RB Leipzig threw away another second-half home lead in the dying moments Wednesday as they drew Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-2. And by dropping two points, Leipzig failed to secure a Champions League spot for next year or take advantage of Borussia Dortmund's loss to Mainz
Another Blown Lead
Leipzig dominated the game even though they mustered only two shots on target in the first half, including a meek header from Timo Werner that was not a threat on goal whatsoever. In the early stages of the second half, Leipzig put the pedal to the metal even more.
Kevin Kampl gave Leipzig the lead with a beautiful curler in the 60th minute to open the scoring. From just outside the box on the left side, the midfielder ambitiously whipped it to the far post top corner. And somehow, it went in, sparking celebrations for the very frustrated home side.
Kampl breaking the deadlock with a bit of magic released the built-up tension in the empty stadium.
Three minutes later, defender Marcel Halstenberg on the left side of the box caressed a long cross down to his feet and laid it off centrally for Timo Werner. And Werner buried it home to double the lead.
In the 87th minute, Dusseldorf pulled one back. From the center of the box, Steven Skrzybski redirected a Marcel Sobottka shot in to the net as Leipzig's substitute defender Dayot Upamecano watched from the ground after going down easily, but not receiving a foul call from the referee.
With the pressure on two minutes into stoppage time, Dusseldorf stole a point. Mathias Jorgensen, also known as Zanka, made a near-post run on the corner kick and flicked it across the box to the far post. Andre Hoffmann ran on to it heading it home, snatching a much needed point for the relegation battling team.
Once again, Leipzig disappointingly blew a home lead late in the game to drop points.
Leipzig Immaturity Hurting Themselves
Leipzig have drawn their last five home games, which is never a recipe for success. Even worse, their last two home draws were against relegation battling teams, Paderborn and Fortuna. And the two before that came at the hands of mid-table teams Hoffenheim and Freiburg.
In the last three home draws, to Fortuna, Paderborn, and Hoffenheim in reverse chronological order, Leipzig have allowed goals in the 80th minute or later. Against Dusseldorf, both goals came after the 80th minute.
Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann boasts a young team. And a lack of focus at the end of games is a staple of immaturity. So, it comes with the territory. However, he has to find a way to stop the leakiness at the end of games.
Leipzig take on second-place Borussia Dortmund at home this weekend and travel to mid-table Augsburg for the final game of the year. Champions League qualification, while likely, is far from guaranteed after these two dropped points.
Werner's Much Needed Goal
Timo Werner struggled in the two games before this draw, coinciding with the announcement of his departure for Chelsea this summer. And matters became worse in the past 48 hours as news broke that he will skip this summer's Champions League resumption with Leipzig.
The reason? To join Chelsea. So, it seemed as though he had checked out mentally with Leipzig.
Scoring in this match, though, is huge for his confidence and for the doubters. He needed this goal to get the chip off his shoulder and to quiet the criticism.
Based on his reaction, a euphoric scream after the ball hit the back of the net, he needed this goal for himself. With it, Werner extended his goal tally to 26 in the league.
Too bad for Leipzig, they couldn't extend their top four finishes to a second year in a row. They have no one to blame but themselves.