RB Leipzig: 7-0 Defeat To Man City Leads To Fundamental Questions


RB Leipzig suffered a stunning exit from the Champions League on Tuesday, as they were defeated 7-0 by Manchester City. The Premier League champions dominated the game with five goals from Erling Haaland (including a 22nd-minute penalty, and goals in the 24th, 45th, 53rd, and 57th minutes) as well as goals from Ilkay Gündogan (49th minute) and Kevin de Bruyne (90th minute).

The penalty awarded to Manchester City for their first goal will likely be a topic of discussion, as Slavko Vincic, the referee, was called over to the monitor by his VAR team. After reviewing the footage, Vincic determined that defender Benjamin Henrichs had handled the ball, although the contact appeared minimal. This decision will contribute to the ongoing debate about how VAR should be used.

The referee once again became the center of attention shortly after Manchester City scored their second goal. City goalkeeper Ederson rushed out to retrieve a loose ball and collided with Konrad Laimer, although no contact was made. Despite protests from Timo Werner, Vincic allowed play to continue and then issued a yellow card to Werner.

Ederson should have been given a yellow card, and Leipzig should have been awarded a free kick. However, it is questionable whether these decisions would have made a significant difference. When in top form, Manchester City is one of the best club teams in the world. It was evident that Leipzig had lost their composure after the two refereeing decisions and were quickly overwhelmed by City.

After the game, Leipzig's players expressed their discontent with the refereeing decisions. "I spoke to the referee again and he told me that he didn't see a handball but the VAR alerted him, so he checked the replay and awarded the penalty," said Henrichs. "Personally, I don't think it was a penalty, but when you lose 7-0, there's no need to dwell on it."

However, Leipzig's head coach, Marco Rose, didn't blame the referee for their loss. He took responsibility for the team's defeat, pointing to their lack of aggression during set pieces and their inability to find solutions against their opponents' press. "Maybe I didn't give the team enough instructions," he said. "We never really got into the game, and the result is hard to take."

Rose also acknowledged that there would be consequences for such a disappointing performance at the Etihad. "Man City were just too good for us today, and they deserved their win," he said. "But we won't accept that going forward. We need to continue to develop and improve."

There's no denying that the recent defeat to Manchester City is a major embarrassment for a club that has received significant financial backing from Red Bull. Leipzig's long-term plan has always been to be competitive in the Champions League, and they came close to reaching the final in the COVID-affected 2019/20 season, where they lost 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain.

The following season, Leipzig suffered a crushing 4-0 aggregate defeat to Liverpool, and last year, they failed to progress from the group stage, only to make it to the semi-finals in the Europa League before being knocked out by Scottish side Rangers. This result caused concern within the club and ultimately led to the firing of former head coach Domenico Tedesco and the hiring of Marco Rose.

Rose's job is not in jeopardy because of this result, but there will undoubtedly be tough questions asked at Cottaweg 7 in Leipzig the following morning. Although Leipzig won the DFB Pokal last season, they only just managed to qualify for the Champions League.

This season, Rose has made significant strides domestically, with Leipzig firmly in the top four and still in with a chance of competing for the Bundesliga title. Their focus will now be on those two competitions after this major UCL setback. In the Pokal quarter-finals, they will face Dortmund on April 5th.

The results in these two competitions will determine the future of this Leipzig side. Rose is the coach for the future, but sporting director Max Eberl might overhaul the squad, as the decision-makers in Leipzig and at Red Bull HQ in Austria expect nothing less than silverware in Europe, not 7-0 defeats to Manchester City.

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