Kramer: “Exactly how you need to play”

Christoph Kramer discussed the 3-0 victory over RB Leipzig, the various positions he’s been playing recently and Jonas Hofmann’s and Marcus Thuram’s performances in an interview after the game.

Chris, a brilliant performance saw Borussia to a 3-0 home win over RB Leipzig. How was the game for you on the pitch? 

Kramer: It was a top showing from us. For me, the key was how much possession we had as well as our positional play. It may not be the most attractive style of football when we have to pass it back to our keeper, but it’s really important that we don’t get caught out by our opponents’ pressing. We need to keep the ball moving until a clear opportunity opens up, and we did that very well. 

Is that you saying you were trying to work Leipzig until such an opportunity arose? 

Kramer: First things first, long spells of possession make it a lot easier to win the ball back should we lose it, because in an ideal scenario, the opposition have been running after the ball for two minutes already which is tiring and wears every player down. 

How did your game plan change over the course of the game, in particular when you came out for the second half with a 2-0 lead? 

Kramer: When you’re two or three goals up, it’s completely normal that you want to drop back a little deeper. We’re good on the counter, so we wanted to invite Leipzig forward somewhat and then utilise the spaces left in behind. That’s exactly how you need to play, because in this way, everyone has the energy required to defend the lead. 

Jonas Hofmann was one of the standout players from the match, scoring a brace... 

Kramer: ...I’m very happy that he scored the two goals. He might have even got one or two more! Jonas showed how great the timing of his runs is in this game, which allowed him to have plenty of good chances which led to him getting his reward.  

The way in which Julian Weigl smoothly slotted into the team was also noticeable. From the outside looking in, it seems as though he’s been at Borussia forever... 

Kramer: Julian is a player who fits brilliantly into our side – his footballing philosophy and the way in which he plays the game suit us down to a tee. That’s why I’m not surprised that it didn’t take him long to settle in and that he can start contributing straightaway. 

Let’s now talk about your personal performance: After joining the back line for the Freiburg game, you then played in the number 10 role against RBL. You’re certainly coping well with the constant change of position... 

Kramer: I actually began my career as a number 10 when I was a youth player. I enjoy playing in different positions, I think it’s fun, because it’s always a new challenge. Therefore, I was pleased to play a bit higher up the pitch this time. 

You jokingly said this week that one positive aspect of playing centre-back was that you don’t have to run as much, and then you went on to run 12.6km against Leipzig. Would you class that as karma? 

Kramer: It clearly came back to bite me (laughs). I certainly made up for the metres I didn’t cover against Freiburg in this match. I guess you could say that it’s all balanced out now! 

Finally, what would you say about the performance of your “striking partner” Marcus Thuram? 

Kramer: I said to him before the game that we’re two hard-working players and that we need to keep our opposite men on their toes, so that no one dribbles past us, and Tikus did that brilliantly. He played a very physical game, did the dirty work, closed down the spaces well and won possession back excellently. He also set up two goals in what was a very strong performance from him.  

Christoph Kramer featured against Leipzig, atypically playing in a more advanced role.
Christoph Kramer enjoys the post-match celebrations with the fans and teammates Yann Sommer and Lars Stindl.

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