bundesliga

Christopher Nkunku's brace leads six-goal RB Leipzig past Hertha Berlin

Christopher Nkunku scored his first Bundesliga brace and assisted another as RB Leipzig doubled their tally for goals this season in a single game after putting six past Hertha Berlin.

RB Leipzig 6-0 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 1-0
Nkunku (16'), 2-0 Poulsen (23'), 3-0 Mukiele (45'+3), 4-0 Forsberg (pen. 60'), 5-0 Nkunku (70'), 6-0 Haidara (77')

Despite seeing Andre Silva drop to the bench after an injury in the warm-up, with Emil Forsberg replacing him, Leipzig started brightly at the Red Bull Arena. Jesse Marsch made the switch to a three-man defence and it looked to be the perfect decision after Nkunku's opener inside 16 minutes. The Frenchman was sent clean through on goal after Yussuf Poulsen's brilliant dummy from Lukas Klostermann's pass, and he provided a beautiful dinked finish over Alexander Schwolow. Vladimir Darida tested Peter Gulacsi for the first time but moments later, he and his side were two goals down. The Leipzig No.1 started the counter-attack with Nkunku sent in behind down the left and he turned provider for Poulsen to slot home with a simple finish in front of goal. Nkunku saw his next effort saved by Schwolow having been played in one-on-one, before Emil Forsberg rattled the crossbar. Minutes later and Lukas Klostermann was denied from making it three after Poulsen was ruled offside by Video-Assist. Leipzig weren't to be denied a third before the break, though, as Nordi Mukiele latched onto Angelino’s free-kick from deep to volley home across goal.

Leipzig came out of the blocks quickly in the second half as Nkunku blazed over from inside the Hertha area, with Mukiele doing the same from nearly the same position minutes later. Nkunku continued to torment the Hertha defence and he handed Forsberg the perfect chance for a fourth after being brought down in the penalty area by Niklas Stark, which Forsberg took with aplomb. Nkunku capped off his perfect performance with a fabulous fifth Leipzig goal, floating a free-kick over the Hertha wall and beyond a stranded Schwolow, who could only watch the ball nestle in the top corner. Amadou Haidara curled home a sixth after fine work from substitute Brian Brobbey in the build-up. Mercifully, that was the end of Leipzig's scoring gala as Marsch earned his second Bundesliga win.

Match stats

  • Nkunku scored twice in a Bundesliga game for the very first time. He also assisted one and won the penalty which Forsberg converted.
  • Poulsen ended a run of 11 games without a goal with his first goal of the season, while Nkunku scored for the first time in 14 games with the opener.
  • Leipzig have now scored at least twice in each of their 11 meetings with Hertha in the Bundesliga.
  • Marsch's side doubled their tally for goals this season in a single game, with 12 now in total after Matchday 6.
  • Leipzig are unbeaten in their last eight Bundesliga meetings with the Old Lady, their last loss coming back in December 2017.
  • This was Hertha's heaviest defeat in the Bundesliga. The capital club have never conceded so many goals (18) after six games of a season.

Line-ups

Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) - Mukiele, Klostermann, Orban, Gvardiol (Simakan 55') - Kampl (Laimer 65'), Haidara - Nkunku (Henrichs 74'), Forsberg (Brobbey 65'), Angelino - Poulsen (Silva 65')
Unused subs: 
Martinez, Szoboszlai, Moriba, Wosz
Out:
Adams (unconfirmed), Halstenberg (ankle), Olmo (thigh), Saracchi (knee)
Coach: 
Jesse Marsch

Hertha: Schwolow - Tousart, Stark (c), M. Dardai - Zeefuik, Darida (Jastrzembski 46'), Ascacibar, Plattenhardt - Serdar, Ekkelenkamp (Richter 59') - Selke (Belfodil 59')
Unused subs: Christensen, Pekarik, Piatek, Mittelstädt, Boateng, Röcker
Out: Boyata (hamstring), Jarstein (match fitness), Jovetic (calf), Klünter (shoulder), Maolida (hamstring), Torunarigha (thigh)
Coach: Pal Dardai