Xavi Simons put his hands over his face in frustration and sneaked off the pitch with his Leipzig teammates in disappointment. Despite Dani Olmo's long-awaited comeback, RB Leipzig has made a false start to the 2024 football year.
In the first meeting since winning the cup, the Saxons lost to Eintracht Frankfurt 0-1 (0-1). "Football is a bit like life, you need luck too. But we can't rely on that. We will also have phases where we score the goals, but maybe that's exactly what we're missing to get to the top." said coach Marco Rose after the first home defeat of the season. "I don't want the coach to sound perplexed, but when I see the statistics, I wouldn't have expected the result."
RB cannot use superiority
Despite 31:5 shots on goal and 63 percent possession of the ball, Leipzig suffered a defeat at the end of the first half of the Bundesliga season. "We are extremely bitter and disappointed. We didn't score the goal, everyone in the stadium who watched the game saw a dominant Leipzig team that had a lot of chances but didn't take advantage of them," said Christoph Baumgartner. “That is the biggest thing we have to blame ourselves for.” RB remains in fourth place in the Champions League, but was unable to consolidate its lead.
Eintracht defended their debut victory in Leipzig "with passion, with heart. We really threw ourselves into it," said sports director Markus Krösche on his return to his old place of work. Eintracht coach Dino Toppmöller, once assistant to Julian Nagelsmann in Leipzig, cheered wildly after the final whistle. "We knew that we had to defend more here, the team did that outstandingly. And if something got through, then we had Trappo in the goal," said Toppmöller about the strong performance of keeper Kevin Trapp. Ansgar Knauff's winning goal (7th minute) was scored in a "picture-perfect attack".
It was the first chance in the game anyway. Niels Nkounkou crossed flatly from the left, Mohamed Simakan couldn't get to the ball, behind him Knauff hit the ball into the goal from five meters. It was the first lead for Eintracht in their previous appearances in Leipzig. Exactly ten minutes later, Benjamin Sesko, who was preferred to Yussuf Poulsen, equalized from eight meters after a pass from Lois Openda.
Trapp keeps Eintracht zero
The Frankfurt team, whose top performers Omar Marmoush, Fares Chaibi and Ellyes Skhiri are currently in action at the Africa Cup, were clever defensively and impressed with good duel management. Leipzig got stronger after half an hour. Trapp defused a shot from Openda with a brilliant save (35th). Three minutes later, Trapp, who reacted strongly, defended the lead again. The equalizer would have been deserved by now, but RB lacked precision on the last pass or the necessary concentration.
Immediately after the substitution, Openda (47th) had the equalizer again after a Simons pass, but heaved the ball well over the goal from ten meters. On the other side, Mario Götze (57') latched onto a sharp cross from Nkounkou and the ball also went over the goal. Then Openda tried a header (65'), Trapp saved again. In the 67th minute, Rose sent Poulsen and Dani Olmo onto the field. The Spaniard celebrated his comeback after a two and a half month injury break (shoulder corner joint). But they couldn't score again - also because of Trapp. "You also need a bit of luck at the end. I don't know whether it was 100 percent deserved. But in the end, if you leave the field as the winner, you've done a lot right," said the Frankfurt national goalkeeper.