RB Leipzig

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RBL will not consider allowing Keita to Liverpool early

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Liverpool needs help in the center of the park, but won’t be getting Naby Keita earlier than the summer.

The Reds agreed a fee for the dynamic RB Leipzig star, but the Bundesliga club says they will not consider any offers from Liverpool to get him in January.

[ MORE: MLS Conference Finalists cheat sheet ]

And that’s true regardless of whether RBL makes it to the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League, says sporting director Ralf Rangnick.

“Even if we should not reach the knockout stages of the Champions League, it would make no sense to allow Naby to join Liverpool earlier. We want to qualify for Europe again and we need Naby for that.”

RBL is back second in the Bundesliga after a slow start in league play, and the 22-year-old Keita remains one of their top players via the eye test and advanced metrics. Not a real surprise here, but an important note for Reds fans hoping for better at Anfield.

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern claims Der Klassiker; RBL goes second

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The Bavarians’ return to ascendancy under Jupp Heynckes is complete after Bayern Munich went into the Westfalenstadion and captured a 3-1 Der Klassiker win on Saturday.

[ MORE: Cherries out of drop zone ]

Dortmund had more shot attempts than its visitors, but shot attempts don’t accumulate points on the table, and BVB finds itself third in the Bundesliga. (video)

Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Bayern Munich

Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski scored first half goals to put Peter Bosz under plenty of pressure in front of that great Yellow Wall.

David Alaba made it 3-0 67th minute, and the idea of a title race in Germany is already feeling a bit like a dream.

There’s silver lining for American fans, as Christian Pulisic nutmegged Robben en route to Bayern’s lone goal, an 88th minute wonder from ex-Barcelona center back Marc Bartra.

Also… thanks to Paul Carr of ESPN for these nuggets:

RB Leipzig 2-1 Hannover 96

Test passed for RBL, who moved four points clear of Hannover and into second place with a comeback win. Jonathas put the visitors ahead, but Yannick Poulsen and Timo Werner scored in 15 second half minutes for all three points.

Freiburg 0-1 Schalke

Daniel Caligiuri scored a Bundesliga goal for the seventh-straight season, and it’s a big one. Schalke has moved level with BVB on 20 points, and five back of leaders Bayern.

Elsewhere
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Werder Bremen — Friday
Hamburg 3-1 Stuttgart
Augsburg 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Borussia Monchengladbach 1-1 Mainz
Koln vs. Hoffenheim — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Wolfsburg vs. Hertha Berlin — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 11 8 2 1 27 8 19 4-1-0 4-1-1 26
 RB Leipzig 11 7 1 3 18 13 5 4-1-0 3-0-3 22
 Borussia Dortmund 11 6 2 3 28 14 14 3-0-2 3-2-1 20
 FC Schalke 04 11 6 2 3 14 10 4 3-2-1 3-0-2 20
 Hannover 96 11 5 3 3 15 11 4 3-1-1 2-2-2 18
 Eintracht Frankfurt 11 5 3 3 13 11 2 2-1-2 3-2-1 18
 Mönchengladbach 11 5 3 3 17 19 -2 3-1-2 2-2-1 18
 Bayer Leverkusen 11 4 4 3 23 16 7 3-2-0 1-2-3 16
 FC Augsburg 11 4 4 3 16 11 5 2-2-2 2-2-1 16
 1899 Hoffenheim 10 4 4 2 17 14 3 3-2-1 1-2-1 16
 Hertha BSC Berlin 10 3 4 3 11 12 -1 3-2-1 0-2-2 13
 VfB Stuttgart 11 4 1 6 10 14 -4 4-1-0 0-0-6 13
 FSV Mainz 05 11 3 3 5 12 17 -5 3-1-2 0-2-3 12
 VfL Wolfsburg 10 1 7 2 10 13 -3 0-4-1 1-3-1 10
 Hamburger SV 11 3 1 7 10 18 -8 2-1-3 1-0-4 10
 SC Freiburg 11 1 5 5 6 21 -15 1-4-1 0-1-4 8
 Werder Bremen 11 0 5 6 4 14 -10 0-1-4 0-4-2 5
 1. FC Köln 10 0 2 8 4 19 -15 0-1-3 0-1-5 2

RB Leipzig claims they nearly had Mbappe signed at 16

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Kylian Mbappe spent his youth in the AS Monaco developmental system, and as a result, he became one of the most expensive players ever sold, moving to Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

But what if things had gone differently? According to a Bundesliga executive, they almost did. Very, very different.

[ MORE: World Cup power rankings – 9 months B.W.C. ]

RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Ragnick told German publication Bild, “We had Kylian Mbappe all but signed.” At the time of his upbringing through the ranks at Monaco, Leipzig was in the 2.Bundesliga, having been brought up two leagues by manager Alexander Zorniger, but he stepped down in February 2015, with Mbappe potentially looking to leave Monaco.

“The problem was we had just parted ways with Alexander Zorniger. We didn’t know at the time who would be our coach and how it would continue.” 16-year-old Mbappe had an idea…Ragnick himself.

If Ragnick could ensure “that I would be coach, he would entrust me with the boy immediately. But I couldn’t give him that promise already in February.”

