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LEIPZIG SITTING PRETTY
It wasn’t a vintage performance, but three set pieces were enough for three hard-earned points for Ralf Rangnick’s side, and it sees them open up a six-point gap to Eintracht Frankfurt ahead of their match at home to Borussia Dortmund tomorrow. As for Hannover, it’s a debut defeat for new coach Thomas Doll with the Reds still second from bottom and slipping ever closer to the drop.
The Swede looks to get his own name on the scoresheet late on as he cuts inside from the left and tries to find the near bottom corner with his right foot, but drags the ball just wide.
ORBAN STRIKES AGAIN
Yet another corner from the right, this time from substitute Emil Forsberg and this time Orban at the front post to power home a header past the helpless Esser. That's now nine Bundesliga goals for the RB captain, seven of them headers and five of them from corners. It is though his first top-flight brace.
Willi Thomas Orban
GOAL!0 : 3
Marcel Halstenberg already has a goal and an assist tonight, and he tries to add to that tally with a deep cross to the far post. Yussuf Poulsen is the man there to meet the ball but puts it into the side-netting and is penalised for a push on Albornoz.
Leipzig have only scored two headers this season in the Bundesliga. The first came from Yussuf Poulsen back on Matchday 3, of course against Hannover...
ORBAN NODS HOME!
Will he ever score an easier header than this? Halstenberg's corner from the right goes all the way through to the far post where the Leipzig captain is completely unmarked and only competing with a teammate to turn the ball over the line. It's his eighth Bundesliga goal and his sixth with his head - four of those eight have been from corners.
Willi Thomas Orban
GOAL!0 : 2
We're getting to that stage of the season where yellow cards begin to tally up. The next player to reach five for the campaign is Ibrahima Konate, and he'll miss the visit of Eintracht Frankfurt next week. That could cause a problem at the back with Dayot Upamecano also out injured.
Almost emblematic of the half so far, Hannover get forward with Asano down the left, but he just runs into traffic and immediately loses the ball on the edge of the Leipzig box.
Neither side is really yet to get going since the break. Both teams have looked to get forward but to no great effect so far.
WOOD INTO THE FRAY
Bobby Wood was warming up for Hannover during the break and has been sent on for the second half by Thomas Doll in place of Florent Muslija. There’s also a change in the Leipzig goal with Yann Mvogo replacing Peter Gulacsi.
DESERVED LEAD AT THE BREAK
A fiery end to the first half as Michael Esser is finally beaten in the Hannover goal. It had been coming with the home side under constant pressure and struggling to create chances at the other end themselves.
45' + 5'
45' + 4'
Esser guesses right, but he can’t get anything on the left-back’s powerful effort that lands in the side-netting. It's the Leipzig man's first goal of the season.
45' + 3'
GOAL!0 : 1
PENALTY TO LEIPZIG!
Matheus Cunha beats Kevin Akpoguma to the ball from a Sabitzer cross and the referee points to the spot.
See previous posts about Esser saving, this time from Sabitzer's low drive across goal from the right. That's already six for the evening by the Hannover goalkeeper.
ESSER IN ACTION AGAIN
This time it's Adams testing the Hannover goalkeeper from range, but Esser is down to his right to hold the effort.
NERVOUS ON THE BALL
Leipzig remain the side most likely to break the deadlock as we pass the half-hour mark, and they've been helped somewhat by some suspect passing by the hosts, who has misplaced 32% of their balls.
Michael Esser holds the record for the most saves in a Bundesliga match (14) since such data collection began, and he looks like being tested more today. All four of Leipzig's efforts so far have been on target, forcing Esser into three saves (plus that header against the bar).
OFF THE BAR!
Almost the opener for Leipzig as Cunha gets onto the end of Halstenberg's corner and almost flicks it in with the BACK of his head, only to see it come back off the crossbar. Well, he didn't see it come back because he was facing the other way...
Jonathas gives the ball away in midfield and Hannover are on the back foot. Leipzig look to break but Pirmin Schwegler takes down Poulsen to pick up his fifth yellow of the season on his 250th appearance for the club. He'll miss the next game.
Esser is again called into action and does very well to deny the visitors twice in the space of a few seconds after Hannover failed to deal with Lukas Klostermann's cross and Marcel Sabutzer and Matheus Cunha both had efforts to force the ball over the line.
ADAMS BACK ON
After a few minutes being attended to by the Leipzig medics, he's waved back onto the pitch by referee Daniel Schlager.
There's an early break to the play with USA international Tyler Adams down holding his head. The midfielder took a blow while going up for a header alongside striker Jonathas and is in need of treatment, eventually being taken to the side of the pitch for play to continue without him.
UP THE OTHER END
Hannover waste no time racing up the pitch themselves moments later. Takuma Asano drives through the centre angling towards the left, plays the ball into the box before a bit of pinball nullifies the home side's attack.
Early chance for Leipzig with a free-kick to the right of centre on the edge of the box. It's the left foot of Marcel Halstenberg who lines it up and forces an early save out of Michael Esser diving to his left.
WERNER OUT IN THE COLD
It’s a chilly -1 degrees Celsius tonight in Hanover as Germany goes through a cold snap. One man suffering from a cold of his own is Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who misses out completely for the first time this season in the league. It means Matheus Cunha comes in for his first start since Matchday 14 in the only change from the side that brushed aside Fortuna Düsseldorf 4-0 on Sunday.
Thomas Doll takes charge of his first Hannover game and makes six changes to the team that lost in Dortmund on Saturday under Andre Breitenreiter. There’s a return for Julian Korb after a two-month absence, while Jonathas also starts for the first time since he came back to the club.
Gulacsi – Klostermann, Orban (c), Konate, Halstenberg – Laimer, Demme, Adams – Sabitzer, Poulsen, Cunha
Esser – Korb, Akpoguma, Anton (c), Albornoz - Schwegler, Muslija, Walace – Müller, Jonathas, Asano
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Hannover vs. RB Leipzig from matchday 20 of the 2018/19 Bundesliga season at the HDI Arena. Check back here for full information on the match.