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In defence of RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig are unloved for a good reason, but they deserve respect for trusting young players, promoting exciting managers and challenging Bayern Munich’s hegemony

By Jason Humphreys for Englische Woche

The headlines from the Bundesliga last weekend belonged to Eintracht Frankfurt and rightly so. They had just trounced Bayern Munich 5-1 and ended Niko Kovac’s brief reign. Meanwhile, a few hundred miles to the east, Mainz 05 had their backsides handed to them by RB Leipzig in a game that finished 8-0 to the hosts. Although not quite as spectacular as hammering the champions, the emphatic victory was exactly what Leipzig needed after four league games without a win. The scoreline was the latest reminder that another horse has entered the race for the Bundesliga title.

After Leipzig’s recent mini-slump, Julian Nagelsmann had demanded a reaction from his players. He got it. The 8-0 victory came days after his team had beaten Wolfsburg 6-1 in the cup. And those results were bookended by home and away wins against Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League, which put Leipzig top of their group and well placed to reach the knockout phase for the first time.

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