RB Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch made history on Tuesday, becoming the first American to manage in the UEFA Champions League. Not only did Marsch manage in the UCL for the first time, he picked up his first win in the historic competition.
Austrian side Salzburg rolled to a 6-2 home victory over Belgian opposition Genk, handing Marsch his eighth win since taking over as manager of the club. The former New York Red Bulls head coach got to see his side brush aside one of the team’s who like Salzburg are expected to be fighting for that second and third spot in Group E.
“It was phenomenal,” Marsch said postmatch. “When they made it 3-1 we could have started to have doubts, but then we scored twice in five minutes. It was a great day for the entire club, but we can play even better.”
Salzburg ran out to a 3-0 leead before Genk pulled a goal back to make things interesting. However, the hosts continued to pour it on at Red Bull Arena, scoring two more times before the halftime interval.
They added a sixth goal after the hour mark, which was the most scored by any team on Matchday 1. Marsch got to watch four different players get on the scoresheet, but Norwegian striker Erling Braut Haland shined with a hat trick. The 19-year-old now has 14 goals in eight appearances in all competitions this season and is starting to gain notice on the international stage.
“Erling is quite simply a good guy and a good person. Everyone in the team loves him and he is always smiling. We really enjoy having him around,” Marsch said about the in-form striker.
Salzburg is 8-0-0 in all competitions this season, outscoring their opponents by a whopping 40-8 difference. They currently are top of Group E on goal difference, but know anything could change with the likes of Liverpool and Napoli being the favorites to advance out of the group.
Marsch and his team return to league play on Sunday against LASK looking to extend their winning start. Prior to their Oct. 2nd date with defending UCL champs Liverpool at Anfield, the team will also face Rapid Wien in the Austrian Cup and Austria Wien in league play, which could have Marsch at 11-0 in all comps before the trip to Merseyside.