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.
SV Darmstadt 98 0-2 RB Leipzig
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.
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.
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