Christopher Nkunku and Timo Werner strike as RB Leipzig beat Bayer Leverkusen


Christopher Nkunku and Timo Werner got the goals as RB Leipzig extended their unbeaten run to nine competitive games with a 2-0 triumph over Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 12.

RB Leipzig 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Goals: 1-0 Nkunku 32' (assist: Szoboszlai), 2-0 Werner 83' (assist: Haidara)

Fresh from defeating reigning European champions Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, Leipzig began with a spring in their step as they sought to carry that momentum into their domestic duties. Nkunku was presented with the game's only real opening early on when he darted into the box, only to be thwarted by a last-gasp block by Robert Andrich. The teams subsequently cancelled each other out in an intense midfield battle, with no serious scoring chances until Leipzig took the lead when Dominik Szoboszlai's free-kick from the right was headed in by Nkunku, who had ghosted into the box unmarked.

It was a similar story of cat-and-mouse after the interval as both teams remained compact initially. However, with Leverkusen trailing, they were forced to take more risks going forward, allowing Leipzig more opportunities on the counter. Szoboszlai very nearly took advantage of one such occasion when he got on the end of Werner's knock-down, but his shot from a tight angle was smothered by Lukas Hradecky. The best the visitors could muster at the other end was a shot from Daley Sinkgraven that Leipzig goalkeeper Orjan Nyland had little trouble keeping out. Leipzig made sure of the points in the closing stages when Amadou Haidara's brilliant pass dissected the Leverkusen defence, sending Werner clean through to finish past Hradecky for his fourth Bundesliga goal of the season.

Match stats

  • Nkunku netted his ninth Bundesliga goal of the season here, putting him level with Werder Bremen's Niclas Füllkrug at the top of the chart.
  • The Frenchman has now found the net 22 times in the 2022 calendar year, more often than any other Bundesliga player.
  • Leipzig have scored seven of their 21 goals this season from set pieces.
  • Szoboszlai's assist was his fifth of the campaign - only Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani has more this term with six.
  • Marco Rose's side played nine competitive games in October - and didn't lose any of them (W7, D2).
  • Leipzig have the best home record in this season's Bundesliga, winning five and drawing one with a goal difference of +12.

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Leipzig: Nyland - Simakan (Gvardiol 46'), Orban (c), Diallo, Raum (Halstenberg 70') – Henrichs, Kampl (Haidara 46'), Schlager, Szoboszlai (Olmo 71') - Nkunku (Silva 84'), Werner
Unused subs: Nickisch, Novoa, Forsberg
Out: Gulacsi (knee), Klostermann (ankle), Laimer (ankle)
Coach: Marco Rose

Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Tah, Tapsoba, Hincapie – Fosu-Mensah (Frimpong 54'), Andrich, Amiri (Palacios 65'), Sinkgraven (Bakker 65') - Diaby, Hlozek (Schick 65'), Adli (Hudson-Odoi 77')
Unused subs: Lunev, Demirbay, Paulinho, Kossounou
Out: Aranguiz (calf), Azmoun (muscular), Bellarabi (fitness), Wirtz (fitness)
Coach: Xabi Alonso