Andre Silva scored in each half as RB Leipzig climbed into the top half with a 4-1 victory over ten-man Mainz.
RB Leipzig 4-1 Mainz
Goals: 1-0 Silva (pen. 21'), 2-0 Szoboszlai 48' (assist: Nkunku), 2-1 Lee 57' (assist: Onisiwo), 3-1 Nkunku 58' (assist: Szoboszlai), 4-1 Silva 61' (assist: Nkunku)
Red cards: Hack (19')
Leipzig began 2022 on the back of their worst start to a Bundesliga season, but controlled proceedings for long periods at the Red Bull Arena. Silva spurned the first opening of note, failing to connect with a teasing ball in from the right, before rampaging defender Josko Gvardiol forced a full-stretch save from Robin Zentner. The Mainz custodian repelled Yussuf Poulsen at close quarters, with Silva's follow-up attempt finding the hand of Alexander Hack, who received a straight red card for his efforts. Silva dispatched the ensuing penalty to put Leipzig in total control.
Mainz's afternoon went from bad to worse soon after the restart. Introduced in place of Poulsen at half-time, Christopher Nkunku raced away and found Dominik Szoboszlai, who fired a wicked outside-of-the-boot effort beyond Zentner from inside the box - the goal standing following a VAR review for a possible offside. Jae-Sung Lee finished a wonderfully worked move to give Mainz hope - hope extinguished soon after when Szoboszlai slipped in Nkunku to clip over Zentner. Nkunku turned provider for a thunderous Silva finish just past the hour to seal a fully deserved three points.
- Nkunku has featured in all 26 of Leipzig's competitive games so far this term, starting 24. He's registered eight goals and seven assists.
- Every one of Silva's 47 Bundesliga goals has been scored from inside the box, including seven for Leipzig in 2021/22.
- Szoboszlai scored his fourth Bundesliga goal, and produced his fifth assist.
- Sidney Raebiger, 16, made his Bundesliga debut. He's Leipzig's youngest player to appear in the German top flight.
- However, Die Roten Bullen have not kept a clean sheet in the Bundesliga since 2 October 2021 (Matchday 7).
- Mainz are yet to draw away from home this term (W2, L7).
Watch: Silva on Leipzig's win over Mainz
Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) – Simakan, Orban, Gvardiol – Klostermann (Wosz 82'), Adams, Kampl, Angelino –Szoboszlai (Raebiger 87') – Poulsen (Nkunku 46'), Silva (Novoa 68')
Unused subs: Tschauner, Martinez, Hartmann, Ibrahimi
Out: Bonnah (not included), Forsberg (thigh), Haidara (Africa Cup of Nations), Halstenberg (thigh), Henrichs (not included), Moriba (Africa Cup of Nations), Mukiele (not included), Olmo (not included)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Mainz: Zentner (c) – Bell, Hack, Brosinski – Widmer, Stach, Lee (Papela 82'), Martin (Lucoqui 82') – Boetius (Barreiro 64') – Burkardt (Nemeth 65'), Onisiwo (Nebel 82')
Unused subs: Dahmen, Stöger, Bobzien
Out: Ingvartsen (groin), Kohr (thigh), Niakhate (not included), St. Juste (shoulder), Szalai (head)
Coach: Bo Svensson