An amazing calm settled over Leipzig on Wednesday evening. Pubs had increased their staff in anticipation that Celtic Glasgow supporters would deplete stocks of alcohol, they are seen as gregarious and thirsty. However, business was limited in the relevant corners of the city, presumably the Scots had the clear 1: 3 defeat RB Leipzig struck in the mood. Just as other peoples believe that bread smells and tastes better the next morning only after a win, the Scots are said to prefer to attack the pints after a win. And the people of Leipzig? Well, they too only felt like celebrating to a limited extent.
On the one hand, they were beaming because of their first premier class win of the current season, shot out by Christopher Nkunku and André Silva. But there was also the news that ruined a lot: Goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi had to be replaced after a good ten minutes due to injury. As it turned out, due to a cruciate ligament rupture, which he had sustained without the influence of the opponent, he will now be out for months. “It really hurts us, he’s our captain. He’s been an absolute bank here in Leipzig for years,” said coach Marco Rose.
The circumstances surrounding Gulacsi’s injury were bizarre: he was under pressure in his own penalty area because national striker Timo Werner played an inaccurate back pass under the eyes of national coach Hansi Flick. When trying to rectify the situation, Gulacsi first played the ball into the feet of a Celtic player, then, possibly because of the hustle and bustle, he got stuck in the grass with his studs after an abrupt movement.
Rose brought on Janis Blaswich, who fitted in well but conceded the Scots’ goal shortly after the break (47′). That was due to all sorts of Leipzig players, just not him. Strictly speaking, it was again a foolishness by Werner that set his own penalty area on fire: he tried a heel kick, which initiated a Celtic counterattack and Jota scored (47′). He acknowledged that he was later substituted with disgruntled gestures and words.
That struck coach Marco Rose. “I expect the player to come to me,” said Rose on ZDF about the scene in the 71st minute. Werner left the pitch wildly cursing, hesitantly high-fiving the coach and then sitting in the back corner of the bench. “This is a team sport, I’ll give that message again,” said Rose. After the game, however, Werner was back to normal; he celebrated with the fans and squad including Blaswich, who will have a number of appearances to look forward to over the coming months.
Blaswich, 31, grew up in Hamminkeln- Mehrhoog in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the catchment area of Borussia Mönchengladbach, so to speak, whose academy he attended. There, more and more renowned goalkeepers stood in his way, so that he went on a journey. He was loaned to Dynamo Dresden, as well as to Hansa Rostock, until he more or less settled down at Heracles Almelo.
When he moved to Leipzig in the summer, he had made 107 goals in the Dutch first division, conceding just 161 goals; He kept 27 clean sheets. Now he was on the bench and had to be patient behind Gulacsi, which was “not at all” difficult for him. “I want to help the team, be there when I’m needed. I’ll do my best for that,” he said as he stood with a straight back in the mixed zone. So visibly still energized that he was asked when he would be leaving the tunnel he had entered. It will take a day or two, he said.
Then Leipzig travels again, on Saturday RB has to go to Mainz, where coach Marco Rose once acted as a player. He won three of five games, but the two defeats had their special circumstances: you can drop points at Real Madrid, the following 0:3 bankruptcy in Mönchengladbach was under a special star because of Rose’s past.
Now against Celtic, the team showed a resilience that they haven’t always had recently. The team not only had to deal with the frustration over the Gulacsi injury, but also over two disallowed goals and just as many goals from aluminum. “It was a very good way of dealing with difficult situations and resistance,” said Rose – and Celtic weren’t just passing customers, but a demanding opponent. Overall, Rose was satisfied with the performance: “I’d rather have a wild game than one to fall asleep to,” he said.