RB Leipzig attacker Christopher Nkunku now has 11 goals in all competitions this season after his latest stunning performance in the win over Borussia Dortmund. - © IMAGO / camera4+
RB Leipzig attacker Christopher Nkunku now has 11 goals in all competitions this season after his latest stunning performance in the win over Borussia Dortmund. - © IMAGO / camera4+

Christopher Nkunku: RB Leipzig's main man and Matchday 11’s Man of the Matchday


Christopher Nkunku continued his spectacular start to the season with a goal and an assist in RB Leipzig's victory over Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 11.

The French attacker was at his devastating best on Saturday, rounding Gregor Kobel to give Leipzig a first-half lead before whipping over the perfect cross from the left for Yussuf Poulsen to seal a 2-1 win. 

Leipzig moved fifth as a result of the 23-year-old's stunning performance, and in the process the home side extended their unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to seven matches.

"I think we played a great match - another one," Nkunku said afterwards. "We played a great match against Paris Saint-Germain as well. We were able to remain positive despite only drawing during the week.

Watch: Higlights of Leipzig's win

"We played like men. We opened the scoring. We conceded a goal, but we maintained our concentration and afterwards we continued to try and make it 2-1 and get this win."

Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch had said pre-game that it was time for his side to get a win against a top team that their performances had deserved. Nkunku - who had also netted in the 2-2 home draw with PSG in midweek - made sure that last year's Bundesliga runners-up did just that.

On paper named to play through the middle as a striker against Dortmund, Nkunku drifted wherever he could to drag the visiting defence out of shape. His smart movement got him the first chance of the game, but Kobel made a top save to deny him.

Another mazy dribble across the box created havoc before, on 29 minutes, he rewarded Leipzig's dominance with a fifth league goal of the season - and his 11th in all competitions.

Nkunku ran on to Josko Gvardiol's ball forward from the halfway line, slipped to his left past Kobel, and finished into an empty net.

Christohper Nkunku calmly slotted home to give RB Leipzig the lead against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday before going on to make the winning goal. - Dennis Ewert/RHR-FOTO via www.imago-images.de/imago images/RHR-Foto

It was a similar story in the second half, when the former PSG attacker was again a constant danger. After Marco Reus had levelled for Dortmund, Nkunku produced not one but two double dragbbacks to create space inside the area - and would have had another glorious goal had his shot not come back off the post.

The former France U21 international was undeterred, and moments later he found Poulsen at the far post. The Dane duly bundled in the winning goal on 68 minutes.

That was Nkunku's third assist in the Bundesliga this season, and it capped another stellar showing in the week he made his 100th appearance for the club.

"Christo is in super form and has developed brilliantly," Leipzig teammate Emil Forsberg said after the game. "He takes on a lot of responsibility and is our key player at the moment."

Watch: Nkunku enjoyed his new role

"He was the best man on the pitch today," Poulsen said of Nkunku. "He is a great player. We are very lucky to have him in our team, and to have his 100th game and then perform like this is a nice gesture."

Nkunku, who joined Leipzig in July 2019, is delighted to have featured so often for the club.

"It's a big number," he told bundesliga.com when asked about becoming a centurion. "RB Leipzig have given me a lot. It's what I was looking for when I moved here. I'm really happy at the moment, and I hope there will be a lot more matches to come."

Could more of them see him play in a central role or as a false nine? Nkunku credits Marsch with giving him the chance to be flexible in his new position.

"I'm a player who likes to get plenty of touches on the ball," he said after his latest dazzling display in front of 43,429 fans at the Red Bull Arena. "The coach gave me quite a bit of freedom in that sense. He didn't have me stuck to the last defender, so I played my part."

Marsch, meanwhile, joked that Nkunku had given him a new plan to help improve the team.

"Christo is a fantastic guy and is such a strong player," Marsch said after the game. "He's my neighbour too - all the players should live beside me!"