Football

We’re no one-hit wonder, says RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann

RB Leipzig's 3-2 victory over Manchester United not only propelled the German side into the Champions League knockout stage for the second straight season, but also proved their run to last season's semi-finals was no fluke, said coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Needing a win to advance from Group H, Leipzig powered to a 3-0 lead and survived a late United comeback to reach the last 16 yesterday morning (Singapore time), while eliminating Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

Nagelsmann said beating United would come as a psychological boost to his side.

"The win is very important for the boys so that they realise that we were not a one-hit wonder last year (season), that we advanced again to the knockout stage," Nagelsmann said.

"It is also important to keep players at the club and to find new players."

The 33-year-old tactician's exciting brand of football, which took them to the brink of last season's final, has been further improved, despite the departure of top striker Timo Werner to Chelsea.

The knockout rounds begin in February, though Leipzig will have to wait for the result of PSG's postponed game against Istanbul Basaksehir to see if they finish top or second in Group H.

Nagelsmann said his team had matured from last season.

Besides reaching the last 16 of Europe's elite competition again, they are also third in the Bundesliga, only two points behind leaders Bayern Munich.

They were also able to thrive despite a demanding schedule, coming into the United game on the back of a gruelling 3-3 draw with Bayern, but showing no signs of fatigue.

"In the league, we have not dropped too many points and the players have matured and are hungry," said the German coach. "The boys believe in themselves and they just keep marching." - REUTERS

Football