UEFA Champions League: Tyler Adams' 'bad mistake' puts RB Leipzig's back to the wall

Jesse Marsch's first season as head coach at RB Leipzig has not gone well.

It began when Leipzig lost three of its first four games in the Bundesliga, where it finished second last season. Its league form has improved since then, but even with two wins and two ties in its last four games, Leipzig is tied for eighth place, five points below the top four spots.

Worse, Leipzig has lost all three games in the UEFA Champions League, where it was a semifinalist just 14 months ago.

The 3-0 loss at 2021 runner-up Manchester City was not unexpected, but Leipzig's season hit a low when it blew an early lead against Belgian champion Club Brugge and lost, 2-1, at Red Bull Arena.

Despite all the problems, Marsch, who replaced Julian Nagelsmann after the young German coach was lured away by Bayern Munich, has received the backing of both management and his players. It appeared to be only a matter of time before RB Leipzig started to find the rhythm that made it one of the most feared teams in Europe for its pressing game.

On Tuesday, RB Leipzig harried Paris St. Germain at the Parc des Princes. After trailing on a Kylian Mbappe goal in the 9th minute, Leipzig recovered and took the lead, 2-1, in the 57th minute.

But for PSG keeper Keylor Navas, recovered from the injury that forced him to be substituted at halftime of the USA-Costa Rica World Cup qualifier six days earlier, Leipzig could have already been ahead by several goals before Mbappe's opener.

Then disaster hit in the 67th minute. American Tyler Adams, under pressure from Italian midfielder Marco Verratti, played a back pass that disastrously put Mbappe in on goal. Mbappe faked as he was going to shoot but laid the ball off to Lionel Messi, who scored to tie the score.

Seven minutes later, Mbappe was fouled by Mohamed Simakan, and Messi converted the resulting penalty with a Panenka to give PSG a 3-2 win. (In stoppage time, PSG was awarded a second penalty kick but Mbappe hit his shot over the goal.)

“There’s a massive difference between us and PSG," said Marsch, "but the fact that we almost made it says a lot. We need to trust this young squad.”

While PSG had a big edge in possession, it struggled with Leipzig's high pressure and was outshot, 18-12. But the French club, which was missing injured Neymar, was let off the hook by Adams' turnover.

"After taking the lead," Marsch added, "we were in a good position but made a bad mistake. Messi and Mbappe don't need much time or space to score."

He said there were a lot of positives to take away from the game:

"We were brave and played well out of possession. We created a lot of chances and were also dangerous at set pieces. However, we’ve got our backs against the wall here, it will be difficult. We need to make fewer mistakes in the upcoming games."

Photo by Jean Catuffe/DPPI/Icon Sportswire

10 comments about "UEFA Champions League: Tyler Adams' 'bad mistake' puts RB Leipzig's back to the wall".
  1. Alex Michalakos, October 20, 2021 at 11:12 a.m.

    It was hard to tell from the fast replay but it looked like Adams' foot was possibly kicked into the ball by the PSG guy, as opposed to Adams' own pass. After the goal Adams seemed to be complaining about something.

    Still, it was almost surreal to see Marsch--the same guy I saw running by me through the parking lot with a little drawstring backpack after a Fire game many years back (and I wanted to yell something critical at him)--celebrating taking the lead over PSG, a team including Messi, Mbappe and Neymar

  2. Anthony Petgrave, October 20, 2021 at 11:19 a.m.

    ...The fact that Red Bulls played Paris as well as they did was unexpected. These teams are oil and water. Mbappes pace was the straw that put PSG over the line, IMHO.

    Tyler was also poor in his passing when in the attacking 3rd, IMHO. To my eye, Jesse played him too high up the pitch. Though he was aggressive in closing down the out ball, once PSG broke the initial press, they were on the front foot, off to the races, especially Mbappe.

    The difference in quality between the sides was telling yet RB held their own for most on the contest. I can only hope Jesse doesn't loose the locker room with the toll he demands from his players, JMHO.

  3. humble 1, October 20, 2021 at 12:10 p.m.

    Just like anouncer said, dwelled too long.  PSG were in a very intense high press, overloading his side, weak side was wide open.  Fairness to Tyler, back three could have done better, yeah, caught off guard, and, M&M are coming at you full speed, but still give a foul get ball side on Messi.  Lpz were not handing that press well as a unit, it broke down before it got to Tyler, probably this was something Poch and staff noticed, that Lpz were not solid against intense high press, and they planned to spring in later in the game.  If so, could not have worked better, executed to perfection.

  4. frank schoon replied, October 20, 2021 at 1:06 p.m.

    Humble, there was no excuse for what Adams did. As a coach that would have driven me nuts.There was no reason for him to try and hold on to the ball when he had A teammate wide open just a few meters behind him. (Check out the video)Adams needs to know his limitations ,especially at  that level.  

  5. James Madison, October 20, 2021 at 2:07 p.m.

    If you are going to get on someone's case, how about the players that fouled to give Messi the winning penalty and Mbappe one he missed.

  6. frank schoon, October 20, 2021 at 4:48 p.m.

    James, fouls can happen during the progress of trying to stop or prevent a player from scoring by being less than perfect in one's execution,  but a stupid action, especially in your own third while you have a solution the outlet pass to a wide open man behind you could have been easily avoided...

  7. Philip Carragher, October 20, 2021 at 5:57 p.m.

    It looks like Adams got caught between two minds and ended up leaving the ball behind him. Momentary confusion that got punished.

  8. frank schoon replied, October 20, 2021 at 7:14 p.m.

    Philip, I know what he was trying to do. I've done it myself. You can tell he tries to  shield the ball with his body first to establish a little machisimo on the opponent. His first action should have to pass it off to the open man but chose instead of delaying it by his macho shielding.

  9. R2 Dad, October 21, 2021 at 4:05 a.m.

    Curious if RBL is going to get any reinforcements in January. The squad is definitely lighter in talent, with a shorter bench than in the past. I wonder if they can get Aaronson to sidle on over before summer?

  10. frank schoon replied, October 21, 2021 at 9:11 a.m.

    R2, If RBL gets a new coach before the end of the year...who knows what will happen....

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