Dayot Upamecano scored for the first time since 2018 as RB Leipzig came from a goal down against 10-man Hertha Berlin to win and stay top of the table, with Marcel Sabitzer scoring the winning goal on his return from injury.
There were new faces in Julian Nagelsmann's line-up with summer signings Justin Kluivert and Alexander Sorloth making their first starts of the season. They were left red-faced after just eight minutes however, as Dodi Lukebakio found Jhon Cordoba in space on the counter and the Colombian hit his third of the campaign with a simple finish. Leipzig responded immediately, with slick footwork in the box from Upamecano taking him past two defenders in no space at all before firing past Alexander Schwolow from a tough angle. In fact, Upamecano was a dominant force for the home side in the first half, stepping up into midfield to help push play forward. Emil Forsberg almost gave Leipzig on the half-hour mark but Schwolow reached out well to save his effort. The Swede had another chance after lovely interplay to the edge of the Hertha box where Sorloth set up Forsberg, but he fired over from 20 yards at the end of the first half.
Deyovaisio Zeefuik was brought on at the break as Hertha came out of the blocks flying again. Former Leipzig forward Matheus Cunha forcing a save from Peter Gulacsi in the opening minutes before a nightmare ensued for Zeefuik. The Dutchman was handed two yellow cards for challenges on Christopher Nkunku in the space of three minutes, earning him a red card just five minutes into the second half. Yussuf Poulsen and Dani Olmo were brought on in an attempt to spark the Leipzig attack into life having struggled despite their man advantage, and the former headed over from close range just moments after coming on. Sabitzer made his return from injury replacing Nordi Mukiele after he'd taken a knock, and the Austrian forced a superb low save from Schwolow to deny him an immediate goal. With 15 minutes to play, Cordoba turned hero to zero by fouling Willi Orban in the Hertha box and Sabitzer stepped up to bag his comeback goal. Poulsen hit the post in the final 10 minutes and Nkunku fired just wide as Leipzig secured all three points to stay top of the table ahead of Bayern Munich for another week.
- Nagelsmann has never lost a game against Hertha, winning six and drawing four so far.
- Upamecano scored his first Bundesliga goal in two-and-a-half years. His last goal in the top flight also coming against Hertha back in May 2018. He has also never lost to the Old Lady.
- Sabitzer scored his first and only penalty in the Bundesliga in his first game of the season.
- Leipzig are currently enjoying their best ever start to a campaign, with 13 points on the board, 12 goals scored and just three conceded.
- Hertha have conceded at least twice in all nine league meetings with Leipzig.
Watch: Nagelsmann: "We were the better team and deserved to win"
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Mukiele (Sabitzer 69'), Upamecano, Orban, Angelino – Henrichs, Kampl (Konate 90') – Kluivert (Olmo 65'), Forsberg (Poulsen 65'), Nkunku – Sorloth
Unused subs: Martinez, Hwang, Samardzic, Martel, Wosz
Out: Adams (knee), Haidara (not included), Halstenberg (personal reasons), Klostermann (knee), Laimer (knee)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Hertha: Schwolow – Pekarik (Zeefuik 46'), Boyata (c), Alderete, Mittelstädt (Ngankam 84') – Darida (Löwen 89'), Stark, Tousart - Cunha - Lukebakio (Dilrosun 84'), Cordoba (Piatek 84')
Unused subs: Jarstein, Leckie, Plattenhardt, Dardai
Out: Ascacibar (muscular), Guendouzi (not included), Torunarigha (ankle)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia