The dream of defending the title in the DFB Cup is alive. But RB Leipzig still has a lot planned in the Bundesliga. Coach Rose’s team is going into the final spurt of the season stronger – thanks to many returnees.
Curiously, despite his goal and three other assists, Dani Olmo was not happy about the Player of the Match award.
He and the RB Leipzig players don’t have much time to celebrate anyway. Because only five days after entering the final of the DFB Cup, the Bundesliga is again about qualifying for the Champions League – and this has top priority.
After the 5-1 win in the semifinals at SC Freiburg, another win on Saturday (3:30 p.m. / Sky) when they met again in the league would help the Saxons. “We have another important game coming up and we have to win it,” said Olmo. After the offensive gala, RB seems to be getting back on track just in time to qualify for the premier class in the final phase of the season. However: In the event of a defeat, the sports club would increase the lead to five points.
Missing the Champions League would get RB sports director Max Eberl in trouble, after all he has to fulfill transfer requests. At the same time, he wants to persuade players who are willing to leave to stay. Olmo is someone who still has a contract until June 30, 2024, but consistently avoids the question of his personal future.
Leipzig wants to keep Olmo
Participation in Europe’s most important club competition would increase the chances of keeping Olmo even longer. “I’m in no hurry,” said the 24-year-old, who was also happy about the cup success. “We made it to the final again.” The Spanish national player had meanwhile swapped his jersey and put on a T-shirt with the imprint “Immer wieder Leipzig” – based on the third final participation in a row.
The Leipzig team had an easy time against the three-man defense surprisingly called up by SC coach Christian Streich. But it’s not just because of their spectacular attacking football that they’re going into the final on June 3rd in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium as favorites. The starting position for the reunion in the Bundesliga also seems clear, although Freiburg is one place ahead of RB in the table.
“It’s a very important game, back in this stadium – it’s going to be really exciting,” said Dominik Szoboszlai. And Konrad Laimer added to Sky: “You saw how well we can play football when we do it together. The energy and sharpness that may have been missing in the last few weeks could be seen today.”
Coach Marco Rose believes his side are in for a heated return at the weekend after some Freiburg fans caused a stir with cup and coin tosses at RB players. “In every football stadium there are five or six people you just can’t use,” said the 46-year-old. Rose did not want to overstate the scenes in which striker André Silva was hit in the head by a coin.
Szoboszlai is also happy to come back to give an answer on the pitch. “Of course it wasn’t nice, but we weren’t scared and stayed calm,” said the Hungarian, who wishes that the opposing fans “respect us a bit”. Even before the kick-off, the otherwise mostly peaceful SC attachment had expressed its dislike of RB Leipzig with a choreography.
Lesson for SC Freiburg
Encouraged by this, the people of Leipzig are trying to end the season with at least one title. Because in the league, the fifth in the table lags behind their own expectations and in the premier class, Leipzig received a lesson in the 0: 7 at Manchester City in the round of 16 second leg.
In Freiburg, RB took on the role of teacher. With an impressive pace, Olmo, Szoboszlai and Christopher Nkunku, who was fit again, gave the Freiburg pros no chance. “There are a few players back. Christo gets playing time, Dani gets playing time – that helps us, of course,” said Rose. “In the end you are always dependent on quality and we have that on the pitch.”
Kevin Kampl could also be there again on Saturday. The 32-year-old had to take a break in the semi-finals due to muscular problems in the thigh area. “We hope that’s enough,” said Rose, who is aware of the importance of the game on Saturday: “We need points and goals now.”
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