- Leipzig comfortable winners at Darmstadt.
- Second-half substitute Sabitzer with brace.
- Burke impresses after coming on, teeing up Sabitzer's second.
Second-half substitute Marcel Sabitzer scored a brace as RB Leipzig maintained their remarkable, unbeaten start to the 2016/17 Bundesliga season by beating SV Darmstadt 98 2-0 at the Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion am Böllenfalltor on Matchday 9.
Goals: 0-1 Sabitzer (57’), 0-2 Sabitzer (82’)
With only one change from the side that overcame SV Werder Bremen last week, a confident Leipzig began at full throttle. Marcel Halstenberg and Diego Demme were prominent as the visitors spent most of the first quarter-hour probing the Darmstadt back four, but could find no way through. The hosts withstood the pressure and began to grow into proceedings, although struggled to bring striker Sven Schipplock into the game, meaning attacks broke down far too easily. Leipzig continued to dominate possession, but their only real chance of the first period came just before the break, an unmarked Bernardo snatching at his volley and sending the ball harmlessly over the bar.
Leipzig emerged determined to add some accuracy in front of goal to their first-half ballast, and it took only 12 minutes of the second period for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side to take a deserved lead. Emil Forsberg released Timo Werner on the right, with Sabitzer arriving between the centre-backs and meeting Werner’s low cross perfectly to poke past Michael Esser. The visitors remained firmly in control and doubled their lead in the closing stages when substitute Oliver Burke crossed low from the right for Sabitzer, who rounded off a fine Leipzig performance with a classy, dinked finish.
Man of the Match
A 51st-minute replacement for Yussuf Poulsen, Sabitzer made the difference here on his comeback from injury. The Austrian’s clever off-the-ball movement was too much for Darmstadt to cope with, his brace deserved reward for a fine display.
Leipzig’s remarkable start to the season continues. With 1. FSV Mainz 05 next up at the Red Bull Arena and no DFB Cup or European football distractions, it is far from outlandish to claim that Hasenhüttl’s young side could make a top-four push this season.
- Leipzig have scored 13 of their 17 goals this season in the second half.
- Sabitzer has now scored three goals this season.
- The Easterners enjoyed 62 per cent of possession to Darmstadt’s 38.
Darmstadt: Esser - Höhn, Milosevic, Sulu (c), Guwara - Gondorf (Vrancic, 73’), Jungwirth - Ben-Hatira, Kleinheisler, Bezjak (Heller, 79’) - Schipplock (Colak, 65’)
Coach: Norbert Meier
Leipzig: Gulacsi - Bernardo (Burke, 71’), Orban (c), Compper, Halstenberg - Demme, Ilsanker - Keita, Forsberg - Werner (Selke, 87’), Poulsen (Sabitzer, 51’)
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl