Leipzig’s Tedesco on thin ice after Shakhtar defeat

BERLIN: RB Leipzig coach Domenico Tedesco was hailed as a savior when he lifted them from the mid-table to a Champions League place last season and then capped the run with a European Cup victory Germany for their first major title.

A few months later, however, the 36-year-old’s position is much more precarious, especially after Tuesday’s stunning 4-1 home loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in Europe’s elite club competition.

Tedesco took over midway through last season and moved them from 11th to fourth place, but despite adding top striker Timo Werner they have won just one of their five league games this season and are again in 11th place.

They collapsed to a 4-0 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the league last week and their European flop against the Ukrainians only added to Tedesco’s woes.

There’s no sign of their fluid, attacking style of play, while at the back they’ve coughed up eight goals in their last two games.

“It’s really hard to find the right words after such a game, it’s hard to describe it,” Tedesco said.

“It kind of reflects a lot of what we’ve been through over the past few weeks.”

An error by goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi gave Shakhtar the lead, and while Leipzig equalized in the second half, the Ukrainians needed just seconds to go 2-1 up.

Two more late goals finished the Germans, who face Real Madrid next week.

First, they face joint-leaders Borussia Dortmund with Freiburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday and Tedesco said he would waste no time pondering his own position.

“I don’t think about it at all,” he said. “I’m just disappointed after such a game. I don’t think about all the other things surrounding it. It will be a different day tomorrow and we’ll start focusing on Dortmund.”