Summary

  • Werner's ninth goal of the campaign breaks the deadlock.
  • Orban doubles hosts' advantage in the second half.
  • Bayern can reclaim top spot at Darmstadt on Sunday.

RB Leipzig bounced back from Matchday 14’s surprise defeat at FC Ingolstadt 04 with a 2-0 victory over European hopefuls Hertha Berlin.

RB Leipzig 2-0 Hertha Berlin

Goals: 1-0 Werner (40'), 2-0 Orban (62')

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Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side showed no sign of nerves following last weekend’s setback at the Audi Sportpark, with Naby Keita and Emil Forsberg particularly lively in the opening stages. The irrepressible Guinean international was the architect of the game’s opening goal, threading a superb pass into Timo Werner to poke the ball past the onrushing Rune Jarstein for his ninth league goal of the campaign.

Keita was forced off at half-time with a knock, but Leipzig continued to dominate proceedings after the interval. They doubled their lead when captain Willi Orban headed Forsberg’s corner into the roof of the net, before another Orban effort was correctly disallowed for offside. It mattered little, however, as Leipzig comfortably saw out the victory they needed to climb - temporarily at least - above FC Bayern München at the top of the table.

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Willi Orban's second goal of the campaign sealed the points for Leipzig in the second half. © gettyimages / Boris Streubel

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Man of the match

Werner’s ninth goal of the campaign set Leipzig on their way to a crucial three points. The former VfB Stuttgart man had never scored more than six goals in a single season prior to 2016/17, but it is surely only a matter of time before the in-form attacker reaches double figures this term.

Talking point

The hosts could not have delivered a more emphatic response to the 1-0 defeat to Ingolstadt. The two-goal margin did not reflect the difference between the two sides at the Red Bull Arena, and Hasenhüttl can now take his side to the Allianz Arena on Wednesday knowing that victory would make Leipzig the first newly-promoted side to top the division over Christmas since TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in 2008/09.

Match stats

  • This was the fourth time this season that Werner opened the scoring in a game. No other Bundesliga player has broken the deadlock more frequently this season.
  • Jens Hegeler made his first start for Hertha since 6 February, when the Old Lady held Borussia Dortmund to a goalless draw at the Olympiastadion.
  • Leipzig covered over six kilometres more than Hertha at the Red Bull Arena.

Line-ups

Leipzig: Gulacsi - Bernardo, Ilsanker, Orban (c), Halstenberg (Schmitz 67') - Demme, Keita (Kaiser 46') - Sabitzer, Forsberg - Werner (Selke 84'), Poulsen

Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl

Hertha: Jarstein - Weiser (Pekarik 11'), Stark, Lustenberger, Plattenhardt - Hegeler, Allan - Schieber, Kalou (Darida 46'), Haraguchi (Esswein 79') - Ibisevic (c)

Coach: Pal Dardai

Watch: Forsberg thought Leipzig could have won by more!: