Xaver Schlager winner pushes rampant RB Leipzig past Werder Bremen
Xaver Schlager and Andre Silva were on target as Leipzig made it four Bundesliga wins on the bounce to send the Saxony-based side to provisional second place in the standings.
Werder Bremen 1-2 Leipzig
Goals: 0-1 Silva 13' (assist: Forsberg), 1-1 Groß 57' (assist: Schmid), 1-2 Schlager 71' (assist: Silva)
Heading into this encounter in blistering form having won their five previous games in all competitions as part of a 12 match unbeaten run, Leipzig also boasted a superior head-to-head record against their hosts in the top flight. It didn't take long for Marco Rose's men to flex those muscles and it was Silva - on collecting a slick Emil Forsberg through pass - who side-footed into the corner to set Die Roten Bullen on their way to what they hoped would be an eighth Bundesliga win against the Green-Whites. For their part, Bremen were keen to shake off the trauma of a 6-1 trouncing at Bayern Munich in the week. Niklas Füllkrug's call-up to Germany's World Cup squad went some ways to easing the collective pain suffered in Bavaria. Had the forward netted Amos Pieper's headed assist when right in front of goals in the 22nd minute, the Munich mauling might have been completely consigned to the past. As it was, Janis Blaswich pulled off an astonishing save to keep Leipzig ahead.
Undeterred by their first-half travails, the River Islanders maintained the attacking spirit that has brought Werder fans plenty of joy this term. The patience among the home faithful and their team paid off when Christian Groß took Romano Schmid's short pass before striking a shot from inside the area that clipped Willi Orban's toe and looped over Blaswich, leaving the keeper no chance. With the visitors visibly irked, Groß's maiden Bundesliga goal celebrations would be short lived. Another flowing Leipzig move in the 71st minute saw Silva dink an attractive pass in for Schlager, who held off Pieper before thumping home his team's second of the afternoon. Soon afterwards it should have been three for the away side, with Silva striking wide after Jiri Pavlenka saved from Dominik Szoboszlai. Blaswich then stopped a Füllkrug header as Bremen pressed but Leipzig held on to put Die Grün-Weißen to the sword once more.
- Schlager netted for the first time for Leipzig.
- Silva has scored 52 of his 53 Bundesliga goals from inside the box.
- Silva's only other goal in the Bundesliga this season came in the 3-3, Matchday 11 draw against Augsburg.
- The Portuguese forward has scored in all five of his games against Werder. He also provided his first assist of the season here.
- Bremen have conceded 26 of their 27 goals this season from open play.
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Watch: Silva on Leipzig's recent upturn in form
Bremen: Pavlenka - Pieper (Schmidt 80'), Stark, Friedl (c) - Weiser, Schmid (Burke 86'), Groß (Rapp 71'), Bittencourt (Stage 71'), Jung (Dinkci 86') - Füllkrug, Ducksch
Unused subs: Zetterer, Goller, Buchanan, Chiarodia
Out: Agu (patella tendon), dos Santos (ill), Mbom (Achilles), Salifou (groin), Veljkovic (Achilles tendon)
Coach: Ole Werner
Leipzig: Blaswich - Henrichs, Orban (c), Gvardiol, Raum - Schlager, Haidara (Kampl 77') - Szoboszlai (Halstenberg 83'), Nkunku, Forsberg (Olmo 72') - Silva (Poulsen 83')
Unused subs: Nyland, Klostermann, Ba, Novoa
Out: Diallo (knee), Gulacsi (knee), Laimer (ankle), Simakan (back), Werner (ankle)
Coach: Marco Rose
Watch: Füllkrug: "It's been a mad year"
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