RB Leipzig are enjoying a dream start to their maiden Bundesliga campaign. After seeing off SV Werder Bremen on Matchday 8, Ralph Hasenhüttl's bold young charges are up to second in the table, just two points behind leaders FC Bayern München.
It was approaching the final whistle at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar Arena. Playing in their first ever Bundesliga game, RB Leipzig were trailing 2-1 to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, and looked set to begin life in the fast lane with a defeat. The clock had ticked over to 90 minutes when 21-year-old Benno Schmitz whipped a ball across the area and 22-year-old Marcel Sabitzer stabbed it home for 2-2. A great escape for the promoted side, and also a sign of things to come.
After the international break, Leipzig grabbed rather more headlines as they claimed a historic win over title contenders Borussia Dortmund, with 21-year-old Guinean Naby Keita scoring a dramatic late winner to send the Red Bull Arena into raptures. Fast forward two months and Leipzig are second in the Bundesliga, two points behind leaders Bayern, after Keita inspired them to a 3-1 win over Bremen with his first top-flight brace.
Ralph Hasenhüttl's side have crashed the party in spectacular fashion, and they set the tone in those early matches, picking up four points through steely determination and youthful insouciance.
Watch: Keita's reaction after his goalscoring heroics against Bremen.
Since the Hoffenheim game, Leipzig have never gone behind – in fact, they opened the scoring in their next seven games. They have conceded a maximum of one goal per game, and have always managed to get on the scoresheet. As well as beating Dortmund, they have seen off Hamburger SV, FC Augsburg, VfL Wolfsburg and most recently Bremen, drawing with Borussia Mönchengladbach and 1. FC Köln.
Set up as recently as 2009, the club has placed emphasis on developing young players, which has paid rich dividends this season. Only one of their