The sporting value of this DFB Cup victory was almost lost in all the discussions about RB Leipzig and the bustle of the festivities. But when everything went against Leipzig, they surpassed themselves in a 5-3 victory over SC Freiburg on penalty kicks. From a sporting standpoint, these five factors were crucial to winning the first title:
Experience: RB Leipzig’s extras Ralph Hasenhüttl had once issued a fitting motto for what was then the youngest and most inexperienced team in the Bundesliga during his time in RB Leipzig. The Austrian said during the first Bundesliga season: “We can not lose. Either we win the match or in experience.” All these experiences, especially the defeats in the big matches so far, have now resulted in this cup success. Penalty kicks competitions are known to be solely a matter of nerves – and Leipzig had them completely under control.
Amid the jubilation in the marketplace, Chief of Defense Willi Orban said: “The two previous experiences in the final did us good – especially in the penalty shootout. When I was in the final for the first time, I was super nervous. It’s normal, human. At noon we mentioned that people in Freiburg now want it the same way. The penalty kick competition was excellent, we shot the penalties objectively and with concentration.” After losing the cup penalty thrills against Dynamo Dresden (2016) and Bayern Munich (2017) when, for example, Orban was already there, the Leipzig team stayed cool on the spot.
Tedesco: “Extreme resilience in all respects”
Mentality and willingness to win: Players, coaches and managers repeatedly emphasized the indomitable willpower after the red card against Marcel Halstenberg. – Actually, everything went wrong, but then came the passion and mentality, said Emil Forsberg. After his replacement, the Swede and Kevin Kampl trained passionately on the sidelines. “Domenico had two extra assistant coaches by his side in us, we saw yellow and red on the bench, but we tried to help and push,” said Forsberg. “The title means so much to us.”
Coach Tedesco praised his team for “extreme resistance in all areas”. The people of Leipzig were not deterred by the controversial or wrong judicial decisions. It is said that big finals between balanced teams usually win the team that wants it more. Of course, Freiburg also marched to the pain point, but due to the history of the last two matches lost, RB was ready to go beyond this and still be focused.
“Volcano” Tedesco coached passionately and coolly at the same time
introductory moment: RB Leipzig currently need a moment in the game to let go. In the 4-0 victory against Augsburg, it was the unauthorized yellow card against Forsberg that woke up the team and the fans. In the cup final, it was Halstenberg’s firing that made it clear to the players that they were now alt i have to go not to leave the field as loser for the third time. Then the team gets up and fights back with everything they have.
Preparation and coaching: Tedesco had prepared its team for all eventualities. He also designed the scenario of what happens if a player looks red in this heated game. The team benefited when Halstenberg actually had to leave the field ahead of time. RB sacrificed Forsberg, filled the five-man chain with Mukiele and played shortly after with only a six when Kampl was replaced by Dani Olmo. The plan worked, Leipzig now pushed the more nervous Freiburg better than eleven. “We each threw ourselves a little more into it,” said Lukas Klostermann. Keeper Peter Gulacsi praised them in front of how they “closed the squares and threw the counter-attacks in”. In addition, Tedesco brought an incredible passion to the field from the sidelines, but still stayed cool and made the right tactical and personal decisions.
keep quality: With Mukiele, Dominik Szoboszlai, Olmo, Tyler Adams and Josko Gvardiol, Tedesco brought five players into the game, all of whom were instant and in the game. This is the product of the entire second half of the season, where Tedesco took almost all the players with them and gave them confidence and combat training. “What can be added to Leipzig – it’s crazy,” said SC coach Christian Streich appreciatively. And Tedesco praised: “This team not only has good players, it is also intact, it works!”