RB Leipzig began their 2023/24 UEFA Champions League campaign with a hard-earned win away to Swiss champions Young Boys.
Young Boys 1-3 RB Leipzig
Goals: 0-1 Simakan (3'), 1-1 Elia (33'), 1-2 Schlager (72'), 1-3 Šeško (90'+2)
On a three-match winning run in the Bundesliga, Leipzig made a flying start at the Stadium Wankdorf. After sights of goal for Yussuf Poulsen and Xaver Schlager, Mohamed Simakan met a David Raum corner to give his team a third-minute lead. Xavi and Benjamin Henrichs flashed long-range efforts wide, before Youngs Boys levelled very much against the run of play through Meschak Elia's fine outside-of-the-boot strike.
Anthony Racioppi pulled off a smart double save from Poulsen and Loïs Openda after the restart. Openda then shot wide, before being thwarted by another strong Racioppi save. Benjamin Šeško made an immediate impact with a fine solo run and finish, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. Leipzig's persistence eventually told when Schlager fizzed in a shot from range. Šeško added the gloss at the end of a late counter to secure Marco Rose's team a deserved three points ahead of their next Group G fixture at home to holders Manchester City on 4 October.
- Simakan's goal was the first of the 2023/24 Champions League.
- Schlager scored his first Champions League goal.
- Leipzig are playing in the Champions League for the sixth time since their maiden promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016. They have reached the knockouts on three occasions, including the 2019/20 semi-finals.
- Aged 20 years and 111 days, Šeško becomes Leipzig's youngest Champions League scorer. Jean-Kevin Augustin was 12 days older when he scored against Porto in October 2017.
- Leipzig have won their last five Champions League group games - a club record run.
- Die Roten Bullen are averaging 2.66 goals per game in the Champions League groups under Rose (15 across six games). They've scored two or more in their last five at this stage.
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Young Boys: Racioppi - Janko (Blum 69'), Amenda, Camara (c), Benito - Niasse (Nsame 85'), Lauper (Males 77'), Garcia (Persson 77') - Ugrinic - Elia, Itten (Ganvoula 70')
Unused subs: Von Ballmoos, Marino, Lakomy, Imeri, Chaiwa, Lustenberger, Monteiro
Coach: Raphael Wicky
Leipzig: Blaswich - Henrichs, Simakan, Lukeba, Raum - Xavi (Werner 88'), Kampl (c), Schlager, Forsberg (Baumgartner 80') - Openda (Lenz 88'), Poulsen (Šeško 64')
Unused subs: Gulacsi, Seiwald, Carvalho, Köhler
Out: Bitshiabu (knee), Haidara (calf), Klostermann (ill), Olmo (knee), Orban (knee)
Coach: Marco Rose
As it happened!
Game over! Leipzig enjoy a superb start to the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League with a 3-1 away win in Switzerland. Goals from Mohamed Simakan, Xaver Schlager and Benjamin Šeško helped Marco Rose's side to the best possible beginning in Group G. Die Roten Bullen next host defending European champions Manchester City on 4 October.
© IMAGO/Picture Point LE
Leipzig seal it
That's that! Benjamin Šeško rounds off a Leipzig counter-attack and nets to bag the first three points of the campaign for the delighted visitors.
Time added on
There will be five minutes tacked onto the end of this one.
Timo Werner and Christopher Lenz come on to give Xavi and Openda a deserved breather.
So close Simakan!
But not at the end he would have liked. The Leipzig defender is a hair's breadth away from nodding Elias's centre into his own net. RBL escape.
It's time for Marco Rose to make a change and it's Christoph Baumgartner coming on for Emil Forsberg.
It's one more double swap for the hosts as they seek to pull level once again late on.
The substitute goes in far too late on Xavi and that's one more booking for a Young Boys' player.
Leipzig back in front!
The visitors are ahead and an away goal had been coming. Xaver Schlager wallops one from distance and the ball flies into the corner!
Ganvoula and Blum have been thrown into the mix by Young Boys' boss Raphaël Wicky.
No go Šeško
Benjamin Šeško almost makes a dream start after coming on for Leipzig but the forward's headed effort from the back stick is ruled out for offside.
Elias off target
Young Boys' goalscorer Elias sends an effort not too far wide of the upright. The home fans can sense there is a goal for their team here.
Poulsen heads off the field to applause from the away fans. Benjamin Šeško is on ...
The Leipzig forward meets Raum's centre with a header that should be in all the way but Racioppi makes an super save to deny the visitors once again.
The Young Boys' player upends Kampl and sees yellow for his troubles.
Schlager feeds Openda but the forward fails to get a shot away after an enterprising turn.
Leipzig's midfielder goes into the referee's notebook for complaining about an earlier decision.
VAR rules out penalty
A VAR check is needed after Xavi appears to be upended by Racioppi inside the Young Boys' box. The officials upstairs say no penalty and the hosts breathe a sigh of relief.
Intense battle Things are getting steamy out there with the intensity of this encounter ratcheting up several notches. It's difficult to predict which of these two sides might go on and win this game from here, although RBL will fancy their chances.
© IMAGO/Picture Point LE
Racioppi on high alert
Anthony Racioppi has been the busier of the two keepers so far this half, the 24 year old making a smart double stop to deny Poulsen and Openda a ltlle earlier.
