RB Leipzig are guaranteed to go into the winter break in fourth after Bruma rescued a late three-point haul for Ralf Rangnick’s side at the Red Bull Arena.
Goals: 1-0 Klostermann (22’), 2-0 Werner (44’), 2-1 Kruse (67’), 2-2 Sargent (77’), 3-2 Bruma (87’)
Leipzig began the day five places and six points better off than Bremen, who were ninth, but it was the visitors who forged the first chance of the game, with Milot Rashica breaking clear on the left before firing a shot straight at Peter Gulacsi. Rashica came even closer minutes later after Johannes Eggestein had raced clear on the counter; he cut the back for Max Kruse, but the Bremen captain was blocked by Ibrahima Konate before Lukas Klostermann’s flying slide-tackle denied Rashica on the rebound. It was somewhat against the run of play, then, when Leipzig took the lead. Klostermann picked up Kevin Kampl’s pass at the other end and with little on ahead of him, crashed a shot home into the near top corner. Timo Werner then chipped an effort narrowly over Jiri Pavlenka's crossbar before doubling Leipzig’s lead, skipping past the Czech ‘keeper following a defensive mix-up and sliding his 11th goal of the campaign into an empty Bremen goal.
Bremen should have reduced the arrears at the start of the second half when Rashica found the younger Eggestein brother at the back post, but his volley flew wide. Bremen had four shots to Leipzig’s none before the hour was out, but that didn’t stop Florian Kohfeldt introducing USA striker Josh Sargent for the final stretch. Bremen had the ball in the Leipzig net moments later and it was Kruse who scored it, steering a low shot beyond Gulacsi after a Theodor Gebre Selassie cutback. Sargent then added his name to the scoresheet after selfless work from fellow second-half substitute Yuya Osako, the 18-year-old grabbing his second Bundesliga goal in three outings, but there was still time for Leipzig to have the final say - an opportunity they took with Bruma steering home the winner for 3-2.
- Bruma’s winner was his first goal since May, when he helped Leipzig to a 6-2 win over Hertha Berlin.
- Werner scored his 11th goal of the season. His previous 10 goals were all scored in pairs.
- Klostermann scored his second goal of the campaign, surpassing his tally from last term having only played 11 games.
- Leipzig have now won four of their six meetings with Bremen, with one draw and one defeat completing the balance.
- Sargent needed 11 minutes to score here. His first Bundesliga goal was the fastest this season – 86 seconds into his debut against Fortuna Düsseldorf.
- Werder are the only side to have scored in every Bundesliga match to date in 2018/19.
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Klostermann, Konate, Orban (c) (Bruma 81’), Halstenberg – Sabitzer, Kampl (Upamecano 58’), Demme, Laimer – Poulsen, Werner (Cunha 90+2’)
Unused subs: Mvogo, Saracchi, Mukiele, Augustin
Out: Forsberg (groin), Ilsanker (suspended)
Coach: Ralf Rangnick
Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Langkamp, Veljkovic, Augustinsson – Möhwald, M. Eggestein, Klaassen (Pizarro 86’) – J. Eggestein (Sargent 66’), Kruse (c), Rashica (Osako 58’)
Unused subs: Plogmann, Harnik, Sahin, Friedl
Out: Bargfrede (Achilles), Bartels (ankle), Johannsson (ankle)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt