bundesliga

RB Leipzig keep pace with Bayern Munich after routine win in Freiburg

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Christopher Nkunku, Alexander Sorloth and Emil Forsberg kept RB Leipzig within two points of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga table after a 3-0 win at Freiburg.

Freiburg 0-3 RB Leipzig
Goals: 0-1 Nkunku (41'), 0-2 Sorloth (64'), 0-3 Forsberg (79')

Leipzig certainly weren't bowled over by the prospect of returning to the summit. Julian Nagelsmann's side dictated the pace of the contest for long periods in the first half, with Nkunku a constant outlet in the final third. It was his delivery in the 10th minute - following a sensational cross-field pass from Kevin Kampl - that proffered the first chance, but Sorloth was unable to get his head on the ball. Dani Olmo whipped an effort over from 18 yards during a sustained spell of Leipzig pressure, before Sorloth drew the first save of note from Florian Müller with a shot on the run midway through the first period. Freiburg had done themselves proud in keeping clear-cut Leipzig chances to a premium, but shot themselves in the foot in the 41st minute. Kampl beat Baptiste Santamaria to a loose Müller pass, the ball cannoning off the Leipzig midfielder and onto the toe of Yussuf Poulsen, who calmly controlled and squared to Nkunku to stroke home from close range.

Leipzig remained in complete control of proceedings, a Jonathan Schmid effort that was blocked by Lukas Klostermann aside. Dayot Upamecano sent an unorthodox flicked header straight at Müller, before the visitors got the second goal their dominance deserved. Kampl was the catalyst, picking the pockets of Santamaria once more, and finding Nkunku in the box. The Frenchman could have gone it alone, but selflessly teed up Sorloth for a routine finish. Hwang Hee-Chan spurned the chance of a third when he took one touch too many after initially rounding Müller, and saw his eventual effort from a tight angle pushed behind. Fellow substitute Forsberg showed the South Korean how it should be done with 11 minutes remaining, the Swede directing Sorloth's lay-off past Müller with a fabulous first-time finish from 18 yards. Peter Gulacsi beat away a decent attempt from Roland Sallai soon after as Leipzig cruised over the finish line, moving a point above Bayern Munich, before the defending champions returned to top spot after a 4-2 win over Borussia Dortmund.

Match stats

  • Nkunku has scored four Bundesliga goals in his last six games.
  • Sorloth put away his third Bundesliga goal, but first as a starter.
  • Nkunku and Sorloth scored and assisted for the second successive match.
  • Forsberg scored his fifth Bundesliga goal of the campaign - as many as across last season in its entirety. His personal best is eight (2016/17).
  • Leipzig have conceded a league-low nine second-half goals in this season's Bundesliga, and boast the best defensive record in the league (20 goals against).
  • Die Roten Bullen are on a six-match winning run. The club record at Bundesliga level is eight (Matchdays 6-13 of the 2016/17 campaign).

Watch: Nagelsmann: "Important to be a competitor for Bayern"

Line-ups

Freiburg: Müller - Kübler (Schlotterbeck 80'), Lienhart, Heintz, Günter (c) - Schmid, Santamaria (Sallai 65'), Höfler, Grifo (Jeong 80') - Demirovic (Til 69'), Höler (Petersen 69')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Gulde, Haberer
Out: Flekken (elbow), Keitel (groin), Kwon (knee)
Coach: Christian Streich
 
Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) - Mukiele, Upamecano, Klostermann (Konate 84') - Adams (Henrichs 84'), Haidara, Kampl, Nkunku (Samardzic 85') - Olmo (Forsberg 63') - Sörloth, Poulsen (Hwang 63')
Unused subs: Tschauner, Martinez, Kluivert
Out: Angelino (muscular), Halstenberg (knee), Laimer (knee), Orban (hand), Sabitzer (suspended), Szoboszlai (groin)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann

Watch: Forsberg: "Important to stay focused"