RB Leipzig took a major step towards securing another top-four finish after a quickfire double from Spanish midfielder Dani Olmo helped them past a wasteful Hoffenheim side on Friday.
Hoffenheim had parted ways with Alfred Schreuder earlier in the week but, having started in seventh, they still harboured hopes of a top-six finish. Christoph Baumgartner almost rewarded the home side for an aggressive start, but the Austrian sidefooted just wide after a mazy run into the area. The home side then thought they had a penalty when Munas Dabbur was fouled by Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, but a VAR review ruled there was an infringement in the build-up. Hoffenheim then watched Leipzig score with their first attack, Olmo swiftly stabbing home after being picked out by Nordi Mukiele in the area. Two minutes later the Spaniard added another after taking advantage of a clever header from Marcel Sabitzer to once again fire smartly past Oliver Baumann at his near post. Hoffenheim were unlucky again when Dabbur headed off the bar on 27 minutes before Gulacsi saved from Baumgartner as Hoffenheim failed to beat him with any of their 12 first-half attempts at goal. Leipzig striker Timo Werner then fired over when one-on-one with Baumann a minute before the break.
Hoffenheim sent on Robert Skov and leading goalscorer Andrej Kramaric at half-time in a bid to turn things around, and Sebastian Rudy was soon denied by Gulacsi as they continued to create chances. Angelino had a goal correctly ruled out for offside at the other end, before Mukiele headed off target for the visitors. Olmo later missed a chance for his hat-trick, and substitute Christopher Nkunku hit the post while the home side continued to let half-chances slip. But Leipzig had done more than enough to do the double over Hoffenheim and strengthen their grip on third position.
- Olmo scored his first double in the Bundesliga.
- The former Dinamo Zagreb midfielder opened his account for Leipzig following his winter move in a 4-2 Matchday 29 win at Cologne.
- Hoffenheim had 22 shots on goal - the most they have managed in any game this season.
- Only league leaders Bayern Munich (30) have conceded fewer goals than Leipzig (32) this term.
- Hoffenheim hit the woodwork for the 12th time this season. Only Bayern Munich have struck the frame of the goal more times (18).
- Leipzig coach Nagelsmann left Hoffenheim for the Red Bull Arena last June having won 44 percent of his games with the Sinsheimers - a club record.
Watch: Olmo: "I feel good"
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Posch, Grillitsch, Bicakcic - Kaderabek, Rudy, Samassekou (Kramaric 46'), Geiger (Akpoguma 81'), Zuber (Skov 46') - Dabbur (Bebou 62'), Baumgartner (Bruun Larsen 68')
Unused subs: Pentke, Stafylidis, Nordtveit, Beier
Out: Adamyan (ankle), Belfodil (knee), Hübner (suspended)
Leipzig: Gulacsi - Mukiele, Klostermann, Halstenberg, Angelino - Sabitzer (c) (Konate 78'), Laimer (Nkunku 62'), Kampl (Adams 68'), Olmo (Haidara 78') - Schick (Lookman 68'), Werner
Unused subs: Mvogo, Orban, Krauß, Forsberg
Out: Ampadu (back), Poulsen (ankle), Upamecano (suspended)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Watch: Nagelsmann: "I thought Olmo would score from No.10"