Leverkusen march on!
That's 13 games without defeat now for Alonso's Bayer. They're up to sixth and only four points off Leipzig in fifth.
Penalty, red card, goal. The moment that decided this game.
We've got four additional minutes. Surely too big a mountain for Leipzig to climb now.
That penalty was the first Amiri had ever taken in the Bundesliga.
Blaswich gets a hand to it low to his right, but that surely wraps up all three points for the hosts.
Frimpong is away from the halfway line. Szoboszlai slides in trying to stop a shot and catches the Dutchman. Penalty and a second yellow for the Hungarian.
Chance to finish this for Frimpong as Adli slips him in, but Blaswich - who's been an observer for most of this half - sorts his feet just in time.
All hands on deck for Bayer
Leipzig deliver cross after cross into the Leverkusen box, but each time the hosts manage to get it away.
Laimer takes one
First time in a while Leverkusen have been able to break out, led by Frimpong. Laimer has only been on a few minutes and takes one for the team with his foul.
Simakan does well to get past Hincapie in a tight space and flashes it across goal. Nkunku gets across the front post but can't hit the target.
A string of yellows
A few cautions dished out by referee Schlager. The latest for Haidara breaking up a counter is his fifth of the campaign and means he'll miss next week against Hoffenheim.
Leverkusen survive a real scare at the back as Hradecky claws at a miscued Werner shot. The ball looks to be there to poke over the line, but red shirts recover just in time to scramble it clear.
Still Leipzig with the ball
First we've really seen of the Frenchman as Gvardiol manages to head the ball back to him when winning a high ball at a corner, but his snatched left-footed effort deflects behind.
11 times under pressure
End of the inversion
Left-footed Halstenberg is off. Henrichs is staying over on the left. You might have thought that Simakan would drop into the back three and Klosterman shifts forward, but Rose has kept his back line intact for now.
Which side played on Thursday night?
Distance run (km)
Hlozek the difference so far
© Lars Baron/Getty Images
Nearly from Gvardiol
Great leap from the Croatian to get above three static Leverkusen defenders at a corner, but the delivery was always a bit too high and he can only flick his header on.
The last time Leipzig came from behind to win a Bundesliga away game after trailing at the break was in April 2019 when they were 2-1 down here before winning 4-2.
Back we come
Leverkusen resume the action unchanged. Leipzig have still got their inverted wing-backs, by the way. Halstenberg won 11 of his 12 challenges in the first half over on the right.
Here comes Nkunku
Leipzig's main man had been out warming up during the break and is indeed introduced for the second half. Kampl makes way.
It's turned into an even encounter after Bayer found their feet. Clear-cut chances have been at a premium, but Hlozek's well-taken finish has proven the difference in the first 45 minutes.
We'll have two additional minutes at the BayArena.
One big chance, one goal
No player has had as few touches of the ball as Hlozek, but he clearly doesn't need many with this first-time finish to steer in a Diaby cutback on his left foot. Lovely finish and Alonso's men are in front.
Unlucky or inaccurate?
No team has struck the frame of the goal this season as often as Leverkusen (15).
Off the bar!
Out of nowhere, Leverkusen come within inches of the lead as Hincapie has a crack on the angle from a good 25 yards out on the left. Blaswich looked like he was going for it before pulling his hands away. He'll be very relieved at the sound of the ball crashing back off the woodwork and away.
And Leverkusen counter from that corner with six red shirts against five in white. It lands with Bakker with the chance to square, but it's blocked and the flag also goes up for offside. The Dutchman is livid the pass didn't come earlier.
A good 25 yards out from the Hungarian but it's blocked by Tah for a corner, which is immediately cleared.
Too sloppy from Alonso's men
Leipzig started on the front foot at the BayArena
© IMAGO/BEAUTIFUL SPORTS/Wunderl/IMAGO/Beautiful Sports
Demirbay pumps a free-kick long into the box. It's headed clear by Klostermann but only as far as Diaby, who connects on the half volley but it's always rising.
Air shot from Frimpong
More promising this time from Bayer as Bakker gets up the left and crosses deep. Frimpong looks to run onto it and volley, but ends up getting nothing on it - perhaps distracted by Diaby's presence in front of him.
