RB Leipzig and Christopher Nkunku host Liverpool and Mo Salah at the Red Bull Arena in their final pre-season friendly of 2022/23 on Thursday (kick-off: 7.15pm CEST).
Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) – Simakan, Orban, Halstenberg – Henrichs, Kampl, Olmo, Angelino – Szoboszlai – Nkunku, Sorloth
Subs: Blaswich, Nickisch, Schlieck, Haidara, Forsberg, Klostermann, Silva, Mukiele, Schlager, Ba, Laimer, Novoa
Out: Gvardiol (thigh), Poulsen (adductor)
Coach : Domenico Tedesco
Liverpool: Adrian – Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk (c), Robertson – Thiago, Fabinho, Keita – Salah, Firmino, Diaz
Subs: Hughes, Davies, Milner, Gomez, Henderson, Jones, Elliott, Tsimikas, Nunez, Carvalho, Matip, Bajcetic, Phillips, Mabaya, Van den Berg, Morton
Out: Alisson (muscular), Jota (hamstring), Kelleher (muscular), Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring), Ramsay (muscular)
Coach: Jürgen Klopp
As it happened
LEIPZIG LOOK TO BAYERN
Mo Salah gave Liverpool a half-time lead, although Leipzig had their chances in the opening 45. After that it was the Darwin Nunez show, as he helped himself to four second-half goals against a much-changed home line-up. Plenty of food for thought for Leipzig coach Domenico Tedesco then, and he'll expect a strong reaction in the DFL Supercup against Bayern Munich on Saturday 30 July.
NUNEZ GETS HIS FOURTH!
Carvalho leads a Liverpool break and plays it to Nunez on his left. The 23-year-old's strike squirms through Blaswich and into the net.
LATE LEIPZIG PRESSURE
The home side have had some late pressure but Liverpool are holding firm.
NUNEZ CLOSE AGAIN!
Liverpool sub Fabio Carvalho races into the area but drags his attempt wide. Nunez then almost gets a fourth goal from James Milner's cross, but his header is beaten away by Blaswich.
NICE FROM FORSBERG
Good skill from Forsberg to create some space in the area, but his shot is well wide.
HAT-TRICK FOR NUNEZ!
Nunez has been lethal since coming on, and he stretches out a leg to poke home from Elliott's low cross from the right to get his third goal in 23 minutes.
With so many changes - and that double blow from Nunez - the tempo has come down a bit in this game.
LIVERPOOL CLOSE AGAIN!
Olmo dragged a shot wide for Leipzig - and after a raft of changes for both sides - Harvey Elliott heads just wide from a Tsimikas cross when well placed.
NUNEZ GETS HIS SECOND!
Nunez showing exactly why Liverpool signed him from Benfica as he gets his second goal since being introduced. Kevin Kampl lost the ball in midfield, Trent Alexander-Arnold helped it on, and the Liverpool striker drove the ball across Blaswich and into the corner.
FIRST GOAL FOR NUNEZ
Liverpool's big-money signing Darwin Nunez came on at half-time and got his first goal for the club within two minutes. Blaswich threw himself to his right and made contact with the Uruguayan's penalty - but was unable to keep it out.
Luis Diaz gets on to a Jordan Henderson flick on and is taken down by goalkeeper Janis Blaswich, who came on for Peter Gulacsi in the Leipzig goal at half-time.
We're back underway in Leipzig! There have been a few half-time changes...
Leipzig trail at the break then after Salah's scrappy early goal. The visitors haven't threatened too often since then, with both sides having good chances just before the break.
Leipzig get their best chance of the half seconds after Robertson went close at the other end. Konate makes a mistake but Nkunku's shot is well saved by Adrian. Benjamin Henrichs can't get his effort on target soon after.
ROBERTSON FIRES WIDE!
A let off for Leipzig as Robertson volleys goalwards from inside the penalty box. The Scotland international doesn't catch it cleanly, though, and Firmino is unable to turn the ball on target rather than watch it drift agonisingly wide.
CLOSE FOR ANGELINO!
Almost a wonder goal from Leipzig's left-sided wide man. It sits up nicely outside the area for Angelino, and he strikes the ball really sweetly on the volley. The ball swerves viciously as it dips just over the bar.
A trademark swift counter attack looks to be on for the home side but Dominik Szoboszlai takes too long in a three-on-two situation.
Andy Robertson is played in down the left, but Willi Orban gets across to put the ball behind for a corner. The set-piece is cleared to Thiago outside the area, but he fires wildly off target.
LEIPZIG PLAY KEEP BALL
Leipzig pass the ball around for several minutes, but their attempts to break through Liverpool's defence are hampered by an injury to Alexander Sorloth. The striker, who spent last season on loan at Real Sociedad, will have to come off.
