Leipzig leapfrog Bayer Leverkusen as Dominik Szoboszlai goal puts visitors third
A solitary strike from Dominik Szoboszlai helped RB Leipzig round off a memorable week, with Domenic Tedesco's men rising above their vanquished opponents Bayer Leverkusen and into third spot in the Bundesliga standings.
Leverkusen 0-1 Leipzig
Goal: 0-1 Szoboszlai 69' (assist: Nkunku)
Such is Leipzig's success under Tedesco since the tactician took charge last December, the visitors were competing in this top-four battle with Leverkusen wedged in between two other competitions. The Saxony-based side are through to a UEFA Europa League semi-final following Thursday's impressive win in Atalanta while this coming Wednesday, a DFB Cup semi-final against Union Berlin awaits. Unsurprising then, that the away side rang the changes, with Christopher Nkunku, Dani Olmo, Angelino and Konrad Laimer benched. For their part, the third-placed hosts were keen to at least maintain a one-point advantage over their busy opponents. To that end, it was Peter Gulacsi who was called on to be extra alert in the opening 45 minutes, the goalkeeper saving when Edmond Tapsoba connected with a free kick and the ball deflected goalwards. Moussa Diaby later drew another save from the Leipzig shot-stopper while Patrik Schick headed wide as Bayer looked to forge ahead.
Tedesco introduced his 17-goal top scorer Nkunku after the restart and the French forward's presence was almost immediately felt. The 24-year-old's nimble movement in the Leverkusen area led to Willi Orban sending a shot at the target which smacked the inside of the post. At the other end, the lively Diaby muscled through before finding the side netting with an angled drive. The game opening up more and more, two of the division's most entertaining teams this season appeared to revel in producing an end-to-end spectacle. A goal seemed certain and if Nordi Mukiele fluffed one of the game's best chances, skewing wide when brilliantly played in by substitute Laimer, Szoboszlai would make amends soon afterwards. Taking advantage of a lapse in Leverkusen possession, Leipzig broke, with Nkunku feeding Szoboszlai whose outside-of-the-boot shot took the slightest of nicks before thumping the back of the net. It would prove to be the winner for the visitors, who jump above their opponents into third with just four games to play.
- Szoboszlai has scored six goals this term, and for this first time has registered in back-to-back matches, the midfielder registering in his team's 3-0 win against Hoffenheim last time out.
- Nkunku has assisted five of Szoboszlai's six goals.
- The French forward's three appearances from the bench this season have yielded two goals and three assists.
- Leverkusen have won just two of 12 Bundesliga meetings with Leipzig.
- Nkunku is third in the scoring chart (17) and second for assists (13). Only Lewandowski (33) has had a direct hand in more goals across the Bundesliga.
- Leipzig have won six of their seven away league games in 2022 (except a 3-2 defeat in Munich), scoring 22 goals. They’d managed just four points and five goals in eight in the Hinrunde.
- Die Roten Bullen are also unbeaten in Leverkusen (W3, D3) as they played their 200th Bundesliga game. Their record so far is 107 wins and just 43 losses.
Watch: Gulasci: "Important that we won"
Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Tah (Demirbay 74'), Tapsoba, Hincapie (Azmoun 88') - Kossounou, Andrich (Alario 80'), Aranguiz, Bakker - Diaby, Palacios (Paulinho 74') - Schick
Unused subs: Grill, Lunev, Baumgartlinger, Sinkgraven, Fofana
Out: Adli (Achilles), Bellarabi (thigh), Fosu-Mensah (thigh), Frimpong (ankle), Lunev (ankle), Wirtz (knee)
Coach: Gerardo Seoane
Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) - Klostermann, Orban, Gvardiol - Mukiele, Adams (Henrichs 83'), Forsberg (Olmo 58'), Halstenberg (Angelino 73') - Szoboszlai - Silva (Nkunku 46'), Poulsen (Laimer 58')
Unused subs: Martinez, Simakan, Raebiger, Novoa
Out: Haidara (knee)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Watch: Hradecky: "We have everything in our own hands"
5 Germany youngsters to watch at the U21 Euros
Dortmund's Youssoufa Moukoko headlines Antonio Di Salvo's provisional 26-man squad for the 2023 UEFA U21 Euros...
Dortmund add to USA summer tour
As well as Man United and Chelsea, BVB will face San Diego Loyal as part of their pre-season trip to the States.
Official Bundesliga transfer centre: summer 2023
Find out all the ins and outs across Germany's second division ahead of the 2023/24 campaign...