RB Leipzig – Match Report vs İstanbul Başakşehir FK 20/10/20

In the opening Champions League group games of the new season, Leipzig won 2-0 against their Turkish opponents with two first half goals from Angeliño. Nagelsmann set them up in a 3-4-2-1 and then switched to a 5-3-2 at half time with the introduction of Hwang. Leipzig pressed high and attacked with speed, with Poulsen winning the ball very high on several occasions. They dominated the ball in the first half with 56% of the ball and then sat off a bit in the second half and were happy to just see out the win.

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, re-watch
  • 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

Upamecano once again was excellent in possession. Playing in the centre of the back three, he progressed the ball very well. He carried into space, took controlled progressive touches in front of his body and controlled the ball comfortably with both feet. He showed great techniques on different types of longer passes, finding players between the lines and in pockets of space easily and made difficult passes look easy. He did lose the ball in his own half once but was lucky that the loose ball went to a teammate and played a risky pass that almost could have been costly and was unnecessary.

Defensively, the young Frenchman didn’t have the best game. He didn’t have a lot to do before he was subbed off 65th minute however. His marking at times wasn’t great, being too focused on the ball and not being tight to his man and could have showed more awareness. He gave away a few fouls with mistimed or overcommitted challenges and got a yellow card. He didn’t show that much strength at times and should have done better in a few challenges, despite his big build and frame.

Athletically he was strong and excellent on the ball but his defensive actions could have been better and wasn’t very convincing, meanwhile playing in the centre of the back five suits him in my opinion for this reason. He’s only just about to turn 22 so still has a lot of time to develop but I would like to see him tested in a back four more.

Rating – A2

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

Playing on the right side of central midfield, Olmo had a good but fairly quiet game and I wanted him to be a bit more involved. He showed great technical ability, with good touches away from pressure and good footwork in tight areas to keep the ball under pressure and while off balance. He drew several fouls while trying to drive on the counter and carry into space which was a bit frustrating. He showed a good burst of pace and quick reactions with good control and ball retention.

His passing was good, drifting to the right side and looking to link with Nkunku and Mukiele as they tried to create overloads on the right. He makes quick decisions and showed good vision with some good passes into the box, using different parts of his foot well to create angles and play quickly and play in runners. He took risks with his passing and his pass success wasn’t great because of it and could have kept the ball better. However with their quick style, taking risks is good and as he develops further his decision making will only improve. He’s got a good athletic build and a lot of quality on the ball, and also got stuck in fairly well at times and was well timed with his tackling.

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

Playing on the right wing, Nkunku had a decent game before being brought off in the 70th minute. He kept fairly wide at times but would often drift into the half space as the ball progressed. In the final third he drifted around on the right wing to find spaces and had really good movement, making smart over or underlapping runs off of Olmo and Mukiele as well as diagonal runs into the width of the box.

On the ball he was very good with nice control and crisp passing. Although he did make good runs off the ball, he can still be quite passive at times. He was a lot more active today than when I’ve seen him before but he could still keep a higher intensity at times for me. Defensively, he counter-pressed well and had good tackling technique and wasn’t afraid of a challenge. His set pieces were excellent as usual and he assisted the second goal with a very good chipped ball into the box. Overall a strong game from him.

Rating – B1

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
  • Secondary position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing as the right wing back, he was often inverted in buildup, taking up a narrow position in midfield but did vary his position. He received the ball very well, opening up his body well with a good first touch. A few times in buildup, his decision making was slow and although he showed okay ball retention he could have played quicker and kept up the tempo of the game. He showed good agility and footwork as well as good recovery pace.

He didn’t charge forward very much, often as a deeper or wider outlet when Olmo and Nkunku were nearby in the final third. He was comfortable on the ball and could create space for himself under pressure and would carry into space a little, but he wasn’t what you normally think a wing back as being, such a Hakimi or Doherty. He did get into a few decent positions though but wasn’t able to find enough space to play an effective enough final ball.

Overall, he was good in the buildup phase and in defence he did well 1v1, used his body well and showed good footwork and body positioning. As well as being good in the air and athletically solid but maybe could have shown more going forward, but isn’t necessarily suited to a wing back role.

Rating – B2

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

Hwang came on at half time and didn’t get the chance to do too much as Leipzig attacked less this half and didn’t have as much possession. He did well on the counter, carrying at space well and using his pace to beat his man, showing nice feet in wide areas but couldn’t produce much of a final ball. He did slow one counter but then grew into it and did well. He did also lack strength on the ball a few times which is something to work on. He showed good pace with a lean, athletic build and a good burst over the first few yards.

Rating – C

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