Dominik Szoboszlai made his RB Leipzig debut in a pre-season friendly win over AZ Alkmaar. - © imago
Dominik Szoboszlai made his RB Leipzig debut in a pre-season friendly win over AZ Alkmaar. - © imago

Dominik Szoboszlai makes debut as Jesse Marsch's RB Leipzig enjoy winning start

Dominik Szoboszlai made his long-awaited RB Leipzig debut as the 2020/21 Bundesliga runners-up kicked off the Jesse Marsch era with a 1-0 friendly win over AZ Alkmaar.

Szoboszlai, 20, made the switch from Red Bull Salzburg in January, having produced 26 goals and 35 assists in 83 competitive outings for his former club, but has had to bide his time to pull on a Leipzig shirt due to a groin injury that ruled him out of UEFA Euro 2020.

The moment arrived against Alkmaar on 17 July and was witnessed by 600 fans at the Stadion am Cottaweg, where the Hungary international midfielder came through a competitive first period unscathed. He was one of 10 half-time changes made by Marsch, among them match-winner Lazar Samardzic.

"We were very aggressive against the ball from the start, won good balls and then tried to transition quickly and play forward," said Marsch, Szoboszlai's former coach at Salzburg and Julian Nagelsmann's successor in the Leipzig dugout.

"We know that we're a superb team with a strong mentality. I'm very pleased with the first two weeks of pre-season, but we definitely have some work ahead of us!"

Watch: Who is Jesse Marsch?

Marsch, 47, previously worked as assistant coach to Ralf Rangnick at Leipzig in 2018/19, before taking over at Salzburg, where he won successive Austrian Bundesliga and Cup doubles. The former US international inherits a Leipzig team that finished runners-up in the Bundesliga and DFB Cup last term.

Leipzig have friendlies against Montpellier and Ajax to come, before getting their competitive campaign under way on 7 August with a DFB Cup first-round trip to Bundesliga 2 side Sandhausen. Mainz are their opponents on the opening weekend of the new Bundesliga season. Die Roten Bullen also have a third straight year of UEFA Champions League football to look forward to, with the draw for the group stage set to take place in Istanbul on 26 August.

Only founded in 2009, Leipzig are chasing their first piece of silverware since being promoted to the Bundesliga in 2016.