Our team welcomed back the fans to the Red Bull Arena with a joyous performance as they beat SCR Altach 4-1 despite having a man sent off in the 6th minute.
Our first Austrian Bundesliga home match in front of fans for over half a year quickly became intriguingly poised. The two teams got right down to battle - to the delight of the 3000 fans in attendance. After our team had three chances within the first five minutes, we then found ourselves on the end of an early blow. Andre Ramalho was shown a red card in the sixth minute for bringing an opponent down and Jesse Marsch was forced into experimentation. Enock Mwepu was moved back into central defence as we continued with a 4-3-2 system. Our attacking efforts did not lead to an early breakthrough, however. Masaya Okugawa, in rattling the post (16'), and Dominik Szoboszlai (28') had the best chances of giving Salzburg a lead, but it was Tartarotti who pounced first at the other end by heading a perfectly floated cross in to put Altach ahead (33').
Jesse Marsch's side were soon able to react, however. Just moments later a penalty was awarded for a foul on Patson Daka – Dominik Szoboszlai converted it clinically to make it 1-1 (35'), before we went one better to make it 2-1 before the break. Sekou Koita danced his way past half the Altach team before serving the ball on a plate for Patson Daka to tuck in (41').
The second half continued in brisk fashion. Straight after the restart, Sekou Koita made it 3-1 when he pounced on the rebound after a Patson Daka shot (46'). Our two frontmen continued to push and found chances to extend our lead (50', 59') before Rasmus Kristensen stepped up to make it four.
Our Danish right-back crowned a rare break into the penalty area with his first competitive goal for us (63'). That pretty much sealed the points, but our boys continued to control the play with some extremely fluent football with no sign of our one-man disadvantage. In fact, our 12th man in the stands stepped into the breach as our fans showed their approval of our performance. Enock Mwepu almost fired a fifth goal but missed the empty net when trying to slide it in from a tight angle (78'). Chances came at either end in the final minutes - with both goalkeepers called into action to prevent further goals.
It was an unusual situation for us to be a man down, but everyone ran for each other. I thought after conceding that we needed desire and mentality. We had chances even before our first goal, and I am proud of the group. We needed a performance just like that.
We always need to stick together as a team. When we were a man down, it wasn't about individual performances but giving our all for each other. We showed today what we are capable of. It was a clear signal that it takes quite something to beat us.
Berisha for Koita (64'), Bernede for Camara (64'), Onguene for Szoboszlai (64'), Adeyemi for Daka (73'), Ashimeru for Okugawa (77')
Vallci (24' foul)
Ramalho (6' denying goalscoring opportunity)
Not available for action
Junuzovic (thigh), Okafor (adductors), Wöber (knee), Solet (muscle problems)