bundesliga

RB Leipzig edge five-goal thriller with Hertha Berlin

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RB Leipzig survived a spirited Hertha Berlin second-half fightback to hold onto all three points by the odd goal in five at the Red Bull Arena.

RB Leipzig 3-2 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 1-0 Forsberg 26’ (assist: Szoboszlai), 2-0 Diallo 30’ (assist: Szoboszlai), 3-0 Orban 45’, 3-1 Lukebakio (pen. 61’), 3-2 Jovetic (64’)

Hertha, seeking only a second win of the season to pull away from the drop zone, were on the back foot immediately as a hungry Leipzig piled on the pressure. The only surprise was how long it took the hosts to make the breakthrough, with 25 minutes on the clock when Emil Forsberg flicked Dominik Szoboszlai’s cross in. Szoboszlai was the architect of Leipzig’s second less than five minutes later, curling in a corner which Abdou Diallo got his head to. Agustin Rogel could only help the ball on before David Raum got the last touch to the ball before the net rippled. It then became the day of magical Magyars as Willi Orban rounded off an excellent first half for Leipzig, tucking the ball in from close range after Andre Silva’s shot rebounded off the post to the Hungarian’s feet.

Hertha were gifted a route back into the game when Jonjoe Kenny’s cross struck the arm of Diallo inside the penalty area, and Dodi Lukebakio stroked in the spot-kick. Stevan Jovetic struck a second within a matter of minutes, turning and volleying into the bottom left-hand corner to stun the home team, who only moments earlier had appeared to be cruising. Jovetic almost brought Hertha level with a far-post header which bounced over the unguarded goal after Janis Blaswich missed the cross. In contrast to the first half, it was now Leipzig on the back foot, although Christopher Nkunku could have relieved the pressure when he rounded Oliver Christensen, but Lukebakio lunged to get a telling touch to turn his shot against the post. On the break, Kevin Kampl covered behind Blaswich to turn Chidera Ejuke’s shot off the line, before Nkunku did find the back of the net, albeit from an offside position. Hertha lived to fight another five minutes, and Wilfried Kanga nearly snatched an equaliser deep in stoppage time when he struck the inside of the right-hand post with almost the final touch of a pulsating Bundesliga fixture.

Match stats

  • Leipzig scored more than two goals in one half for the first time this season, with Hertha conceding more than two for the first time.
  • Forsberg has been on the winning team in each of his seven games against Hertha, while he has scored three against the Old Lady.
  • Jovetic scored his first goal of the season. His last Bundesliga goal, on Matchday 23 of the 2021/22 season, also came against Leipzig, in a 6-1 defeat.
  • Silva made his 100th Bundesliga appearance, but was left still waiting for his first league goal of the season.
  • Leipzig have recorded more wins against Hertha (11) than any Bundesliga team they've faced. They've scored at least twice in all 13 of their clashes, whilst losing just once (3-2, December 2017).
  • Lukebakio has more goals after ten matches (five) than in any of his four previous seasons of Bundesliga football.

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Watch: Forsberg: "I'm proud of the guys"

Teams

Leipzig: Blaswich - Simakan (Henrichs 61'), Orban (c), Diallo, Raum (Halstenberg 61') - Haidara (Kampl 61'), Schlager - Szoboszlai, Nkunku, Forsberg (Poulsen 72') - Silva (Novoa 72')
Unused subs: Nyland, Gvardiol
Out: Gulacsi (knee), Klostermann (ankle), Laimer (ankle), Olmo (knee), Werner (ill)
Coach: Marco Rose

Hertha: Christensen - Kenny, Rogel, Kempf, Plattenhardt (c) (Mittelstädt 46') - Tousart, Sunjic (Kanga 46'), Serdar (Selke 83') - Lukebakio, Jovetic, Richter (Ejuke 59')
Unused subs: Ernst, Pekarik, Darida, Boateng, Dardai
Out: Boetius (fitness), Gechter (tonsillitis), Jarstein (not considered), Ngankam (fitness), Nsona (cruciate ligament), Uremovic (ankle)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz

Watch: Jovetic: "We showed character"