⚽ T. Werner (58), ⚽ E. Forsberg (71), ⚽ J. Gvardiol (80)
By Peter Vice @ViceytheSS
After making a crucial penalty save against the academy club he spent 12 years playing for, RB Leipzig keeper Janis Blaswich wished to make clear that he didn’t feel responsible for his team’s big win on Saturday.
|Janis Blaswich||Steffen Prößdorf CC-BY-SA 4.0|
A crucial moment in Saturday afternoon’s Leipzig-Gladbach match could have led to a very different outcome. With the scoreline still tied at 0-0, Alassane Plea was given a chance to put the underdog foals ahead from the penalty spot in the 53rd. Standing in his way was none other than Willich-native Janis Blaswich; a Fohlenelf academy man who spent twelve years representing his local club.
Blaswich stood tall between the sticks, diving to his right to parry Plea’s effort. Leipzig then proceeded to open the floodgates, scoring three goals after the critical penalty save. The scorer of the first RB goal – Timo Werner – noted that he felt Blaswich’s action was the unquestionable turning point of the match.
“That [53rd-minute saved penalty] was probably more important than my [57th minute] goal,” Werner told the Sky mics afterward, “It’s all thanks to him.”
Blaswich wished to downplay the comment in his own post-match interview. The 31-year-old journeyman, who only just made his Bundesliga debut this year after Leipzig brought him in to back-up the later injured Peter Gulacsi, also seemed not to have any particular feelings about beating the club that ultimately never gave him a chance to work as a Bundesliga keeper.
The native of a town near the Dutch border accrued some experience out on loan in the 3. Liga before moving his career to neighboring Holland. It counts as one of the biggest surprises of the season that Blaswich – now keeper of four league clean sheets – has done so well in Gulacsi’s absence.
“Penalties are always a gamble, but we of course analyze tendencies,” Blaswich remarked modestly, “It was an important moment, sure. It was still the team’s win, not mine.”