RB Leipzig stumbled to a disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Hertha Berlin Wednesday. The two traded goals from corners in the first half, with Marko Grujic scoring first for the visitors before Lukas Klostermann equalized.
Leipzig went down a man after left back Marcel Halstenberg received a second yellow, but still took the lead minutes later as Patrik Schick ripped a shot that slipped out of Berlin keeper Rune Jarstein's hands and rolled into the back of the net.
Substitute Ademola Lookman fouled Berlin's Matheus Cunha, who was making his return to RB Leipzig for the first time after leaving in the January transfer window, in the box with eight minutes remaining and Krzysztof Piatek cooly converted the penalty to equalize.
The game ended in a draw, keeping Leipzig in third place in the league and killing any slight glimmer of home for a first Bundesliga title.
Leipzig Attack Sputters
Since the league restart, Leipzig have taken a step forward with each subsequent performance. But Wednesday's draw was nothing short of two steps back.
Leipzig normally create a high number of chances against their opposition either on counter attacks or with sharp, crisp passing to carve through the defense. But against Hertha, Leipzig created zero big chances and even got outshot 12 to 11 according to SofaScore.
On top of that, Leipzig only managed four shots on target, one of them being a Patrick Schick shot muffed by Berlin keeper Rune Jarstein which trickled out of his hands and into the back of the net.
To add to the less than stellar performance, Leipzig only succeeded at three of their 17 crosses, a horrendous rate of 18%.
Overall, it was an uncharacteristically poor performance on the attacking side of the ball for Leipzig and it was evident how much they missed forward Yussuf Poulsen, who is out for an extended period with a ligament injury.
Patrick Schick, on loan from Roma, certainly tried to fill Poulsen's shoes. But losing possession three times and only managing one shot, he, and Leipzig, failed the task at hand.
With the draw, Leipzig failed to take advantage of Borussia Dortmund's loss to Bayern Munich the previous day, remaining in third place.
Even with Poulsen out, the attack can't afford many more off days. They may have a favorable schedule remaining, only playing one team above mid table, Borussia Dortmund, but it's a tight race for the Champions League spots.
Tyler Adams Defensive Rock
Leipzig's Tyler Adams played the full 90 minutes for the first time since the restart, putting in a solid shift at right back. Normally a defensive midfielder, Adams frustrated the Hertha attack time and time again along the flank.
The US international amassed five tackles, had one clearance, and also won all six of his ground duels on the day. To go along with it, he successfully converted 92% of his passes to round out a solid performance on both sides of the ball.
Adams has proven a vital defensive weapon for manager Julian Nagelsmann. In the three matches since the restart, he's played in three different roles.
First against Freiburg, he started at right wing back with license to get forward in attack. Last weekend, he came on as a sub as a defensive midfielder and made his presence known against a weak and fading Mainz. And Wednesday, he played right back in a four with a strong showing going both ways.
Nagelsmann clearly trusts the 21 year old to do anything necessary, especially defensively, to help the team. Even before the Coronavirus stoppage, that was the case. Now, it's clear as day.
It's great that Adams is proving his worth each and every single match in different positions with different roles. The most important thing now is that he remains healthy and avoids long injury layoffs like he has suffered before.
Leipzig travel to mid-table Cologne this weekend as they continue to push for another Champions League qualification. You'd expect Leipzig to command the game well and take three points. However, they also entered the match with Hertha as huge favorites and blew it even after taking the lead down a man.
So, this weekend, anything goes. Nagelsmann will not be happy with this draw and likely have them fired up to go to Cologne and run out huge winners.