RB Leipzig were rewarded late on for a dominant display at their Red Bull Arena, with Emil Forsberg teeing up second-half substitute Yussuf Poulsen to force home the winner deep into injury time.
Goals: 1-0 Poulsen (90+3’)
RB Leipzig started the day 20 points better off than their visitors, and they spent the first-half on the front foot. Emil Forsberg span what might have been his ninth goal of the season narrowly wide after a smart one-two with Oliver Burke before seeing a free-kick deflected over Bernd Leno’s bar. Karim Bellarabi threatened to return fire at the end of the half but the scorer of the Bundesliga’s fastest ever goal – and it’s 50,000th – shot wide after losing his balance.
Leverkusen saw more of the ball in the second half, but their high defensive line allowed Leipzig to hit them on the counter. Recent Germany international Timo Werner nearly took full advantage, putting the jets on just past the hour, but Wendell recovered to deflect the forward’s shot over. Ralph Hasenhüttl threw Poulsen on for Burke for the final half hour and the Danish forward snatched the win with the final touch of the game, after yet another Forsberg assist.
Man of the match
Forsberg continues to look like a player fit to grace any team in the game. Equally adept at making and taking chances, his constant probes inside from the flank proved a thorn in the side – or is that the middle? – for Leverkusen. Europe’s most prolific assist provider made it 14 for the season with his late run and cross for Poulsen.
Leipzig look more than ready for European football. This may not have been a vintage season for Leverkusen, but the 2002 Champions League runners up have looked significantly more like the team of old since Tayfun Korkut succeeded Roger Schmidt, and that Leipzig dominated as they did augurs well for the season run-in and beyond.
- RBL won three consecutive games for the first time in 2017.
- Leverkusen centre-back Ömer Toprak made his 200th Bundesliga appearance for Die Werkself.
- Forsberg’s 14 assists are a Bundesliga – and indeed European - high.
Leipzig: Gulacsi - Ilsanker, Orban (c), Compper - Bernardo, Keita, Demme, Burke (Pouslen 73’) - Sabitzer, Forsberg – Werner (Upamecano 90+1’)
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Leverkusen: Leno - Hilbert, Jedvaj, Toprak (c), Wendell (Henrichs 69’) - Baumgartlinger, Kampl – Bellarabi (Bailey 46’), Brandt (Kießling 87’) - Havertz - Volland
Coach: Tayfun Korkut
Watch: Emil Forsberg praises Leipzig's team spirit: