RB Leipzig – Match Report vs Nurnberg 12/09/20

In the DFB-Pokal first round, Leipzig put in a dominant display where they rarely had to defend in their own half and repeatedly attacked the Nurnberg goal, only slowed down by being fouled. Set up in a 3-4-2-1 in possession, their back line sat 10 metres inside the opposition half, who sat very deep. Olmo, Hwang and Nkunku operated between the lines and gave a lot of options but having Poulsen was missing. They were 1-0 up when he came on in the 60th minute and the match ended 3-0.


  • 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 in this match

Dayot Upamecano

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 27/10/1998
  • Current club: RB Leipzig
  • Career: VAFC (Y), Red Bull Salzburg, FC Liefering (L), RB Leipzig
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Before being subbed off in the 82nd, Upamecano had minimal defending to do in this game that RB Leipzig controlled comfortably. He showed good marking in the box and good defence of crosses into the back post and well as being dominant in the air. The 6’1 defender is stocky and well built with a great leap and was strong in his duels.

On the ball he put in an excellent display, with a lot of their buildup going through him. He was positioned on the right of a back three in buildup, with Adams dropping into the middle. He wraps his foot around the ball quite a bit but puts good power on the ball and was very accurate and was able to break lines. He progressed the ball really well, able to cut through the midfield and pass into the Hwang or Olmo between the lines with ground passes. He showed good vision to be able to break the lines and progress the ball. He also used disguised passes into midfield and was calm under pressure. The Frenchman also played some great switches to Angelino on the left in space.

Overall, a masterclass of passing from a centre back and showed his great athleticism but unfortunately due to the nature of the game he wasn’t forced to defend much.

Rating – A1

Tyler Adams

Player profile:

  • Nationality: American
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 14/02/1999
  • Current club: RB Leipzig
  • Career: New York Red Bulls, RB Leipzig
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Adams was the deepest of the midfield three but spent most of his game positioned as the central centre back in the back three. In buildup he was very calm and comfortable on the ball and didn’t face much pressure. His positioning was good and he was very active in creating passing lanes and being available for the centre halves.

Elegant on the ball, he made some decent passes into the attacks and broke the oppositions lines but was largely cycling along the back three and Upamecano lead the buildup play for Leipzig. He also carried into space at times.

He’s 5’9″ with a slim build and in this game he was largely away from the action but could benefit from bulking up a bit. Defensively he pressed out to win the ball back quickly for his side well and read the play well but didn’t have to do much defending and his role was largely a passive buildup one.

Rating – A2

Hee-Chan Hwang

Player profile:

  • Nationality: South Korean
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 26/01/1996
  • Current club: RB Leipzig
  • Career: Pohang Steelers (Y), RB Salzburg, Hamburg (L), RB Leipzig
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary Position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

As the Korean made his debut for Nagelsmann’s side, he put in a strong performance as the centre forward. He received the ball really well between the lines, controlling some difficult and powerful passes. His holdup play was good when he used feints to avoid pressure and physical duels but wasn’t strong enough to be physical and holdup play against a centre back. He played some simple layoffs into the midfield runners and then moved into the box. He showed decent feet and quick reactions and a low centre of gravity to avoid pressure and protect the ball.

In the box he showed good positioning and had some good poachers’ chances but was unable to finish until the 90th minute where he scored a rebound to get his debut goal which was deserved. Poulsen was brought on in the 60th minute, which was a strong change as Hwang looked a lot stronger in a front two and struggled at times being the centre of the attack. He assisted Poulsen for his goal with a good run into the wide area of the box and cutting it back.

He had a slim build and stands 5’10, he’s agile with a great burst of speed and a low centre of gravity. He worked hard and made selfless runs, he was very active with his positioning and movement and had an overall strong game, improving once Poulsen was on.

Rating – B1

Dani Olmo

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 07/05/1998
  • Current Club: RB Leipzig
  • Career: Barcelona (Y), GNK Dinamo Zagreb, RB Leipzig
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Left Wing, Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Olmo was the right inside forward, playing off of Hwang for most of the game. He worked hard, tracking back into midfield when needed and always looking to get on the ball by making runs and adjusting his positioning between the lines. He mainly had a narrow position but during buildup would vary it and be on the touchline at times, whereas Nkunku stayed narrow.

He was calm on the ball, receiving the ball well and able to carry at the defence. His ball control was good, able to shift the ball quickly and drew several fouls. He showed okay creativity in the final third and was very composed on the ball with some nice passing and was a big threat from range. He took several long shots with great technique which dipped a lot and therefore tested the goalkeeper, who did well. He’s 5’10” but looked taller with good feet but didn’t really hit top gears in terms of pace today.

Rating – A2

Christopher Nkunku

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 14/11/1997
  • Current Club: RB Leipzig
  • Career: Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Left Wing, Attacking Midfield, Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

The versatile Frenchman was the left inside forward and wasn’t at his best. The set piece specialist took some dangerous corners and freekicks but didn’t get any assists with them. He’s well built and pressed a bit but his play in general lacked tempo or intensity that you expect from Leipzig.

He maintained a narrow position throughout the game but a bit ineffective in open play in this game. He produced some good crosses but struggled to get into crossing positions. In 1v1s he didn’t try anything and didn’t attempt to create space to drive to the byline, being forced backwards easily. He also struggled to control a few balls into him with his chest and couldn’t create anything with them.

Rating: B1

Amadou Haidara

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Malian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 31/01/1998
  • Current club: RB Leipzig
  • Career: RB Salzburg, RB Leipzig
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing in midfield Haidara showed a good engine and work rate. He was an energetic presser who pressed out of the midfield well. When the front line lost possession he read play well to counterpress and win the ball back quickly. He supported the attack well, making a few late runs into the box and also scored the open goal with a nice first time shot from outside the box.

He looked to be a good athlete with a lean build, a great leap and good agility. He wasn’t the most physical but got stuck in and had great stamina. He wasn’t involved in buildup that much, he was comfortable on the ball but kept it fairly simple. He knew his role which he fulfilled well but wasn’t asked to do much in possession but was very effective on the counter press.

Rating: B2


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