bundesliga

RB Leipzig supersub Emil Forsberg breaks Union Berlin resistance

Emil Forsberg came off the bench to net the only goal as second-placed RB Leipzig finally found a way past a well-organised Union Berlin defence.

RB Leipzig 1-0 Union Berlin
Goals: 1-0 (Forsberg 70')

Leipzig had drawn at Wolfsburg on Saturday and lost against Borussia Dortmund in their last home match, and they rarely got recalled forward Alexander Sorloth into the game early on against the sixth-placed visitors. Angelino had a weak effort saved as the home side struggled to work out how to find space despite having over 70 percent of the ball. Following his winning goal against Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile, Cedric Teuchert looked lively on the break for the visitors. Marcus Ingvartsen dragged a shot wide from the edge of the area after one promising counter for Union, while Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano made sure there weren't too many other openings. Dani Olmo's effort trundled through to Union keeper Andreas Luthe before Christopher Nkunku wasted the one clear chance of the opening half. The French attacker blazed over with the goal at his mercy eight minutes before half-time after a rare defensive error from Union.

Julian Nagelsmann chose not to change personnel at the break, but by the hour mark he had seen enough as Union continued to look comfortable. Forsberg replaced Kevin Kampl in an attacking move, while the visitors made two changes at the same time. Teuchert and fellow forward Taiwo Awoniyi came off as Marius Bülter and on loan Bayern attacker Leon Dajaku were introduced. Soon after Luthe made a good save from Nkunku's left-footed strike from an angle, while Union reacted just in time to swallow up Forsberg after he was also played in by Marcel Sabitzer. Sabitzer then thumped a strike wide from distance before Olmo found Forsberg, who lashed the ball home to make the most of their pressure. The visitors rarely looked like finding a way back, with Sorloth almost adding to Leipzig's lead only for Luthe to tip his header around the post. Union could have snatched a point at the death, though, as Bülter’s rasping effort was kept out by Peter Gulacsi and Julian Ryersen couldn’t force the rebound home from a tight angle.

Match stats

  • Forsberg got his fourth league goal of the season. It was the third time he had made it 1-0 in a game.
  • Union and Arminia Bielefeld are the only current top-flight sides against which Leipzig are yet to drop a point.
  • Union failed to score for the first time this season.
  • Having featured in the DFB Cup for Bayern Munich earlier in the season, Dajaku made his Bundesliga debut.
  • The game was played on the 55th anniversary of the founding of Union Berlin
  • Visiting defender Robin Knoche played his 200th Bundesliga match

Line-ups

Leipzig: Gulacsi - Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg - Mukiele (Adams 77'), Sabitzer (c) Kampl (Forsberg 60'), Angelino - Olmo (Poulsen 87'), Nkunku (Haidara 87') - Sorloth
Unused subs: Martinez, Orban, Hwang, Samardzic, Kluivert
Out: Henrichs (knee), Konate (ankle), Laimer (knee), Szoboszlai (groin)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann 

Union: Luthe - Ryerson, Friedrich (c), Knoche, Hübner (Gentner 76'), Lenz (Gießelmann 81')- Griesbeck (Endo 81'), Andrich - Ingvartsen - Teuchert (Dajaku 61'), Awoniyi (Bülter 61')
Unused subs: Karius, Schlotterbeck, Gogia, Trimmel
Out: Becker (ankle), Kruse (thigh), Pohjanpalo (ankle), Prömel (knock), Ujah (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer