RB Leipzig vs Red Bull Salzurg: A confident Salzburg defeats its big brother in a thrilling finish (2-3)
The maturity of the Salzburg project led by Marco Rose was once again on display, this time with a victory in the very first ‘Red Bull Derby’. The Leipzig eleven with many squad rotations suffered from issues in their buildup structure.
Off the pitch, this ‘Red Bull Derby’ revives the debate caused by the controversial Red Bull corporate sports model and raises concerns over potential conflicts of interest. But when it comes to use of innovative tactics and dynamic performances on the pitch, it is undeniable that Red Bull has created two of the most efficient and exciting sporting projects in Europe.
Ralf Rangnick is back at the Leipzig head coach position for the 2018/2019 season while the club waits for Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann to arrive next summer, and one of his biggest challenges this early season is compensating for the departure of Naby Keïta to Liverpool. The club had already tried to prepare for this with the signing of Kevin Kampl last year, but Keïta’s absence still poses a loss in midfield creativity and press resistance that is hard to replace.
For now, Rangnick seems focused on Leipzig’s Bundesliga campaign, and his starting eleven against Salzburg reflected his priorities, featuring several changes in personnel due to squad rotation and injuries.
Goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi and midfielders Diego Demme and Emil Forsberg, who all started in Leipzig’s first three Bundesliga games, were replaced by Yvon Mvogo, Stefan Ilsanker and Bruma, respectively. Meanwhile, starting left back Marcelo Saracchi and striker Timo Werner are currently injured and were replaced by . . .