German Bundesliga: Leipzig out of the Champions League

Police alert: RB Leipzig’s title holders were kicked out of the Champions League at the start of the Bundesliga’s Merry Christmas month in May. The team coached by Domenico Tedesco lost 1:3 (1:2) at Borussia Mönchengladbach after a poor performance for a long time and is only fifth place two games ago.

Brill Embolo (17) and Jonas Hoffmann scored twice (45 + 2/77) for Borussia and spoiled the Saxons’ mood ahead of Thursday’s Europa League final at Glasgow Rangers. Domenico Tedesco’s side, who also placed in the cup final in front of their chests, managed to temporarily equalize thanks to Christopher Nkunku’s 18th goal of the season (36) and had to let Freiburg pass them into the table. The majority of the guests after the red card against Nico Elvedi (64th place) did not help either.

As it was announced, Tedesco counted his best eleven despite his brilliance in the semi-finals in Scotland. “We’re on our way to making it,” the RB coach promised before kick-off. But there was not much to see at first: the guests, who were supported by a little more than 100 fans on an unloved Monday, barely got a chance in attack, many bad passes prevented an orderly build-up of the game.

While a loud musical whistle rang out in protest of RB’s build-up when Leipzig took possession of the ball, there was often confusion on the pitch. The lead came out of nowhere: with luck, the ball landed at Embolo, who was kept cold in front of Peter Gulacsi. It was Switzerland’s sixth goal in the second half of the season, five of them in their last six Bundesliga matches.

However, there was almost no mood, the poor season and the recent derby defeat left their mark on the Borussia fans. “No fight, no will, no properties – I hope we get rid of the mercenaries among you soon,” read one of the banners. However, at this point, it was the residents of Leipzig who seemed listless and unimaginative.

But RB right-back also had his first chance to score: Nkunko converted a superb pass from Andre Silva with skill. But Gladbach answered before the break: he sent Empolo Hoffmann, who broke into the left corner. After the break, Leipzig stepped up. Yann Sommer hits a header from Silva to the crossbar (55′). After the red card for emergency braking against Elvedi, the guests only played – but Hoffmann completed one of the few relief attacks to 3:1.

Leverkusen close to qualifying for the Champions League

On the other hand, Bayer Leverkusen puts the biggest goal of the season, the Champions League, very close to their minds. Coach Gerardo Seoane’s side easily beat Eintracht Frankfurt and also benefited from a parallel error by teammate RB Leipzig at Borussia Mönchengladbach. As a result, Werkself is in third place and four points ahead of fifth with two games remaining.

Paulinho (18) gave the lead to Werkselv, who last played in the First Division in the 2019/20 season. Top scorer Patrick Schick (51, according to video evidence) scored his 22nd goal of the season shortly after the start of the second half – only Stefan Kissling (25 goals in 2012/13) scored more in a Bayer gown in a single season. Frankfurt remain harmless three days before the Europa League semi-final second leg against West Ham United.

“It will soon be a race to the finish,” Seoane said before the match to fight for the first division. On Saturday evening, Freiburg temporarily closed the gap to Werkselph on points with a 4-3 victory over TSG Hoffenheim in Sinsheim and the pressure increased.

Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner has rotated eleven starts in his 100th Bundesliga match with the aim of reaching the Europa League. Only goalkeepers Kevin Trapp, Lucas Tota and Philip Kostik remained from the starting lineup for the first leg (2-1) in London.

This spin was noticeable from the start. Leverkusen dominated the match in front of 26,492 spectators in Bay Arena without creating any chances in the first quarter of the hour. Unlike many other matches this season, the Rheinlander team took the first opportunity. After a nice outside pass from winger Moussa Diaby, Paulinho rushed in from close range.

The goal in no way promoted a quiet confrontation. Frankfurt still did nothing for the game, and superior Bayer did not create any more chances at the start. The supposed goal 2-0 was withdrawn from Schick (34) after video evidence due to an offside position. Shortly before the break, only Robert Andrich hit the side nets. Jens Hoegh scored the only goal for Frankfurt, bypassing the unemployed Bayer goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky.

After the break, Schick’s renewed goal celebration was initially interrupted by a nice pass from the apparent Diaby – following video evidence, referee Benjamin Curtos (Rothenbach) awarded the goal. Frankfurt remained in energy-saving mode, and Leverkusen did not have to do too much to finish. The strong Azmon failed with a long-range shot from Trapp (71).

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