RB Leipzig lost to struggling VfL Wolfsburg for the second time in four weeks. 25 days after being knocked out of the DFB Cup, Marco Rose's team also lost 2-1 (0-1) at the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday, dropping out of the Champions League places in the Bundesliga once again.
On this occasion, VfL took an early lead in front of 25,350 spectators: Jonas Wind scored in the 9th minute to make it 1-0. Leipzig dominated the game, attacking relentlessly. But just 14 minutes after Yussuf Poulsen's deserved equalizer (52nd minute), the Brazilian Rogerio (66th minute) scored a fortunate 2:1 for Wolfsburg. For the Volkswagen club, this ended a negative run of five Bundesliga games without a win.
The most exciting question at VfL these weeks is always answered by coach Niko Kovac before kick-off: Who will play? Who is not playing? The former Bayern coach has been criticized in Wolfsburg for constantly changing tactics and personnel.
This time, Maximilian Arnold had to come off the bench again after being benched against Werder Bremen (2:2) and returning to the starting eleven in Mönchengladbach (0:4). The 29-year-old is particularly critical of Kovac's rotations and the handling of the captain, homegrown player and Bundesliga record player is also a particular political issue in Wolfsburg.
The coach tried to wipe this issue off the table before the game ("We don't pick the line-up"). But the displeasure of many fans and the dissonance with some players can no longer be overlooked.
After all, Wolfsburg put in a very committed and at times passionate performance against Leipzig. They threw themselves into every shot on goal and fought duels with great physical commitment. After 20 minutes, however, that alone hardly helped. From then on, Leipzig's advantages in terms of pace, technique and playing style were obvious.
Christoph Baumgartner (20th), Poulsen (20th), the almost unstoppable Lois Openda (27th) and Benjamin Henrichs (39th) missed good opportunities to make it 1-1 before the break. And after the equalizer, the proliferation of chances by Openda (56th/60th) and Poulsen (60th) became even greater. The visitors should have been ahead long ago in this one-sided game when they suddenly found themselves trailing again.
After going 2-1 down, it was even more difficult for them than after conceding the first goal. Leipzig's attacks were no longer as compelling in the final 20 minutes. Openda missed the best chance to make it 2-2 again (79').
The 38-million-euro purchase from Belgium was the most eye-catching player of the match in every respect. Because of his pace, his chances - and because of one incident in the 31st minute. The referee initially awarded VfL a penalty after a tackle with Wolfsburg's Sebastiaan Bornauw. However, after viewing the video footage, he rescinded his decision and showed Openda a yellow card for a foul. This action matched RB Leipzig's entire afternoon.
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