Leipzig achieve automatic qualification for the Champions League next season by finishing third. - © © gettyimages / Boris Streubel
Leipzig achieve automatic qualification for the Champions League next season by finishing third. - © © gettyimages / Boris Streubel

2016/17 season review: Leipzig mix it up at the top


While many expected RB Leipzig to shake up the top flight in their maiden campaign, few would have foreseen a campaign that included a run of eight straight wins, 20 victories in total and a runners-up spot to boot.

Click here for the final 2016/17 Bundesliga table.

We take a look back at the Saxons' sensational debut Bundesliga season…

Ins and outs

Testament to the work of sporting director Ralf Rangnick, Leipzig's new arrivals in summer 2016 have collectively made a stunning impact this term. Timo Werner, now a full Germany international, ended the campaign as the highest-scoring German player, while box-to-box midfielder Naby Keita also flourished. Defensive duo Bernardo and Dayot Upamecano have also impressed in making 34 Bundesliga appearances between them. USMNT international Terrence Boyd left the club for Darmstadt in January.

Standout result

Multiple matches will be fondly remembered by Leipzig fans this term – eye-catching wins away at Leverkusen, Gladbach and Hamburg for example – but Matchday 2's 1-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund stands alone as a landmark moment in the season. Their furious pressing was too much for Thomas Tuchel's star-studded team, and the result hinted at the massive potential within the squad, as well as what was to follow in the rest of the campaign. Beating Dortmund in such a fashion made the rest of league sit up and take note of Ralph Hasenhüttl's side.

Watch: Highlights of Leipzig's win over Dortmund

Star player

"Hello, my name is Emil Forsberg, how may I assist you?" Admittedly, the joke might get old, but the Sweden international’s astonishing season will live long in the memory. His remarkable haul of 19 assists was one off Kevin De Bruyne's total of 20 from the 2014/15 season, and he also netted eight goals of his own. The likes of Werner, Keita and skipper Willi Orban all enjoyed fine seasons, but none were as consistently brilliant as Forsberg.

Secret to success: Ralf Rangnick

Hasenhüttl's fastidious work has helped shape a group of humble, hungry and tactically intelligent players this season, but the man behind Leipzig's is undoubtedly Rangnick. His transfers have made a stunning impact, but it is his ideas that are most evident when watching the current Leipzig crop.

He remains arguably the foremost example of a coach-turned-sporting-director that favours energetic, all-action football founded on hard pressing – it has been his hallmark throughout his career – and it continues to bring him success. One of the finest young teams the Bundesliga has witnessed in recent years is a side made in Rangnick's own image.

Bernie Reeves

Watch: Highlights of Leipzig's nine-goal thriller against Bayern on Matchday 33

Click here for more Leipzig news.

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