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RB Leipzig tanks against Olympique Lyonnais

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It was a game of lost opportunities as RB Leipzig squandered a great opportunity to assert itself in Group G of the Champions League

RB Leipzig v Olympique Lyon: Group G - UEFA Champions League Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images

As part of our comprehensive coverage, we are following each Bundesliga side that has qualified for the Champions League.

RB Leipzig will likely look back at this game and shake its head as thinks about what might have been. Playing at home against Olympique Lyonnais, Die Roten Bullen squandered multiple opportunities and ultimately dropped a disappointing 2-0 decision at Red Bull Arena.

Memphis Depay (11’) and Martin Terrier (65’) provided the offense for Lyon, but this was not some outwardly dominant performance from the French side. In fact, RB Leipzig essentially played itself out of the game by botching several excellent scoring opportunities.

Timo Werner missed a left-footed sitter in the seventh minute, which should have been a goal and just minutes later Memphis made Werner “De-pay” for his miscue (hold your applause) with a goal.

Later, Werner had Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes beat and instead put it over the crossbar. Clearly, the alarm never went off for #TimoTime to wake up for this one. It was not just Werner, though, who scuffled offensively. Yussuf Poulsen should have knotted the game at 1-1 in the 33rd minute when his header did not reach the back of the net and Nordi Mukiele jumped into the action when he could not convert a 77th minute chance.

It was just not RB Leipzig’s day.

Points of discussion

  • The decision by Julian Nagelsmann to leave Emil Forsberg out of the starting line-up certainly leaves the young coach open to criticism. Forsberg is a vital playmaker for RB Leipzig and his presence and stability within the team’s offensive framework was missed.
  • RB Leipzig out-shot Lyon 17-11 and had 55% of the possession. It could really be argued that Die Roten Bullen was the better overall team on the day, but just could not convert its chances.
  • Forwards like Werner and Poulsen often bear the brunt of the blame in games like this, but off-games happen for scorers. As we’ve seen with Robert Lewandowski over the years, sometimes this just don’t work out in the final third (and it’s maddeningly frustrating for everyone to watch). RB Leipzig was the better side, but absolutely did not play up to its ability across the pitch.
  • RB Leipzig’s confidence might be shaken a bit after getting bounced unceremoniously by Schalke 04 and now dropping this one to Lyon. This week, everything is coming up Bayern Munich it seems.