November 30, 2021

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Mats Reits: “Leipzig is not a team made of marble. But we have also improved"

Mats Reits: “Leipzig is not a team made of marble. But we have also improved”

On Wednesday, the fifth day of the match in the Group of Death, Club Brugge will receive RB Leipzig. A draw means that it will already be winter in the Europa League for sure. With the win, perhaps the highest goal remains achievable on the final day: advancing to the Champions League knockout stage for the first time. “Positions 2, 3 and 4 are still possible,” says Mats Reits, who scored the winning goal in Leipzig. “If we can avoid fourth place, we can be completely happy with this campaign.” temporary evaluation.

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Finally, winter in the Champions League: was the biggest ambition at the start of the current season. With Manchester City, PSG and RB Leipzig, Klopp then tied with the strongest potential rivals, but coach Philippe Clement nevertheless mentioned that it is also possible in this group of death to leave two of the three teams behind. After all, the best way to make a miracle possible is to believe in it and expand yourself to mobilize all the possible forces needed to make the miracle happen. Mats Ritts agrees, “It’s nice to say that after you’re drawn to such a group.” “In the meantime, we also showed on the field that we really did.” What’s more: a miracle is still possible after four of the six match days. If Klopp beat RB Leipzig on Wednesday and PSG lost to Manchester City, he could finish second on December 7 at the Parc des Princes with a win. “Place 2, 3, and 4 is still possible,” Rits sums it up. “If we can avoid fourth place, we can be completely happy with this Champions League season.” A draw with RB Leipzig on Wednesday is enough for them to finish third and spend the winter in the Europa League after the new year. “This is a very important match for us, against an entire team that plays very modern football and is in better shape now than it was at the start of the season.” Rits explains that the Club has grown, too. 1. SEPTEMBER 15: Club Brugges – PSG: 1-1 Mats Reits: “What we did well at home against PSG was that we stayed in the block. We played very well, knowing that they had a lot of quality, and they had a lot.” He’s a great player, especially up front. It’s untenable to play a man against teams like this, because there are a lot of players you have to support. This won’t work. You have to do it in the zone and make sure you’re stressed. The more stressed you are, the more it becomes. Easier, because you can walk into the spaces after that. If you’re not cohesive, they’ll play right through you.” We saw that two years ago in the second leg against PSG: He came in just before the hour and went from 0-1 to 0-5. We learned from that, we showed it in the second leg in Paris (loss 1-0, editor), and now we’ve done a little better. Even though they pushed us a bit and were in control of the ball often, we wereted little and sometimes we managed to get out and be dangerous. We could even have won. I thought it was our best performance against a team of this caliber.” You only have a chance if everyone is part of the story and does their work. Because at this level you don’t have the space to allow one or two people not to do their job. You have to be able to play in matches like this in the organization and we did that in the group. We were able to accommodate PSG because everyone participated.” I remember that three years ago in Dortmund we were also able to defend compactly (0-0, editor), but then we consciously chose to build a double wall. Pull. We’ve evolved in that: we can now create four or five opportunities for ourselves. Then of course the outcome still depends on your efficiency in front of goal.” What we did against PSG was the result of our faith, our confidence and the shape of the day. We felt like we were in the match and something was possible. Is there a higher quality now than in previous years? I think so, although it’s hard to appreciate. The guys who were there also did nice detours. Take Danjuma for example: he could do something with her, right? We now have a very good team. Some players left and others entered, and those who stayed have gained a lot of European experience over the years. Charles, of course, is the prime example of someone who has made significant progress. As a deep striker, he also has the qualities of a target man, we can play the long ball, but with his running ability and speed we can also play on the counter with him. He is a very complete player with a lot of creativity.” 