Xavi got a goal and assist in RB Leipzig's UEFA Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade. - © Imago
Xavi got a goal and assist in RB Leipzig's UEFA Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade. - © Imago

Xavi on target as RB Leipzig down Red Star Belgrade


Xavi's first UEFA Champions League goal helped RB Leipzig consolidate second place in Group G with a comfortable win over Red Star Belgrade.

RB Leipzig 3-1 Red Star Belgrade
Goals: 1-0
Raum 12' (assist: Xavi), 2-0 Xavi 59' (assist: Raum), 2-1 Stamenić 70', 3-1 Olmo 84'

Leipzig set their stall out to attack as Paris Saint-Germain loanee Xavi and Belgium international forward Loïs Openda sent a couple of early sighters off target. David Raum then made it a case of third time lucky by applying a drilled finish to a lightning breakaway. Omri Grazer repelled efforts from Benjamin Henrichs and Yussuf Poulsen, before Red Star had a penalty decision overturned by the VAR. Leipzig almost added a third late in the first half as Raum narrowly missed the target from a free-kick.

Leipzig had to ride a wave of Red Star pressure early in the second period, but gave themselves breathing space with less than an hour gone. Following a run of seven competitive games without a goal, Xavi found the top corner with a rasping strike from 18 yards. Kevin Kampl, Openda and Xavi all tested the reflexes of Grazer, before Marko Stamenić halved the deficit with a goal against the run of play. Normal service was resumed late on, though, as substitute Dani Olmo coverted following a goalmouth scramble. The win lifts Leipzig onto six points at the halfway stage in the groups, five clear of Young Boys and Red Star, and four behind holders Manchester City.

Watch: Xavi wins September Bundesliga Goal of the Month

Match stats

  • Xavi scored his first Champions League goal on his third appearance in the competition proper. 
  • Leipzig's seven goals so far in this season's group stage have all come from different players: Xavi, Raum, Openda, Olmo, Benjamin Šeško, Xaver Schlager and Mohamed Simakan.
  • Five different players have provided the assists: Xavi, Raum, Kampl, Poulsen and Henrichs. 
  • This is Leipzig's sixth year competing in the Champions League. They have made it out of the group stage in three of their five previous campaigns.
  • Emil Forsberg is the club's leading appearance maker in the competition with 37 games. Only Christopher Nkunku (11) has more goals for Die Bullen than the Swede (10) for the club.
  • Leipzig's overall Champions League record (from group stage on) reads 39 games, 19 wins, five draws, 15 defeats.


Leipzig: Blaswich - Henrichs (Klostermann 58'), Simakan, Lukeba, Raum - Schlager, Kampl (c) - Forsberg (Baumgartner 58'), Xavi (Olmo 75') - Openda (Šeško 82'), Poulsen (Werner 82')
Unused subs: Gulácsi, Lenz, Haidara, Seiwald, Carvalho
Out: Orban (knee), Bitshiabu (knee)
Coach: Marco Rose

Red Star: Glazer - Dragović (c), Djiga, Rodić (Nedeljković 65') - Mijailović, Stamenić (Katai 81'), Hwang - Ivanić, Mitrović (Lučić 65') - Ndiaye (Mijatović 65'), Olayinka (Bukari 46')
Subs: Popović, Degenek, Spajić, Kanga, Kangwa, Kabić
Out: -
Coach: Barak Bakhar

As it happened!

3 - 1

(1 - 0)

Red Star
Champions League
Matchday 3
Matchday 3 Red Bull Arena

Full-time: RB Leipzig 3-1 Red Star Belgrade

Leipzig take a comfortable win in the end against a spirited Red Star side. The Bundesliga side's attacking quality proved the difference, with David Raum and Xavi netting splendid goals before Dani Olmo bundled in a third as a substitute - as he continues his injury comeback.
+ 2

Super defensive action by Lukeba

Katai almost reaches a superbly threaded pass from Hwang, but Lukeba does very well to get across and turn the ball behind for a corner.

Werner cuts ball across goalmouth

Leipzig are pushing men forward and Timo Werner does well to drill it right across the goalmouth, but nobody can meet it there. Red Star try to threaten on a break, which is defended well. Four minutes of stoppage time are indicated.

