The result was clear, as was the message. Not only thanks to an unleashed triple packer Patson Daka, soccer series champion Red Bull Salzburg made a clear statement in the title fight on Sunday with a 4: 2 in the league battle against pursuers Rapid. The superiority against the alleged challenger was clear and could also be seen as the answer to the “Bulls” 2-0 draw three days earlier against Villarreal. In any case, nationally one remains the clear benchmark.
Salzburg now ranks six points ahead of their first rival Rapid, but given the fact that they were four laps away, the beauty of the evening for coach Jesse Marsch lay in a different circumstance. “More important than the table for me is simply the feeling that we were able to act so dominantly against the strongest opponent,” said Marsch, who rated the sovereign performance even higher after the disappointment in the first leg of the sixteenth-finals of the Europa League. “We needed this good reaction,” said the American, whose team needed a real show of strength on Thursday in Villarreal.
Daka three-pack: Salzburg shows Rapid the limits
In any case, the performance on Sunday should give hope, even if the comparison is limping, as Marsch said. Without Sekou Koita and Mohamed Camara, who were banned for doping, without Maximlian Wöber, who was still ailing, and with a personnel change shortly before kick-off – Brenden Aaronson came for the injured Noah Okafor: Salzburg could not be disrupted by this either. And so Rapid, who had come with some hopes, was only able to imagine itself lucky for a few seconds. Taxiarchis Fountas had scored the alleged 1-0 after a quick counterattack (28th), but a questionable offside decision prevented real cheers and cleared the way for the hosts’ clear victory.
Because apart from about 20 minutes in the middle of the first half, Salzburg had the game completely under control – thanks to a lot of aggressiveness and thanks to excessive offensive power that overwhelmed Rapid. In addition to Daka, who single-handedly made the decision with his three goals to 1-0, 2-0 and 3-0 (30th, 64th, 70th), Mergim Berisha acted as a four-time assistant for Daka and the substitute Karim Adeyemi (92nd) emerged, Aaronson also pointed out. Daka took over the lead from teammate Koita (14) in the goalscorer list with 16 goals this season.
“It was a dominant evening for us, an extremely important moment this season,” said Marsch, who on Sky all rumors that he could become the successor of his Salzburg predecessor Marco Rose at Mönchengladbach in the summer, vehemently opposed. “I haven’t heard from Gladbach. I haven’t had any contact with any other club.
The gate is closed. I worked here in Salzburg. ”
March over rumors of change: “I haven’t heard from Gladbach”
The faint hopes of being able to “grab” the series champion this year are currently buried. “Ultimately, we have to accept the strength of Salzburg”, explained a somewhat disillusioned Kühbauer and looked back on recent encounters, where only 1-1 in the first duel of this season can be seen as a small sense of achievement. “We tried so much against Salzburg, but in the end Salzburg was always better,” said Kühbauer.
In the most recent duel, “we didn’t succeed in what we intended to close the center, because they are incredibly dangerous and incredibly fast,” the Burgenlander analyzed. “We lost the balls too quickly.
The team simply didn’t have enough ideas and the courage, and the strength in a duel wasn’t that great either. ”
The inclusion of Srdan Grahovac for Fountas at the break also had no effect. “Even then, the team did not bring what we set out to do.”
Kühbauer collected despite defeat: “Can it do better”
But he did not want to go too hard with his troops after the first defeat in 2021. “I found the team to be capable of delivering a good game here,” said Kühbauer and emphasized: “We can do better.” However, Salzburg is just the league breakout. “
The y’re just amazing quality, they spent eleven million on Okafor. I haven’t spent that in my entire time since I’ve been with Rapid, ”he cited a financial example.
To oust Salzburg from the throne, you would need “a flow like Austria Wien back then (2012/13, note), but the gap has widened compared to that time because Salzburg has done well for years,” says Kühbauer. “You have the best opportunities over 32 rounds.”
Kühbauer is not looking for excuses: “You were far better than us today”