Liepzig need to stop slide

The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Ber­lin

– It has been a bad week for RB Leipzig with the loss of the Bun­desliga lead and a Ger­man Cup exit to Ein­tra­cht Frank­furt but it could get even worse with cham­pi­ons Bay­ern Mu­nich await­ing to­day.

The Bavar­i­ans are ea­ger to leave a fresh marker in the ti­tle race, hav­ing won their pre­vi­ous six league games to move to the top of the Bun­desliga last week.

Leipzig, a point be­hind on 41, have man­aged only a point in their last two games and have now gone three games in all com­pe­ti­tions with­out a win.

Julian Nagels­mann’s (above) team played a for­mi­da­ble first half of the sea­son, liv­ing up to ex­pec­ta­tions as the next big team in Ger­man foot­ball.

But since the restart fol­low­ing the win­ter break, Leipzig’s game has lost its flu­id­ity and their de­fence has stut­tered with a string of eye-pop­ping blun­ders.

They lost 2-0 to Frank­furt be­fore need­ing an 89th minute goal from Christo­pher Nkunku to res­cue a point against Borus­sia Moenchengl­ad­bach last week.

Their mid­week Ger­man Cup exit was even more dis­ap­point­ing af­ter con­ced­ing an­other three goals from Frank­furt for a 3-1 loss.

Yet Nagels­mann re­fuses to ac­cept his team is in a rut.

“At the mo­ment things are not work­ing out as we have worked them in train­ing,” Nagels­mann said. “We are not hav­ing a dip in form. We were the bet­ter team (in the Ger­man Cup), should have scored sev­eral times,” he said.

“Frank­furt got a penalty with their first at­tack. It is not a form low. We did not get good re­sults in the last three weeks and we need to work on that,” he said.

There is lit­tle his team’s op­po­nents need to be work­ing on at the mo­ment, with the Bavar­i­ans hav­ing won eight con­sec­u­tive matches in all com­pe­ti­tions.

Bay­ern’s top for­ward, Robert Le­wandowski, has kept up his scor­ing run and his team have been vir­tu­ally un­af­fected by a string of in­juries, the lat­est be­ing striker Ivan Perisic.

The Croa­t­ian will be out for sev­eral weeks with a frac­tured an­kle af­ter a rough chal­lenge from team-mate Al­varo Odri­o­zola in train­ing.

In­terim coach Hansi Flick has suc­cess­fully man­aged the sit­u­a­tion and looks closer than ever to get­ting a per­ma­nent deal.

But he knows his team can­not let go like they did in their Ger­man Cup game when they were lead­ing 4-1 but al­lowed Hof­fen­heim to score twice late in the game. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.