Red Bull Salzburg may have secured the Austrian Bundesliga last week but they got to lift the trophy at home after a 5-2 win over SK Sturm Graz. An alternate lineup did the trick as goals came from unlikely sources like Karim Adeyemi, Sekou Koita and Mergim Berisha.
"I am really pleased, mostly for the boys," said manager Jesse Marsch about his team's performance. "Their attitude has always been top. They put so much hard work in. It is easy to be the coach here in truth. We will really enjoy it today with the staff and family."
Salzburg started the first half with their usual high-energy offense. Patson Daka danced circles around the defense but couldn't beat the Sturm keeper. His effort produced a rebound but that second chance hit the post to keep the game scoreless. The opponents didn't keep that from deterring their own efforts as a deflected shot gave goalkeeper Carlos Miguel Coronel some trouble. The 23-year-old Brazilian was forced into a diving save to keep his team from an early deficit.
The scoring eventually opened in the 22nd minute when Daka again broke down the Sturm defense and passed the ball across the face of goal to Adeyemi. The German teenager buried ball into the back of the net for his first goal as a Salzburg player. Jerome Onguene doubled the lead in the 53rd minute, shooting a loose ball into the net in front of goal. Dominik Szoboszlai, Koita and Berisha would add to the lead, making it an easy time before the final whistle.
Afterwards it was all celebrations as Salzburg were handed the Austrian Bundesliga trophy. The celebration continued from earlier in the week as they now look to next season and another trip to the UEFA Champions League.
"It was a great season for the whole team," said midfielder Zlatko Junuzovic. "The determination, mentality and what we achieved were extraordinary. We managed all this despite the huge pressure weighing on us. That is fantastic. We are pleased to be able to get to lift the trophy."