The face of the Leipzig board of directors was deeply wrinkled. After his team’s clear 25:34 defeat against the foxes, Karsten Günther was visibly stricken. Unlike a year ago, when the Saxons were able to steal the points from the Berliners, the SC DHfK was almost presented in the duel on Saturday evening in the Handball Bundesliga. “Last time we jumped around here like bouncy balls, now we’re standing there like drowned poodles,” said the managing director and announced measures for his team.

Meanwhile, the Leipziger’s words brought back some memories for his counterpart Stefan Kretzschmar. Because with that defeat in March last year, the foxes had acted with bad play, imprecise timing and little emotionality. “That’s when Leipzig shot us into a crisis,” recalled the Foxes’ Sports Director, who subsequently canceled the Easter holidays for his players and called them to the training camp.

A lot has happened in Berlin since then. The team is well-rehearsed, seems closed. The defense has become more compact and, in cooperation with goalkeeper Dejan Milosavljev, forms the basis for the counter-attack game, which was also impressively executed in the duel with Leipzig.

“In my opinion, we have developed a lot there,” said Kretzschmar. “We played a lot of pace today. This is handball that is fun, handball as we interpret and want to see it.”

If the critic looks for the fly in the ointment, he can state that the backcourt has only presented itself averagely against the Leipzig team – at least as far as their own throws are concerned. Because if you look at the allusions to the circle and to the outside, coach Jaron Siewert’s concept worked and space was repeatedly created for clear shots.

One more reason for Stefan Kretzschmar to be optimistic about the upcoming tasks. “I saw a very lively and fighting team that wanted to see the season through to the end. Now we also want to win the last five games,” said the 49-year-old. Of course, he is aware that the end of the season will still bring some challenges, but there is currently no reason for concern on the Berlin side.