Leipzig begin the second half as they did the first, by taking the game to Young Boys. Poulsen and Openda have been foiled with several efforts on goal as the visitors look to retake the lead.
Off we go again ...
The second half is underway at the Stadion Wankdorf.
A half of two halves. Leipzig dominated the first and opened the scoring early doors via Simakan's header. Young Boys mounted a delayed response and ended the half in the ascendency following Elias's fine leveller.
The Young Boys player goes in on Xavi and that's the first yellow card of the game.
Leipzig lose momentum
Henrichs and Xavi try to ease the pressure on Leipzig but the pair get their wires crossed and the visiting move breaks down. Marco Rose will be happy to hear the half-time whistle at this stage.
Young Boys have turned this game right around and are the dominant force right now. Elias tries a cross but Blaswich can intercept.
Young Boys on terms
Ugrinic sets up Elias who sends a super strike into the net with the outside of his boot. The home crowd go wild, and understandably so. That was a wonderful goal.
Ooooh that was close from Henrichs, who flashes an effort narrowly over the top. Great effort from the Leipzig full back.
Young Boys forward Meschack Elia gets the home crowd on their feet with an exciting run on the break. His efforts go unrewarded, however, with Leipzig able to clear their lines.
Strong running from Openda down the right and the forward's cross just evades Xavi thanks to some solid work from Amenda.
RBL remain ahead Leipzig still lead through Simakan's early header from Raum's corner. Simakan celebrated his third career Champions League goal this evening.
© IMAGO/Picture Point LE
Home side calming
Young Boys have steadied the early storm somewhat and the hosts are finally starting to see a bit of the ball.
Xavi goes close
The irrepressible Xabi almost puts Leipzig 2-0 up. The Dutch attacking midfielder sends a shot at the target that flies just past the upright.
Lest we forget, Mohamed Simakan's early opener means he has scored the first goal of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League! That's no small feat for the 23-year-old centre back.
Rose's men in command
Visiting coach Marco Rose will be delighted with his side thus far. Die Roten Bullen - playing in their sixth group stage campaign - have taken the game to their opponents and continue to threaten from set pieces.
Amazing! Leipzig are in front following a solid, attacking start and it's Mohamed Simakan with the opener, the defender meeting David Raum's corner and sending the ball past goalkeeper Anthony Racioppi
Leipzig start strongly
A super start from the visitors, who have taken an attacking approach from the off with Schlager and Poulsen both having a go at the target.
The ball is rolling in Bern!
Scarves in the air time!
Cracking atmosphere at the Wankdorf Stadium and we're not far away from the start of this exciting Group G opener!
Top 3 goalsAs we count down to kick off in Switzerland, why not check out Leipzig's finest goals of the campaign thus far!
Familiar face in attack
Leipzig also stick with their experienced forward Yussuf Poulsen up top, the Dane accompanying the recently signed forward Loïs Openda. Elsewhere, Dani Olmo and captain Willi Orban both miss out with respective knee injuries. There is good news for goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi, who is on the bench once more after a length injury lay-off.
Team news Marco Rose makes no changes to the side that triumphed 3-0 at home to Augsburg last weekend. That means one more start for Paris Saint-Germain loanee Xavi Simons, one of the Bundesliga's star turns this season with an incredible seven goal involvements.
© IMAGO/Picture Point LE
Leipzig starting XI
Blaswich - Henrichs, Simakan, Lukeba, Raum - Xavi, Kampl (c), Schlager, Forsberg - Openda, Poulsen
Gulacsi, Lenz, Werner, Seiwald, Baumgartner, Carvalho, Šeško, Köhler
Young Boys starting XI
Racioppi - Janko, Amenda, Camara (c), Benito - Niasse, Lauper, Garcia - Ugrinic - Elia, Itten
Young Boys subs
Von Ballmoos, Marino, Lakomy, Imeri, Chaiwa, Nsame, Persson, Blum, Lustenberger, Ganvoula, Males, Monteiro
Leipzig stroll to victoryDie Roten Bullen were in fine form as they defeated Augsburg 3-0 last time out.
Looking to start on the front foot
This is Leipzig's six UEFA Champions League group stage, and they have only won their opening game in two of their previous five participations. They have been defeated in the first game of the previous two editions - 4-1 against Shakhtar Donetsk last year and 6-3 versus Manchester City in 2021/22 - so Rose will be eager for his side to kick off with three points this time around.
Solid away days
Leipzig's record on the road in Europe is pretty decent. Of 30 games on their continental travels, Die Roten Bullen have won 12 and drawn five.
Supercup successLeipzig began the current campaign with a statement of intent: a 3-0 DFL Supercup triumph away against Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
This is Leipzig's fifth successive campaign in the Champions League, meaning Marco Rose's men are well versed on what to expect in European football's elite competition. Tuesday's encounter does, however, represent a first-ever meeting between the Bundesliga side and Young Boys.
Leipzig lowdown Why not warm up for Tuesday's game by checking your Leipzig knowledge with our handy video guide!?
Welcome along !
Hello and welcome to bundesliga.com's coverage of Leipzig's UEFA Champions League Group G opener against Swiss champions Young Boys.