RB Leipzig are back among the Bundesliga's Champions League spots in some style after the Saxony-based side tore ten-man Hertha Berlin apart in the German capital, where Christopher Nkunku (2), Benjamin Henrichs, Dani Olmo, Amadou Haidara and Yussuf Poulsen all found the target for the rampant guests.
Hertha Berlin 1-6 RB Leipzig
Goals: 0-1 Henrichs 20', 1-1 Jovetic 48', 1-2 Nkunku (pen.) 64', 1-3 Nkunku 67' (assist: Olmo), 1-4 Olmo 74', 1-5 Haidara 81' (assist: Adams), 1-6 Poulsen 88' (assist: Olmo)
A look at the pre-game form guide suggested Leipzig would dominate their capital opponents. With four wins in their previous five top-flight matches, Domenico Tedesco's team appeared primed to re-establish a place among the Bundesliga's top four. Hertha, on the other hand, had failed to win any of their six competitive outings since the turn of the year and were left lurking around the relegation zone as a consequence. And so it followed that the away team took the match to their hosts. As a precursor to the game's opening goal, Nordi Mukiele lashed an effort wide of the far post. During one of many subsequent away attacks, Poulsen menaced brilliantly in the area and picked out Henrichs. The full back's initial shot was deflected straight back to him by goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow. Henrichs's follow up attempt had a better outcome, finding its way in off Linus Gechter to give Leipzig the lead. Schwolow subsequently clawed out a Dominik Szoboszlai free-kick to keep Hertha decent, while at the other end, Marco Richter flashed a header over to offer the home fans some cheer.
In the lead up to this game, Hertha coach Tayfun Korkut called on his team to be "brave" and to "play on the front foot," against Die Roten Bullen. If that message failed to get through to his players in the first half, it certainly had the desired effect at the beginning of the second. The Old Lady's top scorer with six goals this season, Stevan Jovetic showed his teammates the way, collecting the ball in his own half before embarking on a run that ended with shot that flew in via a deflection off Josko Gvardiol. The equaliser sparked a mini-Jovetic show, the Montenegrin taking centre stage and almost putting his side in front with a couple of efforts that had the previously dominant Leipzig fretting. Those fears would soon be assuaged, however, after Nkunku was awarded a penalty which saw Marc Oliver Kempf sent off. The French forward calmly converted his 12th goal of this Bundesliga season from the spot. He added another from close range soon afterwards, finishing off a fine Leipzig move to put daylight between the teams. Schwolow then did his best to prevent a fourth with a save from Andre Silva's shot, but Dani Olmo was there with the follow up to put Hertha to the sword. Haidara's superb strike and Poulsen's cheeky late chip only added to the visiting festivities.
- This was Leipzig's biggest ever away win in the Bundesliga.
- Nkunku can count three doubles among his 13 goals in the top-flight this term.
- Henrichs's two goals this season have both been scored under coach Domenico Tedesco.
- Hertha have scored at least once in all 12 of their Bundesliga home games this season.
- The Berliners have now lost all six of their home games against Leipzig.
- Leipzig have recorded more wins (ten) and scored more goals (45) against Hertha than any other Bundesliga club they've faced.
Watch: Olmo: “We hope Nkunku can stay at this level”
Hertha: Schwolow - Pekarik (c), Gechter, Kempf, Bjorkan - Richter (Selke 76'), Tousart, Ascacibar - Darida - Belfodil (Kade 76'), Jovetic (Maolida 70')
Unused subs: Lotka, Myziane, Röcker, Albrecht, Atemona
Out: Boateng (not included), Boyata (ankle), Christensen (thigh), Dardai (ankle), Ekkelenkamp (not included), Jarstein (knee), Körber (knee), MIttelstädt (not included), Plattenhardt (not included), Serdar (not included), Stark (not included)
Coach: Tayfun Korkut
Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) - Simakan (Klostermann 46'), Orban, Gvardiol - Mukiele, Haidara, Henrichs (Adams 80'), Forsberg (Laimer 60') - Nkunku (Silva 70'), Szoboszlai (Olmo 60) - Poulsen
Unused subs: Tschauner, Martinez, Novoa
Out: Angelino (cold), Halstenberg (knee)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Watch: Poulsen: “If we continue like this we’ll get a lot more points”
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