NO TAKERS FOR ANGELINO
Former Leipzig players Ibrahima Konate and Naby Keita are starting for Liverpool tonight, and they're doing a good job so far. Angelino sweeps a cross deep to the back post, but none of his teammates are there to get Leipzig level.
Both sides are looking for a way through. Leipzig have had plenty of time on the ball, while Liverpool are staying very compact. Salah has threatened a couple of times since his goal.
The crowd are in fine voice but Liverpool are calming things down again after a spell of pressure from the hosts.
Leipzig are looking much more dangerous since the goal, and Dani Olmo gets a shot on target from range.
Salah puts Liverpool in front after a scrappy passage of play. Leipzig had several chances to clear the ball from the edge of their area, but former Hoffenheim attacker Roberto Firmino was able to set up Salah for a simple sidefooted finish.
The visitors, with former Bayern Munich star Thiago pulling the strings in midfield, are probing for an opening. But Leipzig are keeping Mo Salah & Co. quiet for now.
The game is underway in Leipzig
REMEMBERING A GERMAN LEGEND
There was a moment of appreciation before kick-off for one of the best strikers German football has ever seen. Hamburg and West Germany legend Uwe Seeler got 137 goals in 239 Bundesliga games, and was the top goalscorer - with 30 goals - in the league's inaugural season in 1963/64.
LAST TEST BEFORE THE SUPERCUP
This is almost as good a test as Leipzig could get before they return to competitive action. Last season's DFB Cup winners take on Bayern Munich in the season-opening DFL Supercup on July 30.
STRONG LEIPZIG LINE-UP
Not surprisingly, Domenico Tedesco has picked a strong team for this glamour friendly. Last season's Bundesliga Player of the Year Christopher Nkunku will be looking to inspire his team as usual.
Blaswich, Nickisch, Schlieck, Haidara, Forsberg, Klostermann, Silva, Mukiele, Schlager, Ba, Laimer, Novoa
Hughes, Davies, Milner, Gomez, Henderson, Jones, Elliott, Tsimikas, Nunez, Carvalho, Matip, Bajcetic, Phillips, Mabaya, Van den Berg, Morton
Adrian – Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson – Thiago, Fabinho, Keita – Salah, Firmino, Diaz
Leipzig have already played and beaten English opposition this pre-season, claiming a 3-1 victory over former coach Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Southampton on Saturday in Austria. The goals came from Angelino, Emil Forsberg and a sublime finish from 30 yards by Ilaix Moriba, but it was Nkunku who was doing that job last term. The French forward blew opposition away to be voted Bundesliga Player of the Season for 2021/22, as well as guiding Die Roten Bullen to maiden DFB Cup glory. Nkunku has since signed a contract extension as he and Leipzig target more silverware, starting in just over a week with the Supercup against Bayern Munich. That game will also be played here at the Red Bull Arena, so it’s the perfect stage for players such as summer signing Xaver Schlager, as well as strikers Andre Silva and Alexander Sorloth, to convince coach Domenico Tedesco that they are ready to start that match on 30 July.
Liverpool have been out in the Far East for their pre-season but are now back in Europe for the final leg. Salah, who is up for the African Player of the Year award alongside ex-teammate-turned-Bayern man Sadio Mane and Borussia Dortmund’s Sebastien Haller this Thursday, was powerless to prevent a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United in Bangkok but did guide the Merseyside club to a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in Singapore on Friday. Ex-Dortmund and Mainz boss Jürgen Klopp has a number of players missing, including first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker and forward Diogo Jota, while new recruit Darwin Nunez is still looking to get off the mark. Liverpool follow this game with a hop across the border to face Red Bull Salzburg before taking on Manchester City in the Community Shield.
Watch: Nkunku, Leipzig’s superstar
- Nkunku ended last season with 35 goals and 18 assists across 52 competitive club appearances, including a hat-trick against English opposition in Man City.
- Ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi is second on Leipzig’s all-time appearance list with 272. Yussuf Poulsen leads the way with 328.
- Die Roten Bullen lifted the DFB Cup for the first time in their history last season and now come up against the holders of the English equivalent, the FA Cup.
- Leipzig boast a balanced record against English clubs with four wins and four losses. However, two of those defeats were to Liverpool.
- Liverpool duo Naby Keita and Ibrahima Konate are both ex-Leipzig players, having made 70 and 94 appearances for Die Roten Bullen respectively.
- Klopp oversaw 340 Bundesliga and 148 Bundesliga 2 matches as coach of Dortmund and Mainz, winning back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012.