RB Leipzig – Borussia Mönchengladbach: Leipzig overrun Gladbach with high-speed football (2-0)
The clash between Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach was the top match of this Bundesliga round. Leipzig’s struggles in the Europa League makes the league their biggest chance to qualify for European football next season. By beating high-flying Gladbach, Leipzig took an important step in this direction. Leipzig’s strategy featured their characteristic high pressure defending and high-speed attacking, and it proved too much for the visitors.
Tactical analysis and match report by Max Bergmann.
Leipzig have used a variety of lineups this season, usually with two strikers up top. For this match, Rangnick opted to play with a back-four and a midfield diamond. Compared to their loss against Salzburg, Leipzig changed their starting eleven on no less than eight positions. Only the central axis with center-back Dayot Upamecano, playmaker Bruma and striker Timo Werner remained intact.
Mönchengladbach missed two key players due to injury, in center-back Matthias Ginter and midfielder Jonas Hofmann. Manager Dieter Hecking brought in Tony Jantschke and Denis Zakaria as their replacements, sticking to his preferred 4-1-4-1 formation.
Leipzig’s direct attacking approach
Anyone with even the slightest familiarity of Leipzig’s style of play will know that they prefer a high intensity pressing style of football. The game against Gladbach was no exception to that trend. In possession, Leipzig operated with a lot of long balls and direct play into midfield or attack.
As typical for Leipzig under Rangnick, fullbacks Lukas Klostermann and Marcel Halstenberg contributed to the offense with long forward runs. With their vertical movement, and the narrow midfield diamond, they were tasked with providing width during Leipzig’s attacks.