Sebastian Kehl, head of the licensed player division, appeared relieved after the opening victory against RB Leipzig. Now it is time to take the momentum into the upcoming games. Newcomer Axel Witsel praised the atmosphere at his first home game and head coach Lucien Favre made a clear analysis.
Lucien Favre: "They were better than us, especially in the first 35 minutes. They were faster and stronger than us in 1v1 battles, they quickly went 1-0 up and continued to create chances that we didn't defend well against overall. Then we reacted well. The equaliser was a nice goal and was well worked, with a nice cross from Marcel Schmelzer to find Mo Dahoud. Roman Bürki saved us a good few times as well with an excellent stop in the first half against Augustin. We went 2-1 up with a bit of help from Sabitzer who put the ball in his own net and then, at exactly the right moment, Alex Witsel scored a super goal to make it 3-1. We regained confidence. The second half was alright at first, but Leipzig started to find themselves again. They created a few chances which, although few in numbers, were dangerous. We scored the fourth goal through Dahoud after an excellent cross from Marco Reus. When you make it 4-1 it's usually all over, but that wasn't the case this time. There's still a lot to improve on. We should have used the wide areas more when in possession to counter Leipzig's pressing. I won't say that we were lucky, but it went well for us."
Sebastian Kehl: "After a difficult phase in the first 20 minutes, we regrouped and scored in the moments where it mattered. We were incredibly effective. It was a good opening match and we are relieved. The coach has his plan, there is optimism in the air and the fans are back behind us again. It's good to start well, to be able to take the momentum forward with us."
Axel Witsel: "As I came out to warm up, I felt the atmosphere. It was crazy, in a good way. The fans were to be heard throughout the entirety of the game. We played a good game. I didn't overthink before scoring my goal, I just saw the ball and positioned myself for the bicycle kick. Leipzig have already played more competitive games than us, this was our first home game. We didn't start how we had wanted, but then we played well and created chances."
Ralf Rangnick (Coach and sports director at RB Leipzig): "The run of play was in our favour for considerable periods of time. Unfortunately, we didn't defend crosses well and weren't able to reap the benefits of our hard work."