Julian Nagelsmann on Wednesday slammed 10-man RB Leipzig for defending like “a school team” in their 2-2 draw at home to Hertha BSC which cost them the chance to go second in the Bundesliga.
Hertha forward Krzysztof Piatek equalized with a late penalty to seal the draw and save the blushes of goalkeeper Rune Jarstein, who had made a blunder for Leipzig’s second goal.
However, Nagelsmann was furious that Leipzig conceded a weak goal from a corner with only nine minutes gone when Hertha midfielder Marko Grujic, on loan from Liverpool, fired home unmarked.
“We started well, but fell behind because we defend a set-piece like a school team,” Nagelsmann said. “We simply did nothing, everyone is standing in position, yet he [Grujic] could finish with his foot, in the box.”
“This is the second time in a row in a home game that we conceded from a set-piece,” said Nagelsmann, whose team drew 1-1 with SC Freiburg in their previous home game. “We have to blame ourselves for this. We’re happy that we scored another point, but I’m not happy at all.”
Piatek, who joined Hertha in January from AC Milan, netted his second goal in nine Bundesliga matches when he fired home a penalty on 82 minutes.
Piatek’s penalty snatched a point, stretched Bruno Labbadia’s unbeaten record as Hertha head coach to three games and spared the blushes of Jarstein.
The Norwegian goalkeeper was embarrassed when he parried an effort by Leipzig striker Patrik Schick, but allowed the ball to roll over his flailing arm and into his net to make it 2-1 on 68 minutes.
Leipzig had just been reduced to 10 men when defender Marcel Halstenberg was sent off for a second yellow card after a late foul on Hertha striker Cunha, who was playing against the club he left in January.
The first half finished 1-1 after Hertha took an early lead when Grujic volleyed into the top corner with nine minutes gone. The hosts fought back and equalized when defender Lukas Klostermann headed home a corner on 24 minutes.
The result leaves Leipzig in third place, two points behind Borussia Dortmund, beaten 1-0 on Tuesday by leaders Bayern Munich, who are seven points clear and on course for an eighth straight title.
“Today it [the win] was on a silver platter and we didn’t take it,” Nagelsmann said.
Elsewhere, Schalke 04 are winless in 10 matches as their free fall down the table continued with a 2-1 defeat at relegation-threatened Fortuna Duesseldorf.
US midfielder Weston McKennie gave Schalke the lead just after halftime with a diving header, but Fortuna hit back with two goals in five minutes from Rouwen Hennings and Kenan Karaman.
Schalke’s third straight defeat leaves them ninth having been third in December last year.
Cologne striker Mark Uth failed to convert a penalty for the second game in a row in his side’s 3-1 defeat at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim as both teams finished with 10 men.
The hosts’ Christoph Baumgartner could have finished with a hat-trick after opening the scoring early on. He had a goal ruled out for offside and then scored with a header just after halftime.
Cologne were reduced to 10 men when defender Sebastian Bornauw was shown a straight red card for fouling Baumgartner, who set up defender Steven Zuber to leave Hoffenheim 3-0 up early in the second half.
Hoffenheim had defender Benjamin Huebner sent off for a second yellow card on 51 minutes, before Florian Kainz gave Cologne hope with a goal on the hour mark.
Uth, who also had a penalty saved in Sunday’s draw with Fortuna, had his spot-kick saved on 77 minutes when Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann guessed the right corner.
Bottom side SC Paderborn 07 earned a point in a goalless draw at Augsburg, while Union Berlin drew 1-1 with FSV Mainz 05 in the capital.
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