RB Leipzig returned to the top of the Bundesliga as goals from Willi Orban, Marcel Sabitzer and Marcelo Saracchi handed them a comfortable victory over Werder Bremen, despite Konrad Laimer's dismissal midway through the second half.
Werder Bremen 0-3 RB Leipzig
Goals: 0-1 Orban (13'), 0-2 Sabitzer (35'), 0-3 Saracchi (83')
Red card: Laimer (64')
The two sides made an energetic start to the game, with a full-blooded battle for supremacy in midfield. Leipzig forged ahead with their first attempt on goal, as captain Orban rose highest to head in Christopher Nkunku's precise corner delivery. Once they had the lead, the visitors took control of the game, pressing Bremen high up the pitch and stifling their counter-attack. Dead ball specialist Sabitzer doubled their advantage on 35 minutes when he curled a magnificent free-kick into the top corner. Davy Klaassen had the best chance to pull one back for the hosts before half-time, but his close-range effort was cleared off the line by the returning Dayot Upamecano.
The action continued in a similar vein after the break as Leipzig looked to land a knockout blow – Nkunku, Sabitzer and Timo Werner all came close to adding a third, with home keeper Jiri Pavlenka called into action on several occasions. The complexion of the game shifted when Leipzig midfielder Laimer was dismissed for a second bookable offence, but Julian Nagelsmann's men held fast for the remaining half-hour, showing exactly why they have the Bundesliga's best defence. They even extended their lead late on, as substitute Saracchi celebrated his maiden goal in the German top flight. Three more points and another clean sheet for Leipzig, who go two points clear of Bayern Munich at the top.
Watch: Nagelsmann: "We'll fight to be champions"
- Orban scored his first goal since 25 February, when he snatched a late equaliser against Hoffenheim – who were coached at the time by current Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann.
- Ten of the RBL captain's 11 Bundesliga goals have come from corners.
- Sabitzer scored his third direct free-kick of 2019. The Austrian has now had a hand in five goals this season (two goals, three assists).
- Pizarro played his 237th Bundesliga game for Bremen, overtaking Andreas Herzog as the club's record foreign appearance maker.
- Saracchi scored his first Bundesliga goal in his 10th game. He is the first Uruguayan to net in the German top flight since former Schalke winger Vicente Sanchez in January 2010.
- Leipzig are top of the standings with 13 points from five games. They also boast the Bundesliga's meanest defence, having only conceded three times.
Bremen: Pavlenka – Lang, Gebre Selassie, Groß, Friedl – Goller, M. Eggestein (Bargfrede 66'), Klaassen (c) – Bittencourt – J. Eggestein (Pizarro 63'), Sargent (Ihorst 80')
Unused subs: Kapino, Rashica, Straudi, Gruev
Out: Augustinsson (knee), Bartels (knee), Füllkrug (torn ACL ligament), Langkamp (calf), Möhwald (knee), Moisander (calf), Osako (thigh), Sahin (suspended), Toprak (calf), Veljkovic (broken toe)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Upamecano, Konate, Orban (c) – Mukiele (Saracchi 46'), Sabitzer, Laimer, Nkunku (Demme 74'), Klostermann – Cunha (Haidara 63'), Werner
Unused subs: Mvogo, Forsberg, Ilsanker, Lookman, Ampadu
Out: Adams (groin), Halstenberg (hip), Kampl (ankle), Poulsen (personal reasons), Schick (ankle), Wolf (ankle)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Watch: Gulacsi: "It's a great feeling to be top"