Emil Forsberg, Yussuf Poulsen and Amadou Haidara were all on the scoresheet as RB Leipzig got their 2020/21 Bundesliga campaign off to a winning start at home to Mainz.
RB Leipzig 3-1 Mainz
Goals: 1-0 Forsberg (pen, 17'), 2-0 Poulsen (21'), 2-1 Mateta (47'), 3-1 Haidara (51')
Leipzig had thrashed Mainz 8-0 and 5-0 last season, finding themselves in the lead inside 11 minutes both times, but it took a quarter of an hour for Julian Nagelsmann' side to make the breakthrough this time. Dani Olmo was tripped by Leandro Barreiro inside the penalty area, giving Forsberg a golden chance from 12 yards, which the Swede duly took. Die Roten Bullen then immediately doubled their advantage when Olmo chipped a cleared free-kick back into the box, where Poulsen evaded his marker with a huge leap to head the ball back across goal, over Robin Zentner, and into the far top corner. It remained all Leipzig in the first half, bar one shot from Daniel Brosinski that went over the bar, as Forsberg twice came close again. His first effort with the outside of his boot after a jinking run hit the outside of the post, before he curled one narrowly over the bar.
Mainz had an immediate response after the break, though, when Robin Quaison played a through ball perfectly into the path of Jean-Philippe Mateta, who tucked away the visitors' first attempt on target. However, the relief for former Leipzig caretaker and assistant coach Achim Beierlorzer lasted just three minutes, as Forsberg battled past two 05ers defenders to tee up Haidara to restore the two-goal advantage with his second Bundesliga goal. Poulsen had the chance for a second when intercepting a poor pass from Jerry St. Juste, but he was forced wide by Zentner before his effort was cleared by a covering defender. A worrying moment for Leipzig came when Olmo took a blow to the head midway through the half, but he left the pitch under his own steam to be replaced by Bundesliga debutant Hee-Chan Hwang as Leipzig stayed in control to collect maximum points.
- Forsberg’s goal was his first since 10 March against Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League. He'd last scored in the Bundesliga on 22 February at Schalke.
- Leipzig have converted each of their last 10 penalties in all competitions (5x Forsberg, 5x Timo Werner).
- Poulsen had played in the opening game of Leipzig's league campaigns for the last eight years. This was the first time he’d scored.
- The Dane now has five goals and five assists against Mainz in nine Bundesliga meetings.
- He's also scored in three straight Bundesliga games for the first time, with the last two goals both coming against Mainz.
- Leipzig's last three games against Mainz have produced three wins, scoring 16 goals and conceding just one.
Watch: Forsberg: "We missed the fans!"
Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) – Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg – Haidara (Mukiele 90'+2), Adams, Kampl (Henrichs 77'), Angelino – Olmo (Hwang 69'), Forsberg (Nkunku 77') – Poulsen
Unused subs: Tschauner, Orban, Sabitzer, Lookman, Samardzic
Out: Hartmann (knee), Konate (hip), Laimer (knee), Martinez (not included)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Mainz: Zentner – Baku, St. Juste, Niakhate, Brosinski – Burkardt (Öztunali 68'), Barreiro, Latza (c) (Tauer 86'), Onisiwo (Abass 86') – Quaison (Boetius 68'), Mateta (Nebel 90'+1)
Unused subs: Dahmen, Lavalee, Kilian, Mwene
Out: Bell (not included), Fernandes (match fitness), Ji (knee), Kunde (not included)
Coach: Achim Beierlorzer