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Red Bull Arena Salzburg, 3rd October 2021
Andreas Wieland’s unbeaten start in charge of LASK came to an end as Red Bull Salzburg picked up a 3-1 victory at the Red Bull Arena. Despite LASK’s early pressure, goals from Nicolas Capaldo, Maximilian Wöber and Karim Adeyemi made certain of Salzburg’s 10th consecutive victory of the season – however, the match ended on a positive note for the Linzers with a lovely goal from Christoph Monschein deep into injury time.
The two clubs had fought competitive duels over the last couple seasons, and the Black and Whites headed into the match in good form with an unbeaten record over the last five games. Since Wieland’s arrival at the Raiffeisen Arena, the Linzers have been rejuvenated but the clash at the Red Bull Arena was undoubtedly his toughest task to date. As was the case against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday, LASK were without Andreas Gruber, Mamoudou Karamoko, Tobias Lawal and Philipp Wiesinger, as well as Yannis Letard who was a doubt after being substituted early on Thursday night.
With the travelling support in fine voice on a balmy autumnal day, LASK began with intent and almost took they lead as Florian Flecker tested his luck from distance, but the shot just drifted wide at the final moment. The early pressure continued as James Holland attempted an unorthodox header that took a massive deflection off Benjamin Sesko but safely into the hands of Philipp Köhn.
The best chance of the opening exchanges came to Alex Schmidt, a former UEFA Youth League winner with Salzburg, who climbed highest and knocked his header onto the crossbar after a lovely cross. Immediately following this, Peter Michorl dragged his shot wide – a very positive start for the Linzers.
However, Salzburg’s abundance of attacking talent began to shine through with a lightning speed counter that ended with Brenden Aaronson laying the ball into the path of Sesko who fired over the bar from close range. Adeyemi – the Bundesliga’s joint top scorer – joined the action and put the ball inches wide with a dinked effort over the outcoming Alex Schlager.
The deadlock was broken on the 19th minute as the hosts struck via the Argentine midfielder Capaldo -who caressed the ball into the corner of the net from an Aaronson assist – after another quick breakaway from Salzburg’s frontline.
The experienced Holland tried to fire the Athletes back into the game with a near post volley from a corner, but Salzburg went down the other end of the pitch with pace and Schlager denied Adeyemi with a super save when the youngster had time to pick his spot. As the first half came to a climax, Husein Balic cut from the inside and tested Köhn with an awkward shot that almost flummoxed the keeper.
Unfortunately for LASK, with only seconds left of the opening period Wöber connected with Adeyemi’s cross and headed for a second after a deflection had manoeuvred the ball into his running path.
Andreas Wieland’s side looked to get themselves back into the game in the second but were limited to a long-distance effort from Michorl that sailed over the bar. The 26-year-old was LASK’s main attacking outlet shortly after, but his attempted volley sliced over and wide.
Before the hour the hosts added a third goal of the evening as Rasmus Kristensen was released down the right and cut the ball back to Adeyemi who couldn’t miss from inside the six-yard box.
The reigning champions kept pushing for more and almost added a fourth on numerous occasions via a long-range Kilian Ludewig effort, Junior Adamu should’ve scored with an open goal in front of him and Kristensen and Noah Okafor were denied by Schlager on multiple occasions.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic however as Christoph Monschein and Dario Maresic conspired to miss a great chance but shot wide. With just over 10 minutes left, Köhn was forced into a spectacular save from Peter Michorl who lashed a venomous strike from outside the box. Substitutes Marvin Potzmann and Hyunseok Hong combined on the counter but the former’s finish left a lot to be desired.
Deep into injury time Christoph Monschein finally added a LASK name onto the scoresheet after a great combination with Marko Raguz saw the former Austria Vienna man slot the ball into the bottom corner – a deserved final flourish for Wieland’s men.
LASK battled hard throughout the contest, but it was unfortunately another bitter day at the Red Bull Arena for the Black and Whites – however Wieland will take heart in the mentality of his players to keep pushing to the final whistle.
By Simon Clark from The Other Bundesliga (@OtherBundesliga)
Red Bull Salzburg: Köhn; Onguene, Wöber, Bernardo (Ludewig 28‘), Kristensen, Camara (Diambou 76‘), Seiwald (Sucic 76‘), Sesko (Okafor 61‘), Capaldo, Aaronson, Adeyemi (Adamu 61‘)
Unused subs: Mantl, Bernede
Goals: Capaldo 19‘, Wöber 45+2‘, Adeyemi 57‘
LASK: Schlager; Maresic, Boller, Filipovic (Luckeneder 58‘), Renner (Potzmann 69‘), Michorl (Hong 80‘), Holland, Flecker, Horvath, Balic (Monschein 69‘), Schmidt (Raguz 58‘)
Unused subs: Gebauer, Grgic
Goal: Monschein 90+3’