Summary

  • Leipzig made light work of ten-man Frankfurt on Matchday 17.
  • Lost to Bayern by the same 3-0 scoreline before Christmas.
  • Title hopefuls face unbeaten Hoffenheim next weekend.

A chastening defeat to record German champions FC Bayern München is enough to knock a team's confidence for six, but not RB Leipzig.

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Humbled at the Allianz Arena prior to the winter break, the Bundesliga debutants fired a shot across the bows of their doubters by hitting three without reply past ten-man Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 17.

"It was really important for us to start like that," explained Leipzig head coach Ralph Hasenhüttl after the game. "It was a six-pointer against a direct rival. The manner in which we got the job done fills us with confidence. We were dominant."

Watch: Timo Werner reviews Leipzig's 3-0 triumph over Frankfurt:

Determined to draw a line under just their second Bundesliga defeat, Leipzig were given a helping hand by Frankfurt goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky's third-minute sending off for handball. Veteran defender Marvin Compper scored from the ensuing free-kick, with Timo Werner's 10th Bundesliga strike of the season and a Jesus Vallejo own goal adding the gloss to a ruthlessly efficient display.

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"The red card was unfortunate for them, but it was by no means a given that we'd go on and play as we did," Hasenhüttl continued. "We played brilliantly after a little lull following the opening goal. We moved the ball well, were flexible and got the ball into the box. It was a deserved win, but - given the sending off - we won't be using it as a yardstick."

Leipzig made the most of Lukas Hradecky's red card at the Red Bull Arena. © gettyimages / Boris Streubel

Pragmatism aside, the victory was Leipzig's sixth in a row on home soil and ensures they remain unbeaten in all eight of their top-flight assignments at the Red Bull Arena since gaining promotion. What is more, the Saxony outfit are still only three points adrift of defending champions Bayern and boast a sizeable eight-point cushion on the chasing pack.

"It's still very tight at the top," commented Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick from the bowels of fortress RBL. "The teams around us all won, so it was important for us to pick up a win as well. Our objective is the same as it was at the start of the season, though. We just want to win our next game."

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Ralph Hasenhüttl's side are unbeaten on home soil in the Bundesliga (W7, D1). © gettyimages / Boris Streubel

Aptly enough, Leipzig's fairy-tale continues with a home game against Rangnick's former club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim next weekend. Die Kraichgauer are the only team in Europe's top five leagues still to taste defeat this season, but conventional wisdom dictates that nothing lasts forever. Unyielding Leipzig might just be the ones to crack the Hoffenheim code.

Chris Mayer-Lodge

Follow this link for the Matchday 17 round-up!