RasenBallsport Leipzig – Bayer Leverkusen: Nkunku Winner Puts Bayer Leverkusen In The Hole (1-0)
While the title race has once again ended on a premature note, the battle for Champions League football has retained the ability to produce some exciting clashes. This game marked one such encounter, with Bayer Leverkusen adopting an aggressive scheme in the first half only to let themselves down in the second half by allowing Christopher Nkunku to net the winner for a resolute RB Leipzig.
Tactical analysis and match report by Manasvin Andra.
After a first encounter where pressing took precedence over scoring, RB Leipzig and Bayern Leverkusen met in a game that had important consequences for each side’s top four hopes. With both teams suffering a blip in form, neither would have wanted to lose to the other in this crunch tie, where a victory would as much boost the winner as it would deflate for the loser.
Despite recent struggles in goal, Leipzig continued with their 3-4-3 shape, as Peter Gulácsi was shielded by a defense of Nordi Mukiele, Dayot Upamecano and Lukas Klostermann. Angeliño and Tyler Adams were chosen as the wing-backs, flanking the central midfield duo of Kevin Kampl and the talismanic Marcel Sabitzer. Alexander Sørloth led the line, with Christopher Nkunku and Dani Olmo picked as the wingers.
With injuries forcing his hand, Leverkusen manager Peter Bosz did make some changes, altering the formation as well as adding an interesting twist to how his team operated. The base formation was a diamond 4-4-2, with new signing Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Jonathan Tah, Edmond Tapsoba and Wendell protecting Lukáš Hr . . .