Hertha Berlin – RasenBallsport Leipzig: Hertha Tried To Stem The Tide But Leipzig’s Offense Proved Too Much (2-4)
Hertha Berlin were able to suppress the RB Leipzig attack for much of the match, but down a goal with ten minutes remaining, the home side had no option but to loosen their defensive grip. At this point Leipzig’s potent offense kicked into gear and ran up the score.
Tactical analysis and match report by K.T. Stockwell.
A well publicized, first ever, Budesliga loss to their bitter, cross-town rivals, Union Berlin, had Hertha Berlin stewing for a week. That embarrassment, combined with six losses already this season, as well as owning one of the league’s leakiest defenses, has made for an underwhelming start to the campaign.
This sluggish start may have factored into manager Ante Čović’s decision to switch from his standard 4-2-3-1 formation to a 3-4-3 shape. The move to go to three at the back meant Karim Rekik got the start alongside Dedryk Boyata and Niklas Stark, while fullbacks Maximillian Mittelstädt and Lukas Klünter were asked to moonlight as wing-backs. At the heart of midfield, Čović selected Vladamír Darida and Eduard Löwen. Meanwhile, the front three saw Marius Wolf and Javairô Dilrosun flank center forward, Dodi Lukébakio.
Conversely, RasenBallsport Leipzig started the season in electric form – winning their first three matches and claiming first place in the Bundesliga. Unfortunately, a string of four matches without a victory was enough to drag them back into a competitive field at the top of the division.
Manager, Julian Nagelsmann settled on a 4-2-2-2 formation with only two changes from the side that had faced off against Zenit St. Petersburg in the Champions League . . .