Achim Beierlorzer took over on an interim basis, and Mbappe would stay with Monaco. Ragnick became manager in the summer, spending a year in charge and earning them promotion to the Bundesliga, but it was too late, and the rest for Mbappe is history. Ragnick would step down a year later, but stayed on as sporting director there.

Why Leipzig’s Timo Werner asked to be subbed off at Besiktas

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Confusion surrounds why Timo Werner was subbed out of RB Leipzig’s 2-0 UEFA Champions League defeat at Besiktas on Tuesday.

During the game Werner could be seen holding his ears in distress and was also handed ear plugs to put in with the incredible noise from Bestiktas’ supporters in Istanbul said to be causing him a problem.

After the game Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl confirmed that German international Werner asked to be substituted.

“Timo no longer wanted to be on the pitch because of circulation and breathing problems,” Hasenhuttl said. “But he feels better again.”

Leipzig’s manager also went on to discuss the intense atmosphere in the stadium as Besiktas have no won their opening two UCL Group G games and are on course to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League for the first-time in club history.

“We lost against the atmosphere in the first half,” Hasenhuttl added. “We could not handle it. That was definitely the main problem at the beginning. Such an atmosphere in our first away match was a bit too much for some of our players. It’s a deafening noise. It provokes stress. How can you prepare the lads for it? It’s not possible. It’s an experience you need to make. It’s hardly surprising it happens in our first Champions League season.”

Wow.

Below is a look at the atmosphere inside the Vodafone Arena after Besiktas’ victory against Leipzig as the game was also delayed following a partial floodlight failure.

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern rises; Schalke, Augsburg win on road (video)

Andreas Gebert/dpa via AP
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It remains tight atop the Bundesliga table, with six clubs within three points of leaders Hannover 96.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Borussia Dortmund can leapfrog HSV with a win over Koln on Sunday, while Bayern Munich used Saturday to show last week’s stumble at Hoffenheim was likely a fluke.

RB Leipzig 2-2 Borussia Monchengladbach

Timo Werner scored in the 17th minute and Jean-Kevin Augustin gave the hosts a second lead in the 31st minute as RB Leipzig returned to the Bundesliga after a 1-1 draw versus Monaco in the Champions League.

Thorgan Hazard converted a first half penalty for Gladbach to make it 1-1 and Lars Stindl was responsible for the side’s second equalizer. USMNT left mid Fabian Johnson was on the bench for Gladbach.

Future Liverpool mid Naby Keita made Sadio Mane‘s sending off look closer to like patty cake:

Werder Bremen 1-2 Schalke

Lamine Sane gave the hosts a 20th minute lead, one that would last just two minutes. An own goal made it level, and Leon Goretzka scored in the 83rd minute to give Schalke all the points. U.S. youth player Weston McKennie was an unused sub for the visitors.

Bayern Munich 4-0 Mainz

It was a night for the old boys, as Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller joined brace-bagging Robert Lewandowski in boosting Bayern back into a winning position.

 

Eintracht Frankfurt 1-2 Augsburg

Caiuby’s 76th minute insurance goal turned out to be needed, but the hosts only pulled one back the rest of the way. USMNT back Timmy Chandler went 90 minutes in the loss.

Stuttgart 1-0 Wolfsburg

Chadrac Akolo’s 42nd minute marker held up for Stuttgart.

Elsewhere
Hannover 96 2-0 Hamburg — Friday
Hoffenheim vs. Hertha Berlin — 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Freiburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Borussia Dortmund vs. Koln — Noon ET Sunday

Standings

 

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Hannover 96 4 3 1 0 5 1 4 2-0-0 1-1-0 10
 Bayern Munich 4 3 0 1 9 3 6 2-0-0 1-0-1 9
 FC Schalke 04 4 3 0 1 7 3 4 2-0-0 1-0-1 9
 Borussia Dortmund 3 2 1 0 5 0 5 1-0-0 1-1-0 7
 RB Leipzig 4 2 1 1 8 5 3 1-1-0 1-0-1 7
 FC Augsburg 4 2 1 1 7 4 3 1-1-0 1-0-1 7
 1899 Hoffenheim 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 2-0-0 0-1-0 7
 Hamburger SV 4 2 0 2 4 5 -1 1-0-1 1-0-1 6
 VfB Stuttgart 4 2 0 2 3 5 -2 2-0-0 0-0-2 6
 Mönchengladbach 4 1 2 1 5 5 0 1-0-1 0-2-0 5
 Hertha BSC Berlin 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 1-1-0 0-0-1 4
 Eintracht Frankfurt 4 1 1 2 2 3 -1 0-0-2 1-1-0 4
 VfL Wolfsburg 4 1 1 2 2 5 -3 0-1-1 1-0-1 4
 FSV Mainz 05 4 1 0 3 3 7 -4 1-0-1 0-0-2 3
 SC Freiburg 3 0 2 1 1 4 -3 0-2-0 0-0-1 2
 Bayer Leverkusen 3 0 1 2 4 8 -4 0-1-0 0-0-2 1
 Werder Bremen 4 0 1 3 2 6 -4 0-0-2 0-1-1 1
 1. FC Köln 3 0 0 3 1 7 -6 0-0-1 0-0-2 0