Borussia Mönchengladbach – RasenballSport Leipzig: Defense Holds Firm As Leipzig Take Firm Step Towards Champions League (1-2)
Thanks to compact, well-organized defending and progress in the halfspaces, RasenballSport Leipzig frustrated and broke through Borussia Mönchengladbach. The home team’s wasted opportunities and delayed tactical changes might come back to haunt them.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
With just five matchdays remaining the importance of picking up as many points as possible only increases at the top half of the Bundesliga table. RasenballSport Leipzig came into this match in third place, with a strong hand on a Champions League spot, thanks to a fabulous run of form that has seen them lose just one game since the turn of the year.
Borussia Mönchengladbach’s inconsistency has seen them slip from being title challengers - they were level with Bayern Munich in February still - to an uninspiring fifth place, the lowest position they have been in since matchday four. If Gladbach picked up three points in this match, they could have blown the race for European football wide open, and their intent was clear from the beginning, as they came into the match with a very offensive system.
Dieter Hecking continued to use his 3-4-1-2 formation with an interesting twist; using defined wingers Patrick Herrmann and Thorgan Hazard on the flanks, instead of wing-backs. Gladbach made two changes to their team, Tony Jantschke and Raffael coming in for Nico Elvedi and Lars Stindl. Ralf Rangnick also stuck to his guns, having no reason to rotate Leipzig’s 3-5-2 system after winning their last six away league games on the trot.
Leipzig’s organization off the ball keeps Gladbach quiet . . .