The break for international caps is over, VfL Bochum 1848 with new head coach Thomas Letsch will be travelling to Leipzipg to score their next Bundesliga points. The fixture in Leipzig will kick off Saturday, 15:30 CET. In this week’s LOOK AHEAD we will keep a close eye on our upcoming opponent:
“In my opinion RB Leipzig has the second best squad in Germany after Bayern Munich“, said the new VfL head coach Thomas Letsch at the matchday press conference on Thursday. When you have a closer look at the Saxons‘ squad you will find some big names – which could also cause some disadvantages during an international break: “Only four to five professional players participated in this week’s training sessions“, said RB head coach Marco Rose ahead of the clash. The training sessions were completed by some young talents from their academy. In the course of the week Leipzig’s internationals returned without any injuries, including David Raum, Benjamin Henrichs and Timo Werner from the German squad. Still Rose has to cope with some considerable sidelined players: ex VfL player Lukas Klostermann, Konrad Laimer, Dani Olmo and Yussuf Poulsen. Nevertheless the current DFB-Pokal winners still have a very high quality: “The alleged individual deficit needs to be equalised by the unity as a team“, pointed Letsch out.
THE HEAD COACH
Three weeks ago Marco Rose took over as new head coach of RB Leipzig, former head coach Domenico Tedesco had been sacked after a mediocre start into the season. It’s the third Bundesliga club for 46-year-old native of Leipzig. But actually RB is anything but a new territory for Rose as he worked for the Salzburg equivalent between 2013 and 2019 in different positions. In 2017 Rose could catch attention as a first team head coach, when he recorded an impressive average of 2.35 points in more than 100 fixtures. It was Max Eberl, with whom he will be working together again as from December, who would place him as new Mönchengladbach head coach, before he signed for BVB two years later. VfL head coach Thomas Letsch is quite familiar to Rose, even more: “I’ve known Thomas well. We have a good relationship and became friends over the years. I have a clue what might be expecting us“, said Rose ahead of the clash with his former colleague. In their Salzburg times Letsch was amongst others head of the youth academy, while Rose was working as a youth coach at that time. “I phoned with Marco a couple of days ago, congratulated him on his new job. We didn’t really talk about the game. We wouldn‘t have given away much anyway, that’s for sure“, pointed Letsch out.
On Saturday the home side will be eager to start a comeback in the league after the international break. Currently ranking twelfth in the table and having scored only eight points out of seven matches mean RB‘s worst start into the Bundesliga in their (short) history. They have racked up only two victories in league, one of them at Rose’s debut in a home match against Dortmund (3-0). Since then Leipzig have suffered two defeats, one against Real Madrid in the Champions League (0-2) as well as against Rose’s ex club Gladbach (0-3), where the “Red Bulls“ weren’t even able to score a goal. From VfL’s point of views Leipzig’s losing streak could go on a little longer, especially on Saturday. It won’t be anything but an easy task as the record shows seven defeats for Bochum in the seven fixtures between both sides so far. But, we’ll see - there’s always a first for everything!
VfL still has to wait for its first win of the season after head coach Thomas Letsch's debut. In Leipzig, the hosts were clearly superior from the start. The result was also clear in the end, with the Blue and Whites being defeated 0:4.
8th Bundesliga matchday of the 2022/23 season, VfL Bochum 1848 was the guest in Leipzig. Premiere on the sidelines for the new VfL head coach Thomas Letsch. He made two changes compared to the point win against 1. FC Köln. Horn moved into the back three, congratulations on your Bundesliga debut for VfL, Jannes! Goralski played in central midfield. Stöger and Hofmann remained on the bench for the time being.
Here's how the game went:
1' The ball is rolling. Let's go, VfL!
3' Oermann directly challenged twice, he solves twice sovereign. Werner looked for the pass into the middle, Oermann clears for a corner.
6' RB presses, but without becoming dangerous so far.
6' And there was the first big chance for the hosts. Werner gets the ball through and hits the far post. Lucky for us!
