Hee-Chan Hwang makes a noticeable impact off the bench as RB Leipzig reach the final of the DFB Pokal with a win over Werder Bremen.
It was not the most entertaining start to the game, but RB Leipzig looked like the better side. They controlled possession, with Werder Bremen more than content with sitting deep and inviting pressure. However, the hosts started to up the gear after half-hour mark, looking quite dangerous on the counter. They even ended up winning a penalty, but the decision was overturned thanks to the help of VAR, as the two teams drew goalless at half-time.
Leipzig required time settling into the game after the restart, but they eventually did – causing multiple problems for the Bremen backline. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t enough, thanks to some shoddy finish and a brilliant performance from Bremen ‘keeper Jiri Pavlenka.
The game went into extra time, where substitute Hee-chan Hwang made an immediate impact by scoring in the 93rd minute. It was shortly cancelled by Bremen, though, through Leonardo Bittencourt. There was, however, still enough time for more drama as Emil Forsberg came on as a sub to score the winner and steal a late victory.
And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the RB Leipzig players in their narrow win over Werder Bremen this evening.
Peter Gulacsi: 7/10
Peter Gulacsi was rock solid in the Leipzig goal, showcasing excellent positional awareness to prevent the Bremen runners from finding a goalscoring opportunity. He also looked quite reliable with his punches and claims. And though he was ultimately beaten by Leonardo Bittencourt, the RBL ‘keeper certainly deserved a clean sheet.
Ibrahima Konate: 7/10
Ibrahima Konate took his time settling into the game, enduring some nervy moments against Bremen runners. He eventually established himself in the second half, imposing his dominance with some excellent tackles and strong defending that denied the opposition from creating too many clear cut opportunities.
Dayot Upamecano: 6/10
It was not a clinical performance from Dayot Upamecano, who was overwhelmed by Josh Sargent on a couple of occasions. It appears the centre-back wasn’t expecting Bremen to come out so strongly, and notably made a grave error in ET that allowed Bittencourt to equalise. He was solid otherwise.
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Willi Orban: 7.5/10
Willi Orban was perhaps the pick of the Leipzig defenders, using his experience and leadership to good effect. Indeed, the Hungarian international marshalled the backline well, keeping things neat and tidy while also making some darting runs forward in an attempt to influence the approach play.
Nordi Mukiele: 6.5/10
Nordi Mukiele was involved in a nervous moment as his clash with Davie Selke led to the penalty in the first half. However, the decision was rightly overturned thanks to assistance from VAR. The defender otherwise enjoyed a decent game, making some overlapping runs that helped Leipzig stretch the play.
Amadou Haidara: 6/10
Amadou Haidara had a quite active first half. He was involved a lot in possession but also made a couple of rash tackles that earned him a yellow. Walking on a tightrope, the midfielder was eventually subbed off at half-time as Julian Nagelsmann did not opt to take any risks.
Kevin Kampl: 7.5/10
Kevin Kampl was one of the star performers for RB Leipzig as he dictated possession with his crisp passing and ability to find teammates in the final third. The former Dortmund man had some clumsy moments, but he more than made up for it with his control over the game. The midfielder ultimately capped off a brilliant display by providing a delicious pre-assist for Forsberg’s late winner.
kevin kampl pic.twitter.com/zVcFhjwxTl
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Marcel Sabitzer: 6.5/10
Marcel Sabitzer did not enjoy the best of games upon his return to full fitness. Although the Austrian was not particularly bad, in regards to his ball distribution or chance creation, he lacked that flair and tempo to his game. He was, therefore, hooked off during the final phase of normal time, in favour of the more attacking Yussuf Poulsen.
Angelino made a solid impression on the left hand side. He was a constant threat for the Bremen backline due to his ability to whip in dangerous crosses into the box – some of them even leading to goalscoring opportunities. Tried his best to create chances for his team, but wasn’t helped by some excellent defending from the opposition.
Dani Olmo: 7.5/10
Dani Olmo found himself in the wars in the final third as he fought hard to gain control of the pitch, up against Christian Gross. The Spaniard initially had a tough start but settled in brilliantly. In fact, the former La Masia product was one of Leipzig’s chief chance creators during the deep stages of the game.
Alexander Sorloth: 6.5/10
Alexander Sorloth was denied early on by Jiri Pavlenka, which signified the fact that it was not his day at all. Although the Norwegian did provide the physical and aerial presence inside the box, he was unable to find the back of the net, as his poor record in German football continues.
Christopher Nkunku: 6.5/10
Christopher Nkunku tried to make things happen, offering excellent ball progression in the final third after replacing Haidara at the start of the second half. It was certainly not his best performance of the season, but the Frenchman did well to maintain pressure on the opposition before making way for the eventual winner in Forsberg.
Yussuf Poulsen: 7.5/10
Yussuf Poulsen’s introduction in the 74th minute was important for Leipzig, as the forward offered the aerial prowess that made life a little more difficult for the Bremen defenders. He notably assisted Hwang’s opener by combining well in the final third.
Hee-chan Hwang: 8/10
Hee-chan Hwang was the game-changer for RB Leipzig after coming on for Sorloth in the 90th minute. He scored just two minutes into the ET and assisted the late winner from Forsberg with a brilliant headed pass inside the box.
Hee-Chan Hwang (25|🇰🇷) vs. Werder Bremen:
•2 Oportunidades creadas
•1 Pase clave
•7/8 Duelos ganados
👉Rompió el 0 para el RB Leipzig y asistió de manera magistral a Emil Forsberg.
El coreano se destapó en la DFB Pokal. pic.twitter.com/lpJesc5Q25
— Express Futbol (@ExpressFutbolCL) April 30, 2021
Benjamin Henrichs: 6.5/10
Benjamin Henrichs looked agile and dynamic after coming on for Angelino during the final phase of the game. Helped Leipzig maintain control over the game.
Emil Forsberg: N/A
A late replacement for Nkunku and the Player to Watch in our match preview, Emil Forsberg scored a late winner just a few minutes after coming on. Did not play enough to warrant a rating, though.