Lukas Klostermann scored to give RB Leipzig a 1-0 win over bottom club Nuremberg at the Max-Morlock-Stadion, lifting the Saxony club into third, two points clear of Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Nuremberg 0-1 Leipzig
Goals: 0-1 Klostermann (40’)
Leipzig, who began the day in fourth with 29 points more than the Bundesliga’s basement side, started on the front foot and Klostermann flashed a shot narrowly wide inside the first two minutes. Nuremberg settled, though, and could have broken the deadlock when they were awarded a penalty, but Hanno Behrens hit the crossbar from the spot. Eduard Löwen then volleyed a fine through ball to Mikael Ishak, but the Swede’s chance resulted in a corner which came to nothing. Ibrahima Konate then rose highest to meet a Marcel Sabitzer corner at the other end, but the young Frenchman’s effort sailed over. Timo Werner missed this game due to flu, putting Leipzig’s goal burden squarely on Yussuf Poulsen’s shoulders, and the Dane could have brought his season tally to 13 with a close-range header from another corner, but his effort didn’t have the requisite power to test Christian Mathenia. Marcel Halstenberg’s free-kick minutes later did, but Mathenia leapt across his goal to keep the left-back’s top corner-bound effort out. Leipzig’s sheer persistence paid off with half-time approaching though, with Klostermann firing through a sea of bodies after Halstenberg’s corner had fallen to him at the back post.
The teams came out unchanged for the second half, but whatever interim Nuremberg coach Boris Schommers said to his charges seemed to spur them into action, and they were unlucky not to claw back onto level terms when Behrens' cut-back was cut out at the last by Willi Orban. Der Club had three shots on Leipzig’s goal before the hour was out, having only had one in the first half, but they failed to really test Mathenia’s opposite number, Peter Gulacsi. Virgil Misidjan replaced Sebstian Kerk for the final half-hour as Nuremberg looked to wrestle back a share of the spoils, but it was Leipzig who looked more likely to score in the final throes. Tyler Adams, back in the starting line-up having been on the bench for Monday’s late 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim, raced forward before cutting inside, but his shot didn’t do the energy before it justice. Lukas Mühl was fortunate to head past his own near post as well as his keeper Mathenia after a long ball forward from Sabitzer late on, and it ended 1-0 with blushes, for the most part, spared.
- Klostermann’s opener was his third of the season. Leipzig have now won all four of their Bundesliga games in which the full-back has scored.
- Leipzig have scored eight goals through defenders this season – a league best record.
- Ralf Rangnick’s men won a club record fourth consecutive away game. They are also unbeaten in seven.
- No team with Nuremberg's 13-point return after 24 matches has ever avoided relegation.
- Poulsen heads the Leipzig scoring charts on 12 - one more than Werner, who hit one of his five braces so far this season against Nuremberg on Matchday 7.
- Adams has won more than 70 percent of his aerial challenges this season, despite standing 5'9" tall.
Nuremberg: Mathenia – Valentini, Mühl, Ewerton, Leibold – Kerk (Misidjan 66’), Löwen, Erras, Behrens (c), Kubo (Knöll 81’) – Ishak
Unused subs: Bredlow, Bauer, Jäger, Palacios, Fuchs
Out: Goden (muscular), Lippert (knee), Margreitter (muscular), Pereira (suspended), Rhein (suspended)
Coach: Boris Schommers
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Klostermann, Konate, Orban (c), Halstenberg – Laimer, Sabitzer, Adams, Kampl (Mukiele 90+2') – Poulsen, Cunha (Ilsanker 86’)
Unused subs: Müller, Saracchi, Forsberg, Bruma, Augustin
Out: Haidara (knee), Upamecano (knee), Smith Rowe (groin)
Coach: Ralf Rangnick