Hütteldorfers finally celebrate home win over Salzburg
Shorn of the services of Marvin Potzmann due to illness, Rapid welcomed RB Salzburg to Vienna for the game of the round. Winter recruit Aliou Badji was named for the first time since his transfer in a Hütteldorfer squad who knew that three points were absolutely crucial as they seek to clamber back into a respectable position in the Bundesliga table. The clash with reigning champions Salzburg provided just the tonic needed to allow the Green & Whites to put Thursday's San Siro reverse behind them and focus on matters at hand.
A bumper 19,400 crowd were in attendance for the next instalment of rich in tradition versus the nouveau riche, and an open and attractive game soon unfolded. A low shot from Manuel Martic tested keeper Stankovic (10.), before Richard Strebinger kept out a scuffed effort from Salzburg's Minamino (20.). A sweeping move across the pitch from right to left from Rapid opened up the guests, as Christoph Knasmüllner fed the ball to Veton Berisha in space in the box, but Berisha's well-hit effort was too central to cause Stankovic real issues (22.).
Rapid continued to press: Philipp Schobesberger picked out Andrija Pavlovic, who failed to get the necessary power in his shot (24.); whilst at the other end of the field Strebinger had to be on his toes as Lainer tested him at his near post (26.). The visitors came close to taking the lead in the 37th minute when the ball bounced up to Daka, whose first-time volley looked to have beaten Strebinger but bent away from the far post, missing the target by a narrow margin. The half-time whistle went with the deadlock still intact, and with both teams giving as good as they got in the attacking third.
There was no let-up in the attacking intent shown by both teams at the start of the second period: Knasmüllner shot over (47.), before good defending from Max Hofmann saw the centre back get his body in the way of a shot from Daka (52.). A moment of madness from Ramalho then swung the game decisively in Rapid's favour, as the defender received a second yellow card and subsequent red for criticising the officials. The Green & Whites would take full advantage: A superb, flat delivery into the box from Boli Bolingoli found Berisha in space in the Salzburg box, with the Norwegian powering a bullet header beyond Stankovic to give Rapid the lead - 1:0 (65.)! The Hütteldorfers sensed the victory and the end of five years of frustration suffered at the hands of Salzburg and continued to press home their advantage. Substitute Andrei Ivan was the next to threaten Stankovic's goal, but his shot cleared the crossbar (74.).
With a little under ten minutes to play Stefan Schwab made the points safe for Rapid and condemned Salzburg to a first league defeat of the season. Another flowing moving from the Green & Whites saw the ball worked expertly to the Rapid captain on the edge of the box, Schwab struck a stylish, low first-team effort off the foot of the left-hand post and into the back of the net - 2:0 (81.)! In the closing moments Strebinger pulled off a fantastic stop from a Prevljak shot to preserve his clean sheet, and Aliou Badji came off the bench to make his debut. The final whistle went and the crowd celebrated their side's first home win over RB Salzburg in five long years! The win also brings 6th place in the table within four points. RAPID!
tipico Bundesliga, 19th round:
SK Rapid - RB Salzburg 2:0 (0:0)
Allianz Stadion, 19.400 Attendance, Ref Schörgenhofer
Goals: 1:0 Berisha (65.), 2:0 Schwab (81.);
SK Rapid: Strebinger – Auer, Hofmann, Sonnleitner, Bolingoli – Martic (61./D. Ljubicic), Schwab – V. Berisha, Knasmüllner, Schobesberger (66./Ivan) – Pavlovic (85./Badji);
RB Salzburg: Stankovic – Lainer, Ramalho, Onguene, Ulmer – X. Schlager, Samassekou, Wolf, Mwepu (57./Vallci) – Daka (82./Prevljak), Minamino (77./Haaland);
Yellow Cards: Hofmann, Martic, Auer, Schwab;
Yellow/Red Card: Ramalho (54.)