RB Leipzig go fourth with Heidenheim win


RB Leipzig pulled into the UEFA Champions League places - for 24 hours at least - with a 2-1 win over Heidenheim, with Loïs Openda and Yussuf Poulsen getting their goals at the Red Bull Arena.

Leipzig 2-1 Heidenheim
Goals: 1-0 Openda 29' (pen), 2-0 Poulsen 44' (assist: Raum), 2-1 Gimber 45'+2 (assist: Maloney)

Leipzig started on the front foot and Yussuf Poulsen saw a fierce shot well stopped by Kevin Müller early on. Marvin Pieringer headed a chance narrowly wide of Janis Blaswich's post at ther other end, but most of the first-half traffic flowed in Leipzig's favour. Openda blasted another shot straight at Müller before he opened the scoring from the penalty spot, sending Müller the wrong way after being upended by Patrick Mainka and Norman Theuerkauf in the box. The hosts doubled their advantage midway through the half when David Raum skipped past Mainka and whipped the ball in for Poulsen, who finished instinctively at the near post. There was still time for Heidenheim to reduce the arrears, however, with Benedikt Gimber converting from close range after Jan-Niklas Beste's corner broke to him at the back post.

Xavi slipped Xaver Schlager in for a gilt-edged chance soon after the restart, but the former Wolfsburg man could only find the outside side-netting. The PSG-owned Dutch youngster went from near-maker to near-taker soon after when he breached Heidenheim's last line of defence, but Omar Traoré scrambled back to recover the danger. Xavi, Openda and Christoph Baumgartner combined to put the visitors on the back foot again soon after, but they somehow contrived not to test Müller in the visiting goal. Marco Rose sent Benjamin Šeško and Emil Forsberg on late on, and moments later the latter teed up Openda for a shot that hit the post. Šeško hit the bar in injury time and it ended 2-1.

Match stats

  • Openda's opener was his 10th goal of the season. He has also contributed three assists since his summer arrival from Lens.
  • Xavi is only two direct goal-involvements behind with four and seven of each in the German top-flight - impressive considering he starts a line deeper than the Frenchman.
  • Leipzig's overall balance against Heidenheim now reads: four played, two one, one drawn and one lost. This was their first top-flight meeting.
  • Darmstadt conceded their eighth penalty of the season - a Bundesliga high.
  • Lennard Maloney - who helped on Beste's corner for Heidenheim's goal - has covered a league-high 158.1km this season.
  • The German-born American recently became the first Heidenheim player ever to win senior international recognition when he was capped by the USMNT.

Watch: Openda: "I can score even more"


Leipzig: Blaswich - Henrichs, Simakan, Klostermann, Raum (Lenz 90'+2) - Xavi (Forsberg 78'), Schlager, Haidara, Baumgartner (Castello 89') - Openda, Poulsen (c) (Šeško 77')
Unused subs: 
Gulácsi, Seiwald, Carvalho, Moriba, Kampl
Bitshiabu (knee), Olmo (shoulder), Orban (knee), Werner (muscular)
Marco Rose  

Heidenheim: Müller - Traoré, Mainka (c), Gimber, Föhrenbach - Maloney (Beck 68') - Pieringer (Dovedan 74'), Schöppner (Thomalla 86'), Theuerkauf (Sessa 68'), Beste (Schimmer 86') - Kleindienst
Unused subs: 
Eicher, Busch, Siersleben, Pick
Dinkçi (suspended), Keller (knee), Qenaj (knee)
Frank Schmidt