Captain Marcel Sabitzer scored the only goal as RB Leipzig beat Arminia Bielefeld 1-0 to maintain the pressure on Bayern Munich ahead of their meeting with the league leaders next matchday.
Leipzig knew they couldn’t afford another slip ahead of their clash with Bayern after the international break, and they dominated play from the start. Dani Olmo fired over early on before Bielefeld’s Stefan Ortega lived up to his status as the goalkeeper with the most saves in the league. He was equal to efforts from Emil Forsberg, Amadou Haidara and Sabitzer, all in the space of a few minutes. Cedric Brunner and captain Fabian Klos had speculative shots for the home side, but Leipzig custodian Peter Gulacsi remained unchallenged at the other end. Tyler Adams then fizzed an effort into the hands of Ortega before the hosts’ best chance so far fell to Ritsu Doan, who got onto the end of Anderson Lucoqui’s cross to the far post. Bielefeld’s top scorer hit it sweetly but Sabitzer made a brave recovering block to prevent Gulacsi being called into action. Ortega then brought up his sixth save of the half with great reactions to tip a Christopher Nkunku strike onto the crossbar.
As they did the previous week against Eintracht Frankfurt, Leipzig took the lead inside a minute of the second half. Playmakers Nkunku and Olmo combined well on the edge of the box before the latter squared to Sabitzer free in the centre to tap past a (this time) helpless Ortega. Chances remained at a premium for Bielefeld and the frustration was clear to see on the face of Klos – who got his first Bundesliga goal in the reverse fixture – as he squandered a good one on the counter, firing well over when going for the far corner. Arminia's goalkeeper produced another excellent stop to deny Nkunku once again, but last season's Bundesliga 2 champions will be disappointed not to have forced the Leipzig No.1 into a single save all game. The win sees RBL cut the gap to Bayern to one point before the champions' game against VfB Stuttgart on Saturday. The league leaders go to the Red Bull Arena on Matchday 27.
- Sabitzer scored his sixth goal of the season to move level with Forsberg and Nkunku as Leipzig’s top scorer in the league. However, Die Roten Bullen remain the only team in the current top five without a player on double figures for goals.
- Leipzig set a new club record for passes in a Bundesliga game (906), finding a teammate with 91 per cent of them.
- Willi Orban's 173 touches of the ball is the most of any player in a Bundesliga game this season.
- Nine of RBL’s last 10 league goals have come in the second half. The last two have both been in the first minute after the break.
- Julian Nagelsmann has now earned 123 points in charge of Leipzig, surpassing Ralph Hasenhüttl’s previous club record of 120 in the Bundesliga – and in eight games fewer.
- Leipzig have managed four successive away wins without conceding for the first time in their top-flight history.
Watch: Forsberg looks ahead to Bayern clash
Bielefeld: Ortega - Brunner (Gebauer 86'), Pieper, Nilsson, Lucoqui (Laursen 86') - Maier, Prietl - Doan, Okuwaga (Voglsammer 84'), Vlap (Cordova 69’) - Klos (c) (Schipplock 86')
Unused subs: Linner, van der Hoorn, Kunze, Hartel
Out: Edmundsson (muscular), Laursen (thigh), Soukou (knock), Yabo (knock)
Coach: Frank Kramer
Leipzig: Gulacsi - Klostermann, Orban, Halstenberg - Adams, Sabitzer (c), Kampl (Mukiele 87'), Haidara (Henrichs 77') - Nkunku, Olmo (Poulsen 78') – Forsberg (Hwang 69’)
Unused subs: Martinez, Konate, Sörloth, Samardzic, Kluivert, Mukiele
Out: Angelino (muscular), Laimer (match fitness), Szoboszlai (groin), Upamecano (thigh)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Watch: Nagelsmann: “We have to win against Bayern”