A few years ago, Marco Rose still had doubts about whether he should ever dare to become a coach in Leipzig. He is from Leipzig. And it was (and is) important to him that no one in his family suffers from poor results from his team. Since Saturday afternoon, his first game as RB Leipzig coach, one thing has been certain: The first Sunday trip to the bakery as Leipzig coach will be a relaxed affair for Rose. Less because he celebrates his 46th birthday on Sunday. But because his new against his former club Borussia Dortmund clearly and deservedly won 3-0. The cup winner landed the second three of the season three days after the previous coach Domenico Tedesco was suspended.
Rose was able to experience a foretaste of what was in store for him on Sunday after the end of the game. The Leipzig supporters cheered the local hero like there was no tomorrow. "We want to see the trainer", "We won't go home without Rose" and similar things, they shouted. Rose didn't mind. "That's nice. I get that," he said after the game. Only: He also pointed out that after the first appearance it was not the time to "let yourself be celebrated after mega".
His colleague and successor Edin Terzic looked back on exactly five minutes after the game in which he agreed with his team's presentation. In the sixth minute, however, it was 1-0 for Leipzig: Captain Willi Orban headed in after a corner from Dominik Szoboszlai.
More interesting than the goal itself, however, was that the corner sprang from a dynamic, focused attack from Leipzig that had seldom been seen in recent weeks and seemed like a harbinger of what was to come. "Intensity. Energy. Mentality", said Szoboszlai, were "incredible". The only uncertainty was how big Dortmund's contribution to Leipzig's triumph was. "We didn't get the necessary percentage in the duels," admitted Dortmund midfielder Salih Özcan.
All attempts by Dortmund to get back into the game after the break are sterile
This was especially true for midfield, where Leipzig's Konrad Laimer and Xaver Schlager took over the hegemony. Their aggressiveness in the new 4-2-3-1 system was the basis for RB repeatedly conjuring up danger in front of the Dortmund goal. BVB was lucky that many scenes died at the feet of the recently hapless national striker Timo Werner.
Nevertheless, Leipzig were able to go into the half-time break with a 2-0 lead. Because in the 45th minute, the Hungarian Szobozslai provided what was perhaps the most poignant moment of the day. After a bad pass from Dortmund's Jude Bellingham, which Mohamed Simakan intercepted, Szoboszlai got the ball centrally - and shot with wonderful power from 22 meters. The ball flew directly under the crossbar, goalkeeper Marcel Lotka without a chance.
All attempts by Dortmund to get back into the game after the break turned out to be sterile. Only once did they come close to a goal: when BVB center forward Anthony Modeste volleyed a cross from Gio Reyna, who had just been substituted on, over the goal in the center of the penalty area. Shortly before he was substituted Werner had his best action of the game. He passed a ball passed by Christopher Nkunku into the penalty area across to substitute Amadou Haidara - who scored the 3-0 final score in the empty goal.
Rose was not only happy about the three goals, but above all that the team played to zero. Leipzig had conceded four goals in each of the two previous encounters, once in Frankfurt (0:4) and on Tuesday in the Champions League against Shakhtar Donetsk (1:4). But he also saw it as appropriate to remind his team that at best a first step had been taken. "Hopefully they save it right," Rose said.
According to the paper, the next challenge is not to go nuts with an invitation anyway. Leipzig travel to Spain next week to challenge title holders Real Madrid in the Champions League. A similarly difficult task awaits Dortmund: They also play at Manchester City on Wednesday. And there they meet an “ex” again: Erling Haaland, who scored goals in Dortmund until last summer and is now preparing to break new records under Pep Guardiola.