Leipzig looking for a fourth

The Dani Olmo strike appears to have taken the wind out of Red Star's sails, and Leipzig are continuing to find ample space to attack.

Olmo with the third!

That has to be three precious Champions League points in the bag now! Marco Rose made a pair of impact subs in bringing Šeško and Werner on. That paid off right away with Werner charging forward at full gallop and winning a corner. The ball bounced off the crossbar to the feet of Olmo, who just had to tidy it in.

Dani Olmo


Dani Olmo

Baumgartner heads just wide

The Austrian gets a good head to a corner whipped in from the left and guides the ball just the wrong side of the post.

Leipzig trying to see this out

The hosts have just taken their foot off the pedal slightly as they prioritise keeping the ball circulating, in the knowledge that will take them closer to the 90-minute mark.

Leipzig have been looking for goals

The hosts have fired over 20 shots tonight, which should be enough to win any game, but Glazer has done a fine job in the Red Star goal.

Can Olmo seal the deal?

The Spaniard is continuing his injury comeback by coming on for the final 15 minutes plus stoppage time.



Baumgartner almost heads it in

The Leipzig substitute had a header from close range with the goalkeeper flapping at it, but it flies off the back of Dragovic and goes over the target.

Red Star pull a goal back

Just when they were looking out of it, the visitors pounce. The ball takes a kind deflection from a shot over to Stamenic at the far post, who volleys in from short range. Red Star have probably deserved that with the attacking purpose they've shown, and we could just have a nervy final 20.
Marko Stamenic

Xavi searches for a second

Leipzig are finding the space easy to come by again going forward. The ball falls to Xavi in the box and he guides a drive towards the far post but Glazer extends himself and makes another solid stop.

Solid Simakan

Lucic threatens to get one back for the visitors, but Simakan slides in to stop the Red Star substitute in his tracks in the box.

Openda effort turned behind

They are stepping to try to smash one in the right corner of the net. After Xavi found it and Kampl went close, Openda has a good effort from 25 metres out that Glazer stops with another good save.

Kampl almost finds the corner!

Kevin Kampl has taken one right out of the Xavi playbook there. In an almost identical move to Leipzig's second, albeit a few metres further out, the midfielder cuts inside and drives superbly towards the far post. This time Glazer dives across to turn behind for a corner.

Xavi super strike doubles lead!

What a finish! Just when the game was in the balance, Xavi pulls a moment of magic out of the bag, cutting inside on the edge of the D before smashing the ball with an unstoppable drive into the top corner. A great goal at a great time for Leipzig!

Xavi Simons


Xavi Simons

Henrichs hammers wide

Forsberg does well to carry the ball right up to the edge of the box and lays it off for Henrichs, who fires powerfully but well wide.

More threat from the visitors

Leipzig have their backs against the wall right now as Red Star break into their box yet again and Ndiaye fires wide from a promising position.

Leipzig in charge - but not in complete control

Leipzig's dominance of the play has been clear, but Red Star are packing a punch when they do come at Leipzig - with a couple of shots from distance fired over Blaswich's goal.
Possession (%)

Xavi tries one

The 20-year-old, who is playing with a bandage stuffed in his mouth following that cut, takes the ball towards the visiting goal. The defenders take the ball but it comes back to him, and he tries to twist a shot in but it's blocked.

Lukeba blocks

Red Star take the ball to Leipzig and whip in a dangerous one from the right that Lukeba gets a good block to.

Xavi requires treatment

The creative talent has taken a blow to the face and has to get a cut patched up quickly on the sidelines. He'll be back on in a tick.

Back in action

Red Star kick off the second half, having made one substitution in attack.
+ 4

Half-time: RB Leipzig 1-0 Red Star Belgrade

A fascinating Champions League night so far. Leipzig sprinted out of the blocks and got a well-deserved early lead from the brilliant David Raum. They went on to have further chances, but the visitors have given their all and the hosts are not home and dry by any means.
+ 4

Leipzig free-kick just outside the box

Raum curls it in dangerously towards the far post and Glazer does well to tip it behind the target.
+ 1

Three minutes of stoppage time indicated

Leipzig have deserved their lead but might be happy for the chance to regroup and go again in a couple of minutes. Goalscorer David Raum does superbly again to whip a brilliant cross in that goes a little too deep for Poulsen to meet it.

