After the 1:7 debacle against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Red Bull Salzburg was challenged this Sunday in the Bundesliga against Sturm Graz. With a win, Salzburg would be twelve points ahead and would already decide the championship. Salzburg coach Matthias Jaissle was able to fall back on the recently injured Noah Okafor. The Grazers made a brave appearance from the start and had their first big chance in the 2nd minute. Prass put through to Jantscher, who wanted to put the ball back on to Hierländer. Bull keeper Köhn, however, was able to clarify. A minute later, Höjlund almost gave Sturm the lead when he slipped through Niangbo’s measured cross between Wöber and Solet – but in the end didn’t put enough pressure on his header.
Salzburg had huge problems with Graz’s offensive in the early stages. Salzburg had their first chance of a goal in the 16th minute. Ulmer crossed to Adamu, who wanted to put the ball in the far corner. It remained 0-0, however, also because Adamu’s attempt went wide. But Sturm Graz demanded everything from Sturm Graz. Dante won the ball against Adeyemi in the 22nd minute. Dante found Jantscher with a long ball, but his attempt went wide. In the 27th minute it was almost Salzburg who celebrated the lead. Adeyemi turned on his own axis and placed the ball in the Graz goal. But the Salzburg striker was offside.
Rasmus Hojlund repeatedly caused danger and kept Salzburg’s defense busy. In the 40th minute, however, it was his opponent Adeyemi’s turn with a top chance. However, his header from Sucic’s free-kick goes just wide of the bar.
At the beginning of the second half, Salzburg could still see the uncertainty after the 1:7 against Bayern. Rasmus Hojlund, in particular, repeatedly caused difficulties for the Mozartstadt defenders. Finally, the Bulls were redeemed by Maximilian Wöber, who headed a corner kick in the 55th minute. Before that, Solet hit the bar. Three minutes later there was a penalty alert in the home team’s penalty area. After a corner kick from Sturm, the ball leapt to Seiwald’s hand – but as part of a natural hand movement. At first, referee Muckenhammer pointed to the point, but revised this decision after the video referee intervened.
This opening goal gave Salzburg a boost. Adeyemi moved to the center of the penalty area in the 66th minute and flicked the ball to the far corner. But it stayed 1-0 for the time being. After 71 minutes, Sesko initiated a counterattack. Siebenhandl then saved his team several times from conceding another goal when Okafor scored twice. Sturm took full risks in the closing stages and wanted to equalize at all costs. However, this made the Ilzer-Elf vulnerable to counterattacks. Höjlund had a great chance to equalize in the 89th minute, when he got hold of the ball and fired after an unsuccessful attempt by Salzburg to clear the ball. But Köhn clarified. A few seconds later, referee Muckenhammer pointed to the penalty spot again – this time after Ulmer’s handball.
Again, the referee withdrew the decision. Strange, but right in the end, because there was no active movement from the Salzburg captain to the ball. In the end, the Bulls narrowly but 1-0 had the upper hand.