The 12th edition of the Tipico Bundesliga saw the resumption of ‘normal service’ as Red Bull Salzburg finally jumped back up to top spot, albeit on goal difference. Hütter’s side were fortunate to end the week on top as his former side SV Grödig, beat league rivals Wolsberger AC away from home in a game the Wolves felt they should have won. Elsewhere, the Viennese sides both failed to secure victories, in what continues to be a frustrating season for them. Despite Rapid’s dominance, in a game where they had 65% of total possession, they were unable to break the deadlock. City rivals, Austria Vienna finished the weekend in 7th place in the league. With the Violet’s Sporting Director, Thomas Parits, announcing this will be his farewell season, it remains to be seen if Gerald Baumgartner will remain as manager to say his goodbyes, as long as they languish well below expectations. Here are the full round-up of results:
Red Bull Salzburg 4-2 SV Ried
SK Rapid Vienna 0-0 FC Admira Wacker
SC Rheindorf Altach 1-1 FK Austria Vienna
Wolfsberger AC 1-2 SV Grödig
SC Wiener Neustadt 0-0 SK Sturm Graz.
#1 Andreas Leitner – Leitner has emerged this season as one of the brightest prospects in the league. Against Rapid Vienna he was in imperious form, commanding his area and leading from the back. The 20-year old Austrian has kept 4 clean sheets this season for a side that were tipped to be in a season-long relegation battle and has even starred for the Austrian U21’s too. In the Ernst-Happel Stadion, Leitner made four saves, as well as intercepting 5 crosses. The stats don’t tell the full story though. Leitner acted with confidence, catching when he could and punching when under pressure, he simply didn’t put a foot wrong in this game.
#2 Richard Windbichler – Windbichler is easily one of my favourite defenders in the league, although in recent times, he had been deployed by Walter Knaller in a defensive midfield role. However, against Rapid, he returned to his natural centre-half position and acted like a brick wall. The 23-year old ensured that the home side wouldn’t have their own way in this game, producing 5 blocks, 5 clearances and 3 interceptions, many of which were vital. The greatest indicator of how well Windbichler played is that Rapid’s top scorer, Robert Berić, who has 7 league goals this season, did not have a single shot on goal. It is worth noting however, that Windbichler had a great ‘partner in crime’, with Christoph Schößwendter also having a very strong game in the heart of the Admira defence.
#3 Jonathan Soriano – I realised when I first started this blog, that some players would often feature, however, despite trying to include as many different players as possible, sometimes they just have to make the list. The Spaniard achieved another 2 goals in this game, taking his tally to 14 from 11 games. On top of this, he also set-up Marcel Sabitzer for his second goal, taking Soriano’s assist tally to 5. In the midst of this, he also managed to blow a perfect opportunity to get his hattrick by missing the target with a penalty- something he has become infamous for! Both his goals were typical Soriano goals. His first goal came following excellent work down the right hand side by Christoph Leitgeb, who found the Spaniard completely unmarked. The 29-year old then took Salzburg back in the lead to 2-1 as he followed up a Massimo Bruno shot that hit the post, to finish home with the ball bouncing to an awkward height. Had he scored from the spot, it would have marked a flawless performance by the league’s top scorer.
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