Kampl fires wide

Leipzig are starting to probe again just before the break, but that was well off target.

First ever Champions League goal for David Raum

The German international has struck in his 11th appearance in the competition.

Another Red Star penalty appeal

Ndiaye takes the ball forward well and goes to ground in the box while Lukeba was contesting him for possession - but nothing is given as it was a clear slip.

Leipzig back in control

After that strong spell for Red Star, Leipzig play the ball around comfortably for a few minutes. Then the visitors pose a threat on a quick break. There's everything still to play for in this intriguing encounter.

Simakan down

The defender goes to ground under a physical challenge from a Red Star attacker - but he can continue. The visitors are showing a bit of grit as they try to come back into this despite being outplayed.

Yellow card


VAR scrubs Red Star penalty

A bit of a fright after such a strong start! Lukeba slides into a challenge in the box and a Red Star attacker goes down - but replays show the Leipzig defender clearly won the ball.

Forsberg smashes free kick-in

Leipzig have a set piece just outside the area. Forsberg steps up to smash it on goal but it's blocked by a defender.

Openda looking lively

Following his brace at Darmstadt on Saturday, the Belgian might fancy his chances of a goal or two tonight.

Raum whips ball across goalmouth

Leipzig are still finding the space easy to come by and the goalscorer David Raum gets it in a threatening position on the right, but drills it across the goalmouth and out.

Blaswich clears the danger

Red Star threaten all of a sudden. Ivanic sneaks behind the defence but the Leipzig keeper cuts the angle down well to stop him getting a shot away.

All Leipzig so far

It has been an impressive display of dominance by the hosts. Red Star are struggling to cope with their quick combination play.

Poulsen aims for bottom corner

One-way traffic right now! The latest chance for Leipzig falls to the Danish veteran, who scoops a good drive around a defender and sends Grazer scrambling across to save - he then makes another good save moments later to stop a Simakan header.

Henrichs troubles Red Star goalkeeper

That is what you have to term a shot-cum-cross, but we don't need to ask later if Henrichs meant that as Glazer gets in position and grabs it before it can cross the line. Leipzig are looking for a second!

Leipzig take an early lead

The men in white get the lead that their blistering start has deserved. A swift attack sees Forsberg cut the ball back to Xavi, who lays it off for Raum on the left - who strikes well past Glazer!

David Raum


David Raum

Corner to Leipzig

Xavi and Raum combine with a short corner allowing the Dutch playmaker to deliver a good cross to the far post. That ends with Simakan going down holding his head after colliding with an opponent - a painful one, but he'll play on!

Chance for Openda

Raum dinks a cross in from the left and the Belgian meets it inside the box. It wasn't as easy as it looked first time as it took a good bounce on the way through, and Openda smashes well over.

Xavi effort saved

The talented young Dutchman gets into a shooting position on the edge of the box but rolls the effort into the hands of Glazer in the visiting goal.

End-to-end early fare

Both sides have shown huge intent here, with the ball zipping all over the pitch. After Leipzig's early attack, Hwang fires a good effort from outside the box just wide for Red Star.

Off we go

Leipzig kick off and go on the attack right away - there was a penalty shout with Openda going down after just 15 seconds, but nothing is given.

Champions League anthem time

You know what that means- kick-off is imminent in Leipzig!

Kick-off approaching

Just 10 minutes to kick off in Leipzig and the house is rocking. We can confirm there is nothing quite like a Champions League night!

Group G so far

A reminder that Leipzig are second on three points, after two games. Man City, who face Young Boys today, lead the way on maximum points. Red Star and Young Boys have a point apiece.

More on those teams

Midfielder Xaver Schlager is rotated in for Amadou Haidara in the only change to the Leipzig team that won 3-1 in Darmstadt. Dani Olmo, who made his injury comeback in that game, is among the substitutes once more. Former Bayer Leverkusen defender Aleksandar Dragović captains Red Star, whose biggest goal threat, Osman Bukari, is only fit enough for the bench.

