RB Leipzig – Match Report vs Freiburg 16/05/20

This is a guest article from Willian Tang.

Despite the goal of Yussuf Poulsen, RB Leipzig only got 1 point after a 1-1 draw against Freiburg. Julian Nagelsmann’s team was set up in 3-5-2, changing to 4-4-2 in the second half. They applied high-block as usual, forcing Freiburg wide and then looked to press near touchlines. They tended to try many vertical passes and get to the final third as quickly as possible, trying to give the ball to roaming Poulsen. After that, he would pass it to his forward teammates. The winning goal came from a cross, which was their preferred attacking method. Unfortunately, a draw casts shadow on their ambition to win the champion.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average, don’t follow up

Timo Werner

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 06/03/1996
  • Current Club: RB Leipzig
  • Career: Vfb Stuttgart, RB Leipzig
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary Position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Werner mainly played as a second striker for RB Leipzig. He had the freedom to roam in the final third. His passing was poor at times, sometimes he would pass the ball into opponents during counter-attacks partly due to his poor decision making. He linked with Poulsen or Angeliño often with lots of movement and good work rate. He did well in dribbling down the line, playing cut-back passes or diagonal passes when dropping back. When RB Leipzig were dispossessed, he would work hard to press high and tried to win the ball back with intensity.

He often appeared at the left half-space during the match. Though sometimes he would drop back to build up. He had good pace and acceleration, which was helpful to his performance in counter-attack. He would try cut-back pass to his teammates or run with high-speed to wait for the chance to shoot. He didn’t cross much, especially ones in the air. He could have improved his decision making in the final third and been better with his passing. He had two okay chances from wide areas of the box saved where his technique could have been better.

Rating – A2

Nordi Mukiele

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 01/11/1997
  • Current Club: RB Leipzig
  • Career: Stade Laval, Montpellier, RB Leipzig
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Mukiele played on the right of the back and right back this game. He was very strong and fast which helped him have a solid defensive performance. He could use his body to win the ball back or stop opponents so he can eliminate danger and then counter attack as soon as possible.

He also had good positioning and anticipation and when RB Leipzig lost possession, he would press high to stop opponents, trying to win the ball back as soon as possible. He also had good positioning and anticipation so that he can tackle and intercept the ball easily.

Offensively, he had good passing technique to build up from back and could make mid-range vertical ground pass to help team progress. Thus, Mukiele has the potential to be a top ball-playing defender.

Rating – A1

Christopher Nkunku

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 14/11/1997
  • Current Club: RB Leipzig
  • Career: PSG, RB Leipzig
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Nkunku was playing in central midfield and had the freedom to roam. He was a youngster with great attacking talent.  As a midfielder, he usually drifted to wide area. Also, he would join Werner and Poulsen as the first line to press if they lost the ball. He showed great aggression when pressing opponents high up the pitch.

He had good acceleration, pace and first touch, which helped him be good at dribbling. That’s not all, with the change of tempo and rhythm, it was more difficult for his opponents to defend him. He also had the ability to make smart passes, including finding teammates that no one near or passing to his teammates precisely in tiny and compact space.

Rating – A2

Konrad Laimer

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 27/05/1997
  • Current Club: RB Leipzig
  • Career: FC Liefering, RB Salzburg, RB Leipzig 
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Right Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

The Austrian mainly played as a centre midfield for RB Leipzig. He had average acceleration and pace. He usually positioned himself at right half space. He was a box-to-box midfield who can cover lots of space with good work rate. Sometimes he would push forwards and tried long range shots.

On the ball, he tended to make conservative and safe passes rather than progressive passes and could have received the ball better. Sometimes he tried long-range diagonal passes but weren’t effective enough.

His speed wasn’t great, which hindered him defensively. However, he was aggressive and used his body well in challenges. However, sometimes he would make unnecessary fouls with better choices available. His defensive positioning could improve, he tended to defend with high aggression and press up, leaving space for opponents behind.

Rating – B2

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