Christopher Nkunku dazzles yet again as RB Leipzig breeze past Hoffenheim


Christopher Nkunku and Dominik Szoboszlai each registered a goal and an assist as RB Leizpig cruised past Hoffenheim 3-0 to move to within a point of third-placed Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

RB Leipzig 3-0 Hoffenheim
Goals: 1-0 Nkunku 5' (assist: Szoboszlai), 2-0 Halstenberg 20' (assist: Laimer), 3-0 Szoboszlai 44' (assist: Nkunku)

It didn’t take long for Nkunku to demonstrate why he recently earned his first senior cap for France, the 24-year-old collecting Szoboszlai’s clipped free-kick to open the scoring inside five minutes. Leipzig were in rampant mood and doubled their lead a quarter of an hour later when Konrad Laimer strode forward and fed the ball to Marcel Halstenberg, who lashed in an unstoppable drive at the near post. Domenico Tedesco’s side effectively put the outcome beyond all doubt shortly before the interval when Nkunku’s brilliant cushioned header teed up Szoboszlai to prod in from close range, giving the hosts a comfortable lead against a Hoffenheim side that failed to muster a single shot on target all game.

USA international Tyler Adams replaced Laimer at half-time but there was no change to the flow of the game, with the home side’s dynamism and energy too much for Hoffenheim to cope with. Leipzig eventually eased off midway through the half, aware they would likely get chances on the counter as Hoffenheim sought a way back into the game. Emil Forsberg had the best of these following a sweeping team move, but he blazed over the bar from close to the penalty spot. Angelino almost teed up fellow substitute Yussuf Poulsen in the closing stages, while Dani Olmo drilled wide following an elegant moment of skill, but in truth any addition to the scoreline would merely have been aesthetic. Leipzig's furious first-half got the job done and leaves them just a point behind Leverkusen ahead of next week's trip to the BayArena.

Match stats

  • Nkunku now has 17 Bundesliga goals this term, including 10 in 2022.
  • The Frenchman is the only player so far this Bundesliga season to reach double figures for goals (17) and assists (12).
  • Halstenberg marked his first start of the season following a long injury lay-off with his first goal of the campaign.
  • Szoboszlai's assist means he has seven for the season now.
  • Ihlas Bebou made his 100th competitive appearance for Hoffenheim.
  • Hoffenheim did not manage a single shot on target all game, and only had four efforts at goal during the entire 90 minutes.

Watch: Nkunku: "We absolutely deserved the win"


Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) - Simakan (Klostermann 62'), Orban, Gvardiol - Mukiele, Laimer (Adams 46'), Kampl (Olmo 80'), Halstenberg (Angelino 63') – Forsberg, Szoboszlai - Nkunku (Poulsen 63')
Unused subs: Martinez, Silva, Novoa, Henrichs
 Haidara (knee)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco

Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Posch, Nordtveit, Richards - Bebou (Skov 80'), Samassekou, Stiller, Kaderabek - Baumgartner (Dabbur 70') - Rutter (Bruun Larsen 70'), Kramaric
Unused subs: Philipp, Adams Che, Bischof
Out: Akpoguma (suspended), Bicakcic (knee), Geiger (not included), Grillitsch (muscular), John (shoulder), Hübner (back), Raum (suspended), Rudy (not included), Vogt (suspended)
 Sebastian Hoeneß