bundesliga

Supersub Christopher Nkunku snatches victory for RB Leipzig at Bochum

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Christopher Nkunku came off the bench to score the only goal of the game as RB Leipzig edged Bochum at the Ruhrstadion.

Bochum 0-1 RB Leipzig
Goal: 0-1 Nkunku 82’ (assist: Henrichs)

Leipzig began the day knowing they had to win to return to the top four, while Bochum were a comfortable 10 points clear of the bottom two. And with both sides in DFB Cup quarter-final action in the week ahead, there were plenty of changes to both line-ups. It appeared to impact on the play, with only three shots – none on target – in the first 45 minutes. Takuma Asano had one blocked and Cristian Gamboa fired over for the hosts. The visitors’ most likely outlet looked down the left through Angelino but Leipzig needed 23 minutes for their first effort, Yussuf Poulsen ultimately heading wide.

The first real attempt came early into the second 45 minutes when Elvis Rexhbecaj connected sweetly from 18 yards, but straight into the arms of Peter Gulacsi. An even better chance immediately followed when Milos Pantovic fired over after Asano had flicked him through in the box. Domenico Tedesco immediately reacted by calling on his talismanic trio of Nkunku, Dani Olmo and Andre Silva. The tide quickly began to turn, and the former two twice teed up Emil Forsberg for what would’ve been sensational volleys, had the Swede connected properly. There was no problem with Anthony Losilla’s connection at a corner, but the Bochum captain’s header only clipped the top of the crossbar. The promoted side then struck the post through Christopher Antwi-Adjei before Willi Orban threw himself in the way of Eduard Löwen’s rebound. Those heroics became all the more valuable when Benjamin Henrichs slipped in Nkunku with 10 minutes remaining to finish across Manuel Riemann and snatch all three points for Leipzig.

Match stats

  • Nkunku has scored in four straight Bundesliga games and has seven goals in 2022 – only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (nine) has more since the turn of the year.
  • Leipzig have never lost to a promoted team in their Bundesliga history, boasting a record of 20 wins and three draws.
  • They also maintained their perfect record in fixtures against Bochum (seven wins).
  • Only Leipzig against Cologne a fortnight ago saw fewer shots in the first half of a game this season (two) than this (three).
  • Konrad Laimer came on for his 100th Bundesliga appearance.
  • This was just Bochum’s third home defeat of the season in 12 games. It was also only Leipzig’s third away win in the same amount.

Watch: Adams: "Nkunku is something special"

Line-ups

Bochum: Riemann - Gamboa, Bella-Kotchap, Leitsch, Soares - Losilla (c), Löwen (Blum 86’) - Rexhbecaj - Pantovic (Antwi-Adjei 72’), Polter (Locadia 71’), Asano (Holtmann 72’)
Unused subs: Esser, Masovic, Osterhage, Stafylidis, Tesche
Out: Zoller (knee)
Coach: Thomas Reis 

Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) - Klostermann, Orban, Simakan - Mukiele (Henrichs 72’), Adams (Olmo 58’), Haidara, Angelino - Szoboszlai (Nkunku 58’), Forsberg (Laimer 81’) - Poulsen (Silva 58’)
Unused subs: Martinez, Tschauner, Halstenberg, Novoa
Out: Gvardiol (suspended)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco