First-half goals from Kevin Kampl and Timo Werner saw RB Leipzig take a step closer to UEFA Champions League qualification with a win over fellow European hopefuls Wolfsburg.
Goals: 1-0 Kampl (16’), 2-0 Werner (28’)
Leipzig came into the game with just one recognised centre-back in Ibrahima Konate so coach Ralf Rangnick was forced to experiment with his line-up somewhat. After a quarter of an hour getting to grips with the changes, the home side struck through captain Kampl when the Slovenia international curled home with his left foot from the edge of the box. Die Roten Bullen then doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark when Werner peeled off at the far post to head home Marcel Sabitzer’s inch-perfect cross from the right. The Wolves’ only real chance of note in the first half came when Maximilian Arnold battled his way through the centre and played in Admir Mehmedi, but the Swiss forward’s touch beyond goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi was too heavy.
The fans inside the Red Bull Arena were celebrating almost immediately after the restart when Wolfsburg goalkeeper Pavao Pervan parried a Werner effort over the line, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside against the German forward. Both sides pushed for the remaining 45 minutes but neither team managed to really threaten the opposition goal. Emil Forsberg did have the ball in the Wolves' net late on but was flagged for offside, while Werner struck the outside of the post moments later with his fifth effort on goal - as many as Wolfsburg managed combined. While Leipzig look comfortable for Champions League football in third place, Wolfsburg’s European ambitions hang in the balance as they slip down to eighth with five games remaining.
- Leipzig are now unbeaten in 13 matches in all competitions.
- Werner took his Bundesliga total for 2018/19 to 14 goals, which is already one more than the whole of last season.
- Ten of Werner’s 14 goals this season have come at home.
- The Germany international’s previous 25 Bundesliga goals had all come with his feet. This was his first header since August 2017.
- Kampl netted the seventh Bundesliga goal of his career and the first with his left foot.
- Wolfsburg have lost their last three on the road for the first time in three years.
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Mukiele, Konate, Klostermann – Laimer, Sabitzer, Kampl (c) (Demme 89'), Halstenberg – Forsberg (Smith Rowe 90'+1) – Cunha (Haidara 69’), Werner
Unused subs: Müller, Ilsanker, Bruma, Augustin
Out: Adams (groin), Mvogo (knee), Nukan (ankle), Orban (suspended), Poulsen (illness), Upamecano (knee)
Coach: Ralf Rangnick
Wolfsburg: Pervan – Tisserand, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon – Rexhbecaj (Klaus 69’), Guilavogui (c), Arnold (Malli 86') – Mehmedi – Steffen (Ginczek 46’), Weghorst
Unused subs: Menzel, Brekalo, Uduokhai, Jung
Out: Camacho (ankle), Casteels (thigh), Gerhardt (knee), William (knock)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia