Red Bull Salzburg had an intoxicating, but at least victorious, dress rehearsal for the Champions League game in question against Sevilla FC. The “cops” struggled to a 2-1 home win against Hartberg in the Bundesliga on Saturday. Noel Niemann had put the guests in the lead, Rasmus Kristensen (79th) and Jérôme Onguéné (86th) ensured the turnaround. Thus, the champions managed to win again after the last two competitive game bankruptcies in a row.
On Wednesday, Salzburg will need a point again in Wals-Siezenheim against Seville to make it into the Champions League round of 16 for the first time. For this, however, an increase has to be made, because the Mozartstadters show themselves against TSV in phases on the defensive and completely harmless on the offensive for a long time.
Coach Matthias Jaissle had made six changes compared to the 1: 2 in the previous week at Austria Klagenfurt, but the hoped-for effect did not materialize. After less than ten minutes there was a cold shower. Andreas Ulmer extended a wide tee shot per head somewhat imprecisely to Onguéné, Niemann licked the ball from the defender and slipped it from the sixteen line into the far corner.
After that, Salzburg had a lot of possession, but no ideas. Hartberg’s five-man chain withstood the attacking efforts of the “cops” without any problems, and the hosts did not have a single serious chance to score in the first half.
After the change of sides, nothing changes in the characteristics of the game for the time being. Hartberg stood safe and tried to put pinpricks in the front – also in the 58th minute, when an alleged goal from Donis Avdijaj was not given because of a wafer-thin offside position of the offensive player.
Only with the substitution of Benjamin Sesko and Brenden Aaronson did the pressure of the home team increase and ultimately lead to the victory that was finally deserved. Sesko served Rasmussen, and the Dane scored 1: 1 (75th) with his weaker right foot over the lower edge of the bar. Eleven minutes later, Onguéné headed the winning goal after a corner from Luka Sucic, shortly before Aaronson had failed with a great chance at Hartberg goalie Rene Swete.
As a result, Salzburg avoided the first Bundesliga home defeat this calendar year, the lead of the front runner on Sturm Graz grew to 14 points. The sixth-placed Styrians failed to put the series champion on their hit list this season in addition to Rapid, Sturm Graz and LASK.