Leipzig starting line-up

Blaswich - Henrichs, Simakan, Lukeba, Raum - Schlager, Kampl (c) - Forsberg, Xavi - Openda, Poulsen

Leipzig subs

Gulácsi, Lenz, Olmo, Haidara, Werner, Seiwald, Baumgartner, Klostermann, Carvalho, Šeško

Red Star starting line-up

Glazer - Dragović (c), Djiga, Rodić - Mijailović, Stamenić, Hwang - Ivanić, Mitrović - Ndiaye, Olayinka

Red Star subs

Popović, Nedeljković, Degenek, Spajić, Kanga, Katai, Kangwa, Mijatović, Bukari, Lučić, Kabić

Poulsen staying put

Leipzig's record appearance holder Yussuf Poulsen, who joined the club over 10 years ago when they were playing in the German third tier, extended his contract in recent days to 2026. Marco Rose said: "Yussi is someone who represents the club. He fully relates to the team and to Leipzig as a city. He's come a long way since he's been here - from playing in the 3. Liga to the Champions League semi-finals. It's an unbelievable story. We're happy that he'll be staying here for a bit longer."

Olmo continues comeback

Marco Rose said ahead of the tie that Dani Olmo should feature for longer than the 10 minutes he played in the 3-1 win at Darmstadt on Saturday after recovering from a knee injury. Xaver Schlager was rested in the Bundesliga match but will be fine to face Red Star. Amadou Haidara and Benjamin Henrichs both featured for most of the Darmstadt win having recovered from recent injuries.

Xaver Schlager on Red Star Belgrade

The Leipzig midfielder says: "I don't have the best memories of Belgrade. I played against them at Salzburg (pictured) and they knocked us out of the Champions League qualifiers. They're a tough side to play against. They're from a small league, so they're going to be pumped up. They live for games like this. It means that they'll be able to go the extra mile. They'll come into the game tomorrow with a lot of energy and give it their all."

Marco Rose on Red Star Belgrade

The Leipzig coach says: "We've obviously watched the opposition play. There are clearly things they like to do off the ball, they often like to man mark. They put their bodies on the line when they're defending and still manage to bring a lot of power to the table when they're on the attack. Peter Olayinka, Cherif Ndiaye and In-beom Hwang are all guys who play with a lot of pace. They love the contest, so we're expecting it to be hard work tomorrow. We need to be patient if we want to make the right decisions."

Forsberg aiming to tie Nkunku

Christopher Nkunku, who moved to the English Premier League in the summer, is Leipzig's record goalscorer in Europe's premier club competition with 11 strikes. Forsberg, though, is only one behind, and will be looking to move alongside the Frenchman at the Red Bull Arena this midweek.

Watch: Xavi wins September Goal of the Month

Rose will be hoping the Dutchman can reproduce this strike against Union Berlin in Europe.

Mixed start for Red Star

The Red-Whites won the Serbian SuperLiga last season by a huge 20 points, going unbeaten throughout the whole campaign. This term, however, they are four points behind league-leaders and city rivals Partizan Belgrade, and have already lost twice domestically. In this year's group stage, they started off with a 3-1 defeat against Man City before drawing 2-2 with Young Boys-

Historic first

Not only have Leipzig never played against Red Star Belgrade, they have also never come up versus a side from Serbia. Red Star, meanwhile, have won just seven of their 25 fixtures against German outfits, losing 13. Their last such triumph came in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League group stage, when they edged Cologne 1-0.

Leipzig aim to return to winning ways

After kicking off their Champions League campaign with a 3-1 victory over Young Boys, Marco Rose's men lost to Manchester City by the same scoreline. That results leaves them second in the group, three points behind City in first, and a victory here over the Serbian champions would put them in a strong position to reach the knockout stages.

Watch: All about Leipzig

Everything you need to know about Die Roten Bullen and their journey so far!


Follow all the build-up to RB Leipzig's UEFA Champions League encounter with Red Star Belgrade, as well as all the live action, right here!