RB Leipzig leave it late to secure UEFA Champions League berth with draw at Arminia Bielefeld


Arminia Bielefeld bowed out of the Bundesliga with their heads held high, although a late Willi Orban strike prevented them from doing the double over RB Leipzig, who salvaged a 1-1 draw and secured their place in the UEFA Champions League next season.

Arminia Bielefeld 1-1 RB Leipzig
Goals: 1-0 Serra (71'), 1-1 Orban 90'+3 (assist: Szoboszlai)

After a bright start by the hosts, Christopher Nkunku wasted Leipzig's first big chance of the game, skipping round Stefan Ortega, but planting his shot onto the outside of the post. Benjamin Henrichs blazed a shot over from an Angelino cut-back as Leipzig continued to pose the greater threat on the break. Andre Silva was next to miss the target for Die Roten Bullen, who had twice as many shots (eight) as Bielefeld in the first 45 minutes, but failed to translate that into a tangible advantage at the break.

It was a similar story at the start of the second half with Nkunku driving Leipzig's first effort straight at Ortega, before half-time substitute Burak Ince finally gave Peter Gulacsi some work to do at the other end. The Leipzig goalkeeper soon had to deal with Robin Hack's rasping effort, but he could only take some of the sting out of the shot, allowing Janni Serra to bundle the ball in with his midriff to put the hosts ahead. Leipzig threw men forward in search of an equaliser, but Bielefeld threw men in front of all they could send towards goal, with Ortega denying Silva and Dani Olmo, and Joakim Nilsson celebrating as if he had scored after charging down an Nkunku effort. They held out until deep into stoppage time, when Orban met Dominik Szoboszlai's free-kick to bring Leipzig level and secure their place in the Champions League next season.

Match stats

  • Serra has scored three Bundesliga goals, each time giving his team a 1-0 lead, including one in the reverse fixture in Leipzig.
  • Bielefeld were the only club Leipzig had failed to score against this season, until Orban struck.
  • Nkunku finishes 2021/22 second league wide only to Robert Lewandowski for combined goals and assists (33 compared to 38).
  • Leipzig have beaten their club-record Rückrunde points tally (36).
  • Bielefeld picked up just 12 points in the second half of the season - fewer than any other side.

Watch: Forsberg: "Very happy to reach the Champions League again"


Bielefeld: Ortega - Ramos, Pieper (Brunner 81'), Nilsson (Andrade 90'), Laursen - Prietl (c), Vasiliadis (Kunze 63') - Wimmer (Ince 46'), Hack (Schöpf 90'), Okugawa – Serra
Unused subs: Schulz, de Medina, Bello
Out: Kapino (ill), Klos (fractured skull), Lasme (knee)
Coach: Marco Kostmann

Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) - Simakan, Orban, Halstenberg - Henrichs, Laimer (Adams 72'), Kampl (Szoboszlai 86'), Angelino (Novoa 86') - Forsberg (Olmo 72') - Silva, Nkunku
Unused subs: Martinez, Poulsen, Klostermann, Mukiele, Gvardiol
Out: Haidara (knee)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco