Whilst they’re rise to the Bundesliga may not be welcomed by all, RB Leipzig’s journey to the top flight of German football is certainly an interesting one.
Just over three years ago, well-traveled German Ralf Rangnick took charge of the East German club in the fourth tier – after Red Bull bought the club – and upon promotion last season, Rangnick now undertakes the role of sporting director, with Ralph Hasenhüttl taking over the helm.
At the club since Ragnick took charge, forward Yussuf Poulsen has been on the same journey, following RB Leipzig through the divisions. Now, 2016, RB Leipzig made it to the top flight, where they would finally come up against the likes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
Although the delight of RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga may not excite many, there’s no one at the club more more looking forward to plying their trade in the top flight than the duo.
Rangnick and Poulsen have seen it all during their time at the club. Protests over RB Leipzig’s existence; due to the fact they’re exempt from the 50+1 ruling, whilst the pair were even caught up in a attack on their team bus after a match against Hallescher FC.
It’s also worth mentioning that RB Leipzig have just 14 members, whilst they changed their badge and name to RasenBallsport Leipzig, due to the fact they’re not allowed to be called Red Bull.
Just how did they do against Hoffenheim?
Borussia Dortmund fan groups have already said they’ll be looking to boycott their away game in Leipzig, but against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim – who are owned by millionaire Dietmar Hopp, and another exception to the ruling – fans from both corners remained in full voice.
Apprehensive in the opening minutes, RB Leipzig fans were in full voice all afternoon. Dominik Kaiser came close to opening the scoring on two occasions for the visitors – as he looked to continue his goalscoring from midfield, after notching seven 2. Bundesliga goals last campaign.
Whether it was Hoffenheim’s poor defence, or RB Leipzig’s dominance, the visitors had five shots on target in the first-half, and hadn’t it had been for Oliver Baumann, Leipzig would have been in front.
Despite all their dominance, it was Hoffenheim who took the lead after 55 minutes. The first goal conceded by RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga came after the East German club failed to clear the ball following a corner. As a result, the ball was met on the half-volley by Lukas Rupp, who found the bottom corner from just inside the area.
Credit for Leipzig’s work ethic, It took the visitors just two minutes to find the equaliser, which came from former Hoffeheim player, Kaiser. Like much of the game, Hasenhüttl’s side defended deep, before attacking on the counter, which is exactly what happened for the equaliser.
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Baumann was on hand yet again to deny Leipzig. This time it was Marcel Sabitzer who fired his shot goal-bound, only for the German stopper to pull off the ‘save of the weekend’.
Mark Uth thought he had won it for Hoffenheim with six minutes left to play, but Sabizer continued his fine game and scored the equaliser for the visitors in added time.
Overall, a positive performance from RB Leipzig in their first ever Bundesliga game but, Hasenhüttl will feel disappointed his side won’t be traveling back east with three points to celebrate. On the whole, a lot to take into the international break ahead of their next league game, against Borussia Dortmund. Tough. But winnable.