Yussuf Poulsen keeps RB Leipzig in the hunt at the top in win at Hoffenheim

Yussuf Poulsen was the difference for RB Leipzig as Julian Nagelsmann’s side kept pace at the top of the table with a 1-0 victory away to Hoffenheim on Matchday 12.

Hoffenheim 0-1 RB Leipzig
Goals: 0-1 Poulsen (60')

The match began at a furious tempo with both teams pressing high up the pitch and getting forward at breakneck speed. The first chance fell to Hoffenheim in the sixth minute when Christoph Baumgartner strode forward before sliding a pass into Andrej Kramaric to his left. The Croatian cut onto his right foot and curled a shot towards the far corner, but it was a tame effort and Peter Gulacsi saved comfortably. At the other end, Poulsen was a hair’s width away from connecting with a teasing Marcel Sabitzer cross in what was Leipzig’s best opening, but the best chance fell to the hosts midway through the half. A short corner was worked to Sebastian Rudy, whose deep cross to the back post found unmarked centre-back Kasim Adams, who somehow headed wide from close range with the goal at his mercy.

Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann made two changes at half-time, bringing on Justin Kluivert and Marcel Halstenberg in an effort to shake up his side’s attacking play. It had the desired effect and the visitors look the lead on the hour-mark when Sabitzer’s cushioned header from Angelino’s floated cross teed up Poulsen to volley in the opener. The game began to open up after that, and Baumgartner almost brought Hoffenheim level with a glancing header on the edge of the six-yard box, but Gulacsi made a brilliant save to tip it over the bar. The home side threw everything forward in the closing stages, but Leipzig remained firm at the back, giving Nagelsmann an important victory over his former side.

Match stats

  • With an average of of 25 years and 329 days, this was the oldest starting line-up in Leipzig's Bundesliga history.
  • Poulsen's goal was his fourth in the Bundesliga this season. It was just Leipzig's second shot in the game.
  • Hoffenheim have picked up just one point from their last five games against Leipzig, although they have scored more goals (15) than any other Bundesliga club against Die Roten Bullen.
  • Hoffenheim coach Hoeneß was a youth coach at Leipzig between 2014 and 2017.
  • Nagelsmann sat on the Hoffenheim bench for more Bundesliga fixtures (116) than any other coach in the Sinsheim club's history.
  • Leipzig have not lost any of the last 44 games in which they have scored the opening goal. The last time they did so was in a 4-1 reverse to Borussia Dortmund on 26 August 2018.

Watch: Poulsen: "I'm proud of the whole team"


Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Akpoguma, Vogt, Adams, Sessegnon (Beier 90'+2) - Rudy (Gacinovic 66'), Samassekou, Baumgartner - Skov (Bebou 80') - Dabbur (Belfodil 66'), Kramaric
Unused subs: Pentke, Nordtveit, John, Bogarde, Klaussm
Out: Adamyan (not included), Bicakcic (knee), Bruun Larsen (not included), Geiger (suspended), Grillitsch (suspended), Hübner (ankle), Kaderabek (muscular), Posch (suspended), Stafylidis (shoulder)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß

Leipzig: Gulacsi - Konate (Sörloth 61'), Upamecano, Orban - Mukiele (Halstenberg 46'), Sabitzer (c) (Adams 74'), Kampl, Angelino - Olmo, Forsberg (Kluivert 46', Haidara 74') - Poulsen
Unused subs: Martinez, Borkowski, Martel, Wosz
Out: Henrichs (knee), Hwang (not included), Klostermann (knee), Laimer (knee), Nkunku (ankle), Samardzic (not included)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann