The premier class is calling! Led by Christopher Nkunku, RB Leipzig bravely shrugged off the European Cup blues and shot their way into pole position in the Champions League race ahead of the season finale. The runners-up won against FC Augsburg impressively 4-0 (1-0) on matchday 33 of the Bundesliga. And this just three days after he was bitterly eliminated in the Europa League semi-finals at Glasgow Rangers.
After his team had impressively made amends for the Europa League shame, Peter Gulacsi spontaneously promised the blissful fans of RB Leipzig free beer for the evening. “We still have two important games. We’re counting on your support,” said the captain in the direction of the cheering supporters: “We want to make the Champions League clear next week, and then we have a big highlight in Berlin, where we win the pot want to bring to Leipzig.”
Leipzig had previously given the perfect answer to the bitter end in the Europa League semifinals against Glasgow Rangers in a 4-0 (1-0) win over FC Augsburg. The outstanding Christopher Nkunku (48th/57th) shone with his 19th and 20th goals of the season, while Andre Silva (40th) put Leipzig on course in the first round. Emil Forsberg (64./foulelfmeter after video evidence) also cheered later.
The win jumped RB, who had to tremble for the premier class ticket after two league defeats, back to fourth place in the table before the 34th matchday. With 57 points, RB is two points ahead of Fifth SC Freiburg. At the season finale next Saturday (3:30 p.m.), Leipzig and Breisgau, who also meet in the DFB Cup final on May 21, will be in a long-distance duel for fourth place.
Shortly before the end, RB coach Domenico Tedesco even switched on substitute goalkeeper Philipp Tschauner, who will end his career after this season. “We played really badly and got on the ball. I was a bit embarrassed at times that they played the ball out and substituted the goalkeeper. That was a kind of demonstration,” said Augsburg’s Niklas Dorsch DAZN. The midfielder said the defeat was absolutely deserved, even at that level.
After the sobering trip to Scotland during the week, RB boss Oliver Mintzlaff had on Sunday in Sport1 double pass confident in terms of premier class. “I am convinced that we will make it,” he said. Coach Domenico Tedesco changed four positions. Forsberg, who had been on the bench for 90 minutes in Glasgow, started among others.
But the guests made steam at the beginning. After just twelve seconds, Augsburg’s Mads Pedersen was allowed to volley in the penalty area, RB goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi fended off a corner. The hosts were alarmed and struggled to find their safety through possession. Leipzig rarely attacked the depths as dangerously as they did in the sixth minute, when Silva stumbled a cross from Nordi Mukiele completely free.
RB Leipzig – FC Augsburg: Forsberg hits from the point
In this phase, Augsburg hardly invested any energy in their own attacks and RB came through better. In the first 45 minutes, however, the Saxons generally lacked consistency on the offensive before the ball landed at Silva after a chain of unfortunate defenses by Augsburg: the Portuguese shot from 18 meters to give the lead. And after the break, Nkunku and Co. really turn up the heat.
First, Mukiele broke through into the penalty area and staged Nkunku, who only had to push in. The 3:0 fell almost congruently. Again, the advanced Mukiele passed to Nkunku and the France international remained ice cold. If Silva (61st) then had the chance to increase and just missed, Forsberg aimed more precisely. After Mukiele fell from a corner, referee Bastian Dankert pointed to the penalty spot according to the video images – and Forsberg safely scored on the bottom left.