Rapid's run continues with a 5 star performance
Finding your feet again after an international break isn't always the easiest of tasks, even though Rapid had signed off beforehand in the perfect way, with a Wiener Derby away win. Welcoming Admira to the Allianz Stadium was the first duty as the Bundesliga resumed for match day 7, the task at hand; to carry on the good run established before the break, and collect 3 more points for a push up the table. Even after four wins from four games last season against lowly Admira, there was a job to be done. Head coach Didi Kühbauer made sure the team paid the visitors the necessary respect, especially given that the Lower Austrians had a new coach on their bench for the first time; always a tricky proposition.
There were some new (familiar) faces on our side too, with Dejan Ljubicic recovering from injury to claim a place in the starting XI, Max Hofmann made the bench, and only Richard Strebinger was still not match fit, meaning Tobias Knoflach played between the sticks once more, although in truth, he didn't have a great deal of work to do on Sunday. New signing Filip Stojkovic was named amongst the substitutes for the first time too, alongside Dalibor Velimirovic, whose impressive Derby-debut earned him another appearance in the squad.
And so the Bundesliga got back underway, but Rapid took a little while to get going. The first sight of goal came courtesy of Mateo Barac's head (11.), but his effort was held by the visiting keeper, as was a fizzing ball from Taxi Fountas (12.). The Greek striker also found the side-netting from the edge of the area after a pass from Stephan Auer (26.) in what amounted to the first real chance of opening the scoring. On his home debut, Koya Kitagawa reacted well to a high ball in the box, but his volley was too central and keeper Leitner could claim once more (29.), and the Japanese striker was the next player to find the side-netting (42.) with an effort shortly before the break. The longer the game went on the more Admira were reduced to mere spectators of the action, as the second half would show, but the first 45 weren't quite over yet, and with the last attack before the break Christoph Knasmüllner tapped the ball to Philipp Schobesberger, who made no mistake from close range to put Rapid in front (45.)!
Things only got better in the second period, thanks to some clinical play on our side. Once more, Rapid took a few moments to get warmed up, but after that it was plain sailing. Christopher Dibon beat his marker to pull a headed pass across the area to his fellow defender Mateo Barac, whose own header arrowed into the left of the Admira goal (54.) to make it 2-0. That seemed to knock the stuffing out of the visitors, whereas those in Green and White only got the taste for more! Max Ullmann was next, playing a swift one-two pass and then firing the ball cleanly towards the bottom right from outside the box (63.) for Rapid's third (and his first in Rapid colours). Before the celebrations had even died down, substitute Aliou Badji increased the lead further by latching on to a through ball and slotting home at the far post for 4-0 (65.)!
Even with the result no longer in doubt, Rapid didn't let up, and Schobesberger was unlucky to see one fine solo effort cannon away off the top of the crossbar (70.) and another fly just past the far post (74.). With Admira's defence in tatters, the fifth did eventually follow; substitute Kelvin Arase's shot was saved by Leitner, but Dejan Ljubicic snuck through to win the ball and bury the rebound (82.). There wasn't to be anything more, just a half-chance from a Stefan Schwab header, but the home crowd were already more than satisfied with 5-0, 3 more points, and a picture perfect return from the international break!
tipico Bundesliga, 7th round:
SK Rapid - FC Admira 5:0 (1:0)
Allianz Stadion, 15.100 Attendance, Ref Heiss
Goals: 1:0 Schobesberger (45.+2), 2:0 Barac (54.), 3:0 Ullmann (64.), 4:0 Badji (65.), 5:0 Ljubicic (81.);
SK Rapid: Knoflach – Auer, Dibon, Barac, Ullmann – D. Ljubicic, Schwab – Fountas (67./Murg), Knasmüllner, Schobesberger (78./Arase) – Kitagawa (60./Badji);
FC Admira: Leitner – Menig, Schösswendter, Lackner, Spasic – Starkl (61./Cmiljanic), Maier, D. Toth, Hjulmand, Paintsil (70./Petlach) – Bakis (61./Hoffer);
Yellow Cards: Fountas, Ullmann bzw. Bakis, Hjulmand;