RB Leipzig: 7-0 Defeat To Man City Leads To Fundamental Questions

RB Leipzig: 7-0 Defeat To Man City Leads To Fundamental Questions

RB Leipzig has crashed out of the Champions League spectacularly. On Tuesday, the Red Bulls lost 7-0 to Manchester City. The Premier League champions demolished Leipzig thanks to five goals by Erling Haaland (22’ penalty, 24, 45’, 53’, and 57’) and goals by Ilkay Gündogan (49’) and Kevin de Bruyne (90’).

Much will be made of the penalty decision that led to the first goal. Slavko Vincic pointed to the spot after he was called over to the monitor by his VAR team. In the video area, Vincic decided that defender Benjamin Henrichs had handled the ball. The contact was minimal, and the decision to award a penalty will further the debate on how VAR should be used.

The referee was again in the focus shortly after Man City’s second goal. Man City goalkeeper Ederson had rushed out to recover a loose ball and then cluttered into Konrad Laimer without making contact. Vincic decided to play on and then handed a yellow card to the protesting Timo Werner.

Ederson should have certainly seen a yellow card, and Leipzig awarded a free kick. Whether those decisions going Leipzig’s way would have made a difference is, at best questionable. Man City, when in form, might be one of the two or three best club teams in the world. But you could tell that Leipzig had lost their collective heads after the two referee decisions and then when were quickly overwhelmed by City.

Not surprisingly, Leipzig’s players were unhappy with the refereeing decisions after the game. “I spoke to the referee again, and he told me that he didn’t see a handball but that the VAR had alerted him, so he went and checked the replay and awarded the penalty,” Henrichs said after the game. “For me, it wasn’t a penalty, but when you lose 7-0, it doesn’t need to be spoken about too much.”Leipzig head coach Marco Rose, however, was quick to dismiss the referee’s decisions having any factor in how the game unfolded and instead put the blame on himself and his team. “There were two reasons behind our defeat today,” Rose said. “One was our aggression in duels at set pieces, and the other was that we didn’t find any solutions against their press when we had possession. In that regard, I also take responsibility because maybe I didn’t give the team enough instructions. We never got into the game in any way. The result is very tough to take.”Furthermore, Rose also suggested that there would be consequences after an embarrassing result at the Etihad. “Man City were too good for us today, and they more than deserved their win,” Rose said after the game. “Of course, we don’t want to accept that going forward. We want to continue developing.”

Without a doubt, the result against Man City is a significant embarrassment for a club that has been heavily backed by Red Bull. The long-term plan has always been for Leipzig to be competitive in the Champions League, and the Red Bulls got close to a final in the 2019/20 COVID season when they fell 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain.

The following season Leipzig was smashed 4-0 on aggregate by Liverpool. Last year the club failed to make it out of the group but advanced all the way to the semifinals where they were eliminated by Scottish side Rangers. That result caused some consternation within the club and would eventually be one of the factors on why the club fired former head coach Domenico Tedesco and hired Marco Rose.

Rose’s job will not be in doubt over this result. But there will be fundamental questions at Cottaweg 7 in Leipzig come Wednesday morning. Leipzig did win the DFB Pokal last season but only just about managed to qualify for the Champions League.

This season, Rose has turned things down domestically. Leipzig is firmly in the top four and could, in theory, still get involved in the Bundesliga title race. In the Pokal quarterfinals, Leipzig will face Dortmund on April 5. The focus will be now on those two competitions after the major UCL disappointment.

The results in those two competitions will then determine what will be next for this Leipzig side. Rose is the man of the future, but sporting director Max Eberl might overhaul the squad because one thing is for certain, silverware in Europe is the expected outcome by the decision makers both in Leipzig but also at Red Bull HQ in Austria—not 7-0 defeats to Man City.

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