Naby Keita bade a fond farewell to RB Leipzig before his summer move to Liverpool, with the eastern upstarts beating Hertha Berlin 6-2 in the capital to book their place in next season’s UEFA Europa League.
Goals: 0-1 Upamecano (2’), 1-1 Ibisevic (4’), 1-2 Lookman (8’), 1-3 Augustin (22’), 1-4 Werner (49’), 1-5 Augustin (54’), 2-5 Kalou (64’), 2-6 Bruma (82')
Leipzig got off to the best possible start, with Dayot Upamacano heading home Kevin Kampl’s corner. The hosts were back on level terms minutes later when Vedad Ibisevic rose highest to meet Marvin Plattenhardt’s cross from the left, but Leipzig restored their advantage in a whirlwind opening 10 minutes, Ademola Lookman cutting inside and rifling home a shot at the near post in his allegedly weaker right foot. Depending on other results to ensure a second consecutive season of UEFA Champions League football, Leipzig made sure they kept up their end of the deal with Jean-Kevin Augustin’s shot from the edge of the home box squirming under Rune Jarstein. Peter Pekarik and Jordan Torunarigha had a pair of chances at the other end, but both sailed off target and Leipzig went into the interval with a spring in their step.
The second half was less than 10 minutes old when Leipzig pulled two further goals clear. First, Timo Werner scored following a fast counter-attack from Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side, before Augustin steered home Leipzig’s fifth into the far corner of Jarstein’s goal with the outside of his right foot. Salomon Kalou spared some Hertha blushes, heading home another Plattenhardt cross from close range, but it proved too little too late for Hertha. Bruma then added gloss to the scoreline late on as it ended 6-2 at the Olympiastadion.
- Lookman has scored five goals in 11 games for Leipzig since signing on loan from Everton in the winter transfer window.
- Centre-back Upamecano has scored three goals this season, having never found the target in his two senior season before arriving in Saxony last summer.
- Leipzig lost four more games in this term than they did in 2016/17, their maiden top-flight campaign.
- Augustin’s brace means he ends the campaign with nine goals from his 25 games, only 14 of them starts.
- Ibisevic has now scored against all 18 current Bundesliga teams – Leipzig were the only side missing from his resume before Saturday.
- Kalou end the campaign as Hertha’s top scorer with 12 goals.
Hertha:Jarstein – Pekarik (Schieber 58’), Torunarigha, Rekik, Plattenhardt – Leckie, Lustenberger (Skjelbred 67'), Darida, Kalou – Ibisevic (c), Selke (Mittelstädt 83')
Unused subs: Kraft, Stark, Esswein, Duda
Absentees:Klinsmann (shoulder), Maier (glandular fever)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Leipzig:Gulacsi – Klostermann, Konate, Upamecano, Bernardo – Kampl, Demme (c), Keita (Ilsanker 76'), Lookman (Bruma 62’) – Augustin, Werner (Poulsen 79')
Unused subs: Mvogo, Bernardo, Orban, Kaiser
Absentees:Halstenberg (knee), Sabitzer (shoulder), Forsberg (suspended)
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl