Jesse Marsch’s Red Bull Salzburg remained alive in its fight for a spot in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 after a Matchday 5 win on Tuesday.
The Austrian Bundesliga side defeated Lokomotiv Moscow 3-1 away from home and can advance to the knockout stage with a victory over Atletico Madrid next week. Should Marsch lead his team to an upset win at home, he will become the first American manager to reach the tournament’s knockout stage.
Mergim Berisha scored a first-half brace in Russia this afternoon while Karim Adeyemi added an insurance goal to pad a two-goal victory for the visitors. It was the club’s second win over the past few days after trouncing SKN St. Poelten 8-2 in league play this past weekend.
“It was a superb game from us,” Marsch said post match. “The boys played really well, battled and won a lot of challenges. We were very good on and off the ball. It was one of our best matches in the Champions League. I am really pleased for Mergim. He battled really well in every training session, he got his chance and gave his all.”
After Atletico Madrid’s 1-1 home draw with Bayern Munich, Salzburg knows a win over the La Liga side would see them finish second in the group. Salzburg is currently in third place with four points, and would drop into the Europa League if they and Lokomotiv both lose on Matchday 6.
Marsch has led Salzburg to impressive performances over his two seasons in charge of the club, while also coming close to knocking off both Atletico and Bayern in this season’s competition.
Domestically, Salzburg is first in the Bundesliga with a 7-1-1 record and a +24 goal differential. The club has also won its opening two matches in the Austrian Cup and will face rivals Rapid Wien in the third round this December.