- Leipzig unbeaten after Matchday 6.
- Fearless approach is causing opponents problems.
- Ralph Hasenhüttl has a wealth of young talent at his disposal.
Fifth in the table, still unbeaten and with nine points in the bank: Six games into their debut Bundesliga campaign, RB Leipzig have wasted little time adjusting to life at German football's top table.
Widely tipped to flourish from the off, the nascent heavyweights from Saxony's biggest city are thus far doing justice to that prognosis, having become the first Bundesliga newcomer not to lose any of their first six league matches. Leipzig's spectacular rise through the ranks since starting out at fifth-tier level in 2009 has not been universally well received by the nation's football community but the team's all-action attacking style has garnered praise from all quarters in recent weeks.
After starting with a 2-2 draw at 1899 Hoffenheim, Leipzig enjoyed a home bow to remember, capping a spirited display against Borussia Dortmund with Naby Keita's 89th-minute winner. They followed up on that with a thumping 4-0 success at Hamburger SV, after which came successive 1-1 draws against Champions League contestants Borussia Mönchengladbach and away to early-season form horses 1. FC Köln. Last time out, Yussuf Poulsen scored the winner as Ralph Hasenhüttl's young troops beat FC Augsburg 2-1.
“They clocked up 120 kilometres, that's an awful lot. When they win the ball, they get it up the pitch very quickly – and when they lose it, they're right on top of you looking to get it back,” enthused Gladbach head coach Andre Schubert, “It's relatively easy to read Leipzig's game – but they play it exceptionally well.”
The Foals' sporting director Max Eberl believes the Bundesliga new boys already have what it takes to “challenge at the top end,” citing the club as “a particular and distinct threat. Leipzig have money – and a clear-cut plan.” For his part, Hasenhüttl is unsurprisingly focused on keeping it all in perspective.
While “It's no bad thing in itself to earn a bit of respect,” the 49-year-old Austrian tactician has been at pains to stress that, “we don't see ourselves anywhere near making the Europa League yet – even if our young team are developing at a breathtaking speed.”
That holds for the club in its entirety, given that its history stretches back all of seven years. As to the future of RB Leipzig, it seems an increasingly likely scenario that it will be played out for the most part at the upper end of the Bundesliga spectrum.