A crunching challenge from Andrich on Olmo leaves the Spaniard writhing on pain. The Leverkusen midfielder is never one to hold back. Olmo is find after a quick check.
Leipzig quick to recover
A combination of Leipzig pressing and Leverkusen sloppiness on the ball means the visitors have been far quicker to win back possession than the hosts.
Ball Recovery Time
Comes to nothing
Bayer do now get forward with Frimpong able to run into some space up the right, but he's not got any options in the middle and the attack breaks down.
Leverkusen yet to get forward
Leipzig's ball in the early stages
Now Szoboszlai has a go
He'll shoot from almost anywhere and now goes from a similar position as Gvardiol. Similarly well struck, similarly wide of Hradecky's right-hand post.
A tactical variation?
Strangely, Henrichs is out on the left flank for now, with Halstenberg over on the right. And for a moment, Kampl was even wider than wing-back Henrichs. Is this a tactical choice from Rose or will they switch back when play next halts.
Gvardiol has a crack
Ball comes out for the left centre-back to have a crack from some 25 yards. A decent strike but it's always going wide.
Couple of milestones
Kossounou makes his 50th Bundesliga appearance today since the 22-year-old's summer 2021 move to Leverkusen from Club Brugge in Belgium. And it's a 250th competitive game in Leipzig colours for Lukas Klostermann. The 26-year-old joined the club in 2014.
What's at stake?
Leverkusen put their 12-game unbeaten run across competitions on the line as they look to move back above Mainz into the top six and reduce the seven-point gap to Leipzig in fifth. The visitors, meanwhile, need a win of their own to go back third and above Freiburg - who are cruising to victory against Schalke right now - and Union Berlin, who go to Gladbach later.
Watch: Leipzig take in the BayArena surroundings
Leipzig team news
RB boss Marco Rose makes just one enforced change to the team that won 3-2 at home to Augsburg last weekend as Marcel Halstenberg replaces the suspended David Raum at left wing-back. Christopher Nkunku is on the bench again - expect to see him get more of a run about today. Yussuf Poulsen is also back in the squad.
Leverkusen team news
Xabi Alonso makes three changes from the side that booked a place in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals with a 4-1 win at Union Saint-Gilloise on Thursday. Odilon Kossounou, Kerem Demirbay and Amine Adli come in for Nadiem Amiri (bench), Edmond Tapsoba (muscle strain) and Florian Wirtz (ill).
Watch: The hosts have arrived
Blaswich - Klostermann, Orban (c), Gvardiol - Henrichs, Kampl, Haidara, Halstenberg - Szoboszlai, Werner, Olmo
Nyland, Simakan, Poulsen, Forsberg, Nkunku, Silva, Ba, Laimer, Diallo
Hradecky (c) - Kossounou, Tah, Hincapie - Frimpong, Andrich, Demirbay, Bakker - Diaby, Hlozek, Adli
Pentz, Azmoun, Amiri, Mbamba, Sinkgraven, Fosu-Mensah, Azhil, Bellarabi
Alonso: "We're going for it!"
© Daniel Kopatsch/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
Rose: "We're full of confidence"
© Boris Streubel/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
Watch: Moussa Diaby - Bundesliga's Best
Watch: Playmakers face off - Wirtz vs. Olmo
Watch: Leipzig 2-0 Leverkusen - highlights
Nkunku ready to rock!
Christopher Nkunku returned after a month-long injury lay-off last time out, coming through 16 second-half minutes unscathed. Even though it was his second spell on the sidelines since November, he remains Leipzig's 12-goal top scorer in this season's Bundesliga (19 appearances). League wide, only Vincenzo Grifo, Marcus Thuram, Randal Kolo Muani (all 13) and Niclas Füllkrug (16) have scored more.
Watch: Wolfsburg 0-0 Leverkusen - highlights
Watch: Leipzig 3-2 Augsburg - highlights
HUGE top-six clash!
Leverkusen put their late push for a top-six finish on the line against a resurgent Leipzig team battling it out to hold down one of four UEFA Champions League qualifications places. Throw in Messrs Wirtz, Nkunku, Diaby and Werner - and it should be an absolute cracker!