Konrad Laimer: Resurgent RB Leipzig's MD28 Man of the Matchday
While Christopher Nkunku has been taking most of the headlines during RB Leipzig's recent revival, Konrad Laimer was one of the players flying under the radar. That was until his Man of the Matchday performance against Borussia Dortmund...
The 4-1 humbling of title hopefuls Dortmund was Leipzig's eighth league win in 11 games since the turn of the year and their sole defeat in that time came in the form of a thrilling 3-2 loss at leaders Bayern Munich.
Nkunku has chipped in with nine goals and six assists in 2022 and the Frenchman's form has been imperious since being repurposed as a striker.
But even Nkunku - with his two assists and a goal - was ever so slightly overshadowed at Signal Iduna Park by Laimer, who hit each of his side's first two goals before teeing up Nkunku for the third to wrap up the win after less than an hour.
Watch: Dortmund 1-4 Leipzig - in 60 seconds!
"It's nice," said a humble Laimer after the game. "You can be proud of yourself when you win 4-1 here, take the three points and give that kind of performance, because it's not easy to win here.
"It's very tough [to win here]. We did well for long periods and we're just happy to have taken all three points."
Those three points are crucial in Leipzig's bid for a top-four finish, earning them a three-point gap over Freiburg in fifth and keeping Die Roten Bullen within a victory of Bayer Leverkusen in third.
It is quite a turnaround for a Leipzig side who started the new calendar year outside the top-half in 10th place, and the Laimer-inspired victory over Dortmund could prove reinvigorating for the remainder of this season and beyond.
Leipzig face Atalanta in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals this week and meet European rivals Hoffenheim and Leverkusen either side of the second leg with the Italians, as well as having a DFB Cup semi-final to contest - all in April.
And Laimer believes that the win over Dortmund - and the dominant manner of it - can prove reaffirming for the team as Leipzig look to guarantee Champions League football next term, and end this one with the first major trophy in their history: "This can give us a confidence boost for the rest of April because we still have important tasks ahead of us."
With Leipzig starting the season with the hopes of contending the Bundesliga title, the team have at least shown what they are capable of since Domenico Tedesco took over. And in the likes of Laimer and Nkunku, they have some seriously talented footballers driving them forward.
Once again, things look bright at the Red Bull Arena.
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