10' Good ball win by Soares! Our left-back sends in Holtmann, who at least manages to get a throw-in.
12' Little relief for us. This won't last long. Gamboa saves at the last moment from Werner, who is ready to shoot.
15' Next RB chance. This time it's Silva, who just misses.
15' There it is. Gamboa with the wrong pass, the ball ends up with Werner, who converts free standing. 1:0 for RB.
19' First yellow card of the game. Goes to Soares, questionable decision.
22' A VfL attack that almost succeeds. Ordets plays to Toto, who looks for Osterhage with the long ball. Unfortunately Simakan was alert and clears.
22' Penalty for Leipzig. Horn puts the leg to Nkunku, clear thing. Sees the yellow card for it.
23' 2:0 for Leipzig. Riemann has smelled a corner, but Nkunku's shot is too well placed.
26' Szoboslai's shot is well saved by Riemann. Corner awarded.
29' Barely half an hour gone, still not running. We don't get into the duels, have little relief. But there is still enough time to turn the game around. Let's go, VfL!
29' Soares with the next foul. Nothing serious, but must now be careful.
32' Long ball from Leipzig. Dangerous, but Riemann plays along and grabs the ball in time.
35' First change for us. Masovic comes in, the red-endangered Soares goes down.
39' We have almost no possession. It's going to be a long 50 minutes.
40' A hint of relief. But unfortunately Zolli's pass to Holtmann doesn't arrive.
44' Strong save by Masovic. He saves a great chance of the hosts with a diving header.
Half-time: We go into the break with a 0:2 deficit. Heavy fare, that was a long 45 minutes. Leipzig scored twice early on, offensively we had almost no relief. The best thing is that the game is not yet completely decided.
46' Second half underway. Three changes for us. Stöger, Hofmann and Antwi-Adjei come in. Goralski, Zoller and Horn stay out.
50' Progress so far: haven't allowed another RB chance. Defensively, we seem a bit more compact.
51' A "little shot" from Werner. No problem for Riemann to hold on to it.
52' Good attack! First Gamboa crosses from the right, then Osterhage from the left. Antwi-Adjei unfortunately doesn't get his head to it in the best possible way in each case.
53' 3:0 for RB. Fits today. Silva hits the post, the ball bounces off Riemann's back to Werner. He only has to push it in.
60' Riemann is challenged, but makes a confident save for a corner.
63' Next penalty for Leipzig. Gamboa hits Halstenberg on the foot, unfortunately again the right decision.
64' Lucky! Nkunku only hits the far post. It remains 3:0 for RB.
69' Holtmann with the first VfL goal this afternoon. Stöger has served our winger with a nice diagonal ball, Holtmann takes a tight shot, just a bit too central.
71' World-class save from Riemann! Prevents worse with his save against Werner.
74' Much excitement for nothing. Nkunku falls, wants the third penalty for RB. But it was not a punishable foul by Ordets, referee Florian Badstübner sees the same.
77' Riemann shows a great performance today. Always plays along when it matters. Once again he clears the ball a good 30 meters from the box.
81' Nice cross from Holtmann. Hofmann just misses, but there is a corner kick for us.
83' At least we have a few offensive actions.
85' But there is Leipzig again. Forsberg to Nkunku, now the French international scores after all. 4:0.
90' There is no stoppage time here, which is a good thing.
Full-time: It's clear. Leipzig was at least one size too big today, we must honestly acknowledge. Continue. Next Saturday, Eintracht Frankfurt comes to the Vonovia Ruhrstadion (Saturday, October 08, 15:30).
VfL Bochum 1848: Riemann - Gamboa, Soares (35. Masovic), Goralski (46. Stöger), Osterhage, Losilla, Zoller (46. Hofmann), Oermann, Holtmann, Ordets, Horn (46. Antwi-Adjei)
Goals: 1:0 Werner (15th), 2:0 Nkunku (23rd, penalty), 3:0 Werner (53rd), 4:0 Nkunku (85th).