvogo with a low drive.
It was the goal that the game needed. Just a few moments later in the 78′ minute, Werner had his second chance of the game. But Salzburg goalkeeper Alexander Walke did brilliantly to tip Werner’s curled effort over the crossbar.
Leipzig now pressed for the equaliser, which in turn provided Salzburg room to counter. In the 82′ minute, Wolf could have doubled it for Salzburg when he broke away, but Dayot Upamecano sprinted back and interfered just enough for Wolf to hit Mvogo the rebound then found Takumi Minamino but his header missed the target.
Die Roten Bullen from Austria were now in control. In the back, the Austrian champions closed down passing lanes and made it impossible for Leipzig to find a way through. But Leipzig had one final chance of the game with Yussuf Poulsen finding space just on the edge of the box but the Danes shot was blocked, and moments later the referee blew the whistle to end the game.
Salzburg v Leipzig – Man of the Match
Fredrik Gulbrandsen was the man of the match. The Norwegian striker created several chances throughout the 75 minutes he was on the pitch as Leipzig struggled to contain the Norwegian striker. In the 74′ minute he scored the winner for Salzburg.
Salzburg v Leipzig – Talking Point
There were questions about the integrity of two clubs linked to Red Bull facing each other in the Europa League. In retrospect, it is clear that while the two clubs may be linked in the boardroom, there is very little love lost between the two fan groups and players on either side. In fact, the match felt more like a rivalry rather than a duel between two clubs owned by the same organisation. It was an intense match that in the end was won by a Salzburg side that has now qualified for the next stage of the competition. Leipzig, in the meantime, have to hope that Salzburg beat Celtic in their final match and beat Rosenborg at home.
Salzburg v Leipzig – Match Stats
- RB Leipzig have won the most possessions in attacking third (30) in the 2018/19 Europa League season.
- Salzburg’s win gave them a winning record against teams from across the border (W5 D3 L4).
- Leipzig’s away record in two seasons of European competition is W3 D4 L5; in only one of those 12 matches have they kept a clean sheet (0-0 at Zorya).
Salzburg v Leipzig – Line-ups
Walke – Ulmer, Ramalho, Pongracic, Lainer – Wolf (Daka, 87′), Samassekou, Junuzovic – Schlager – Gulbrandsen (Minamino, 76′), Dabbur (Prevljak 92′)
Coach: Marco Rose
Mvogo – Saracchi (Halstenberg, 78′), Orban, Upamecano, Mukiele (Klostermann, 70′) – Bruma, Ilsanker, Laimer – Werner, Augustin (Poulsen, 62′), Matheus Cunha
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 works for the Bundesliga 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.