2. Sep 28: RB LEIPZIG-CLUB BRUGES: 1-2 “Our first half in Leipzig was the best of this campaign. We were late, just like we were at home against PSG, but we didn’t hesitate for a moment, we kept believing in our abilities and the feeling was good too: we had control of the game, we pushed them back, we got out well, created chances and scored twice. “Being left behind quickly was the worst possible scenario in Leipzig, but we still won. They didn’t start the season well, but remember they finished second in the Bundesliga and they might do it again. It’s not the marbled Germany team, is it.” Two or three years in Salzburg, another Red Bull team, we fell behind too fast, we couldn’t make a fist and it was 4-0. We know the principles of the Red Bull teams’ game: their fast transfers, their running players, their physical style with good football. If you don’t do your job, you don’t get there. But if you can play with the pressure, there’s room and things can go fast. We did it very well in the first half. They came more in the second. They were at the back and then Naturally they create more attack waves. But we didn’t get enough of it after that. Maybe because we gave too much in the first half. Since no mistake was made, it didn’t happen by itself: up front we had to work hard to practice Too much pressure on the ball. Doing it for 90 minutes is very difficult. At some point it collapses, but We did it very quickly. There was also a wastage in our game very quickly, so they were able to get the ball back quickly. The good thing about that second half was that we didn’t tire ourselves out and went into the trenches to hang on to the lead and not give up a little. Additionally, we make 1-3 on the counter via Noa. This was eventually denied for offside, but to be honest: I still don’t see an offside at that point.” 3. Oct. 19: CLUB BRUGES-MANCHESTER CITY: 1-5 “You know against a 2 team in the world: they should be in Bad day and you have to figure out a great day by yourself. But it was the opposite on that day and then it fell short. We couldn’t put our foot next to City’s for a moment, nor did we feel for a second: there was something in this. No, that’s not cute. You leave the field with a bad feeling. None of us could play our game that day. There was no one even for a moment in the match, because we were late everywhere. We’ve never felt so helpless, but it was the first time we had played against such a world class team. Two years ago we weren’t in the game for a second at Manchester United (5-0, editor), but the conditions there of course weren’t ideal either with Dele ruled out after about twenty minutes. Too little pressure on the ball. How can this be achieved? Quite simply: because of its quality. With Edersen, there is someone in goal with us who will be ten in the first division. (laughs) That alone makes it hard to pressure them. Plus they have a lot of people walking. See how those goals came in: it’s often the left or right back who gets to get past the attacker, the lying nines. Our problem was that we couldn’t get into the match because it was going too fast. They played a faster rhythm than us. Now, if your defense costs 300 million and your midfield costs 400 million, that of course isn’t entirely illogical. (laughs) All eleven players can play with ten players, and all of them are very good at handling the ball.” I think it’s great football: everything on the floor, once or twice, a lot of movement, always so many options. Is there a man in their backs? It doesn’t matter, because the ball is always hit hard and in the right way. Lots of action and everything in sync: it’s a coordinated mess and it’s hard to keep track. It’s complete football. They are a great group of players and they have a great coach. I don’t think any player cut corners. A lazy person cannot get in there.” Can you also impose chances against such a team? Yes really. But we didn’t get to that in that match because we weren’t in the lead and they were. Then you lose 99 times out of 100, maybe even 100 times out of 100. The plan was that sometimes we push too hard, but when they play through pressure, many of our players are knocked out all of a sudden… No, that’s enough not in him.” 4. November 3: Manchester City Club Brugge: 4-1 “With what we learned from the first leg, we did something different in Manchester to build more certainty: we were a little lower, with less pressure in front of us, and with an extra central defender to accommodate the people walking on Feet better. We got pressed there too, but it was a bit easier to get into a duel and get in on crosses and set up the counter. We stuck, sometimes managed to get out of the pressure and still make something ourselves. Certainly in the second half of the first half we sometimes managed to keep control, and we didn’t lose the ball right away. This was a completely different feeling than it had in the first leg. I think the result is exaggerated. “Are you also pressured at the age of sixteen?” naturally. Do you also get crosses and shots on goal? naturally. Do you have to be lucky too? naturally. But we were much better, we played a lot more than we played at home and sometimes we had the feeling that we were playing well. The only regret is that shortly after the break we got close to 1-2 via Charles and it quickly became 2-1 and 3-1 in the stages where there is no contact with the opponent in the sixteen. In fact, it was easy to avoid it. Then the game is over, of course. “I especially remember that we were also late, but we responded in the right way, we went into the game and entered the first half with a draw. I think that’s our biggest progress. It’s about the experience we’ve gained in recent years, and the belief in our abilities that we derive from what we’ve already achieved.”

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