Sinsheim (dpa) – RB Leipzig and double scorer Dani Olmo have given trainer Julian Nagelsmann a successful return to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
The Saxons won the Friday night game of the Bundesliga in the Kraichgau region 2-0 (2-0) and are still on the Champions League course. Nagelsmann in a white shirt was able to cheer in a wild start phase when he made his first appearance at an old workplace thanks to the two goals from Spaniard Olmo (9th / 11th minute).
“In the end, we won the game well deserved,” said Nagelsmann, who spent a long time discussing with his assistants after the final whistle. He is optimistic about the situation in the race for the Champions League spots: “We have it in our hands this week to make it clear, that’s a good thing. Two wins of ours and we’re there.”
With the third away win in a row, Leipzig extended the lead over the pursuers Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen to six points for the time being and has the best chance of returning to the premier class. “So shortly before the end of the season you no longer have to shine extremely, you have to score your points,” said strong Kevin Kampl. “The goal is to reach the Champions League. Today was the opportunity for us to present – and we did that.”
In the first game after the surprising separation from head coach Alfred Schreuder, however, Hoffenheim missed the possible jump to a direct Europa League place. “The result is bitter, we imagined it differently,” said sports director Alexander Rosen. “The performance was excellent, we want to see our team in the same way. We will inevitably reward ourselves with these achievements.”
Nagelsmann joked shortly before the kick-off that he had no problems finding the right cabin because he had to park on the other side. From February 2016 to June 2019, the 32-year-old had trained the TSG professional team – and was faced with a team of six support staff when he returned. “A solution made in Hoffenheim,” said Rosen with a wink. After Schreuder’s departure on Tuesday, the previous assistant Matthias Kaltenbach acted as the head coach, Rosen did not sit on the bench but next to the video analyst.
The Kraichgauer had set the sextet well, after four games without defeat the home team was very snappy and delivered one of the best home appearances of the season. In a fast-paced game at a high level, Hoffenheim was happy about a supposed penalty after just six minutes – RB goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi had brought Munas Dabbur off his feet. But after a long consultation with the video referee, referee Tobias Welz revised his decision because of a previous handball by TSG.
Leipzig was by no means impressed by the furious start of the opponent, but relied on his strong switching game. Both goals from Olmo resulted from a robbery-like advance of the RB offensive after winning the ball. First Nordi Mukiele provided the perfect template for the 22-year-old, two minutes later director Marcel Sabitzer cleverly put Olmo back on his head when he returned. “We were very, very efficient,” said sports director Markus Krösche during the break.
National striker Werner, however, shortly before half-time even gave the possibility of 3-0 from 15 meters completely free-standing. Even Nagelsmann has little hope that the 24-year-old will be chasing goals for Leipzig in the coming season and will not switch to Chelsea. “I don’t think he will still be here next year,” said the coach before the game at DAZN.
Hoffenheim continued to act at eye level, but lacked the final punch. Dabbur only hit the crossbar in the 27th minute of the greatest TSG chance. Hoffenheim also remained harmless in the final offensive, so that Nagelsmann and RB inflicted the ninth home defeat of this season on his former team.