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Leipzig Fall Back to Earth with Loss to Gladbach


 RB Leipzig have had a rough week, losing 5-0 to Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League and now dropping out of first place in the Bundesliga following a 1-0 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach. The game was overall a defensive performance where neither team appeared willing to open up the game offensively. For that reason, Leipzig found themselves on the losing end as they blinked first in a game of defensive football chicken.

"In the first 15 minutes of the second half we weren't structured enough," said manager Julian Nagelsmann. "Overall we didn't create enough pressure on the opposition over 90 minutes and lost possession too many times via too many long balls. But there are worse things than losing to Gladbach."

While Nagelsmann is correct that Monchengladbach are one of the better structured teams in the Bundesliga, Leipzig were still favored given their recent form. The team had not lost in league play and able to score goals from many options since the departure of Timo Werner. Despite their recent form, the team lacked creativity and now finds themselves chasing familiar foes in Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund retaking the top of the table. 

Whether this is where Leipzig truly belongs remains to be seen. They have spent the last two season showing great promise but falling short of being true competition for the league's two biggest teams. Losses to Monchengladbach are a glaring example of where they are relative to where they'd like to be, putting pressure on the East German club to produce in big games against the teams above them.

Their next test will come midweek when Leipzig host last year's UEFA Champions League finalists Paris Saint Germain. It is a rematch from last year's semifinal and a chance for Nagelsmann to prove that his team has improved from the last performance. It is also another chance to solidify the growing feeling that perhaps Leipzig isn't as good as they appear.

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