When wonder striker Erling Haaland’s five-goal spectacle came up, Marco Rose had to swallow briefly. “Thanks for the reminder. It was really five?” asked the RB Leipzig coach. There was certainly some acting involved, because Rose certainly hasn’t forgotten the 7-0 loss from the last duel with Manchester City. Haaland scored five times within 35 minutes.

A repeat should be avoided on Wednesday (9 p.m./DAZN) in the group game of the Champions League. “We will not raise the white flag,” Rose insisted.

The City hoisted it at short notice – before an announced storm. This was supposed to swirl in Leipzig on Tuesday afternoon, which is why Haaland and Co.’s travel plan was changed at short notice. It wasn’t until three hours later that the defending champions arrived in the trade fair city. As a precaution, the final training had already been completed at home.

Rose: Must be vigilant

As far as the Haaland storm warning is concerned, Rose is still proceeding according to the motto business as usual. “There is no special plan against him. He is naturally difficult to defend. We have to be vigilant in every situation and I think we can do that,” emphasized the coach. The duo’s paths first crossed in 2019, when Rose was coach in Salzburg and Haaland moved to Austria as an 18-year-old diamond in the rough from Norway. Later, the teacher and students worked together again in Dortmund.

They showed in the first leg of the 7-0 debacle that Leipzig can successfully defend the blonde giant. Leipzig drew 1-1 and Haaland was completely deregistered by Willi Orban and Josko Gvardiol, who moved to Manchester in the summer. Coach Guardiola was so frustrated that he gathered his team on the pitch at the Leipzig stadium and addressed a few emphatic words to them.

Leipzig in good shape

The chances are not bad that Guardiola’s stress level will be on the higher side. Leipzig hasn’t lost in seven games in a row, and Bayern Munich recently had to be happy to have fought back to a 2-2 draw. The home results against City so far have been 1:1 and 3:2. “It’s worked out quite well so far and that’s why I’m looking forward to the game,” said striker Yussuf Poulsen. The Dane has been seeded again since the summer, and at that time he only had to endure the 7-0 defeat as a joker.

Manchester is missing two key players in Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva. Rose doesn’t consider the English champions to be noticeably weaker. “We know City’s qualities. We need an absolute top performance and a little luck,” said the 47-year-old. By the way, before the game we say goodbye to Gvardiol, who immediately became a regular player for the British team. “He had no start-up problems,” Rose said. “That does not surprise me.” There should be at least one nasty surprise on Wednesday evening.