The much-anticipated second leg of the RalfBall Derby finished the same as the first, with a win for Red Bull Salzburg over sibling club RB Leipzig. The 1-0 win in Salzburg put RBS through to the knockout phase of the 2018-19 Europa League, winning Group B with a match to spare and a perfect five wins from five games.
As was the case in the first meeting between these teams in this year’s Europa League, Salzburg’s winner was scored by a man familiar to fans of Red Bull soccer’s New York branch, Fredrik Gulbrandsen.
Gulbrandsen spent three months with the New York Red Bulls in 2017. He landed with RBNY in March, said he might be gone by the summer, got called a liar by his new club for his troubles, and left - as he’d said he might - in June. In his short stint with RBNY, he made 12 appearances and four starts, scoring no goals.
But the time away from Salzburg seemed to do him good. He was a regular starter for RBS last season, and though he’s a slightly less regular starter for the team this season. He started against RBL on this occasion, bagging the goal that won the game in the 74th minute.
You’re welcome, Salzburg.
The result should at least quiet charges of collaboration between the two European members of Papa Red Bull’s global soccer family. Leipzig needed points from this game more than Salzburg, but the Austrian RB club is heading to the next round of Europa League and its German sibling will need a little help if it is to do the same.
In the last round of games in Group B of the 2018-19 Europa League, Leipzig will host Rosenborg - a match it is expected to and must win. But RBL will also need Salzburg to beat Celtic in Glasgow for results to combine to put both RB teams in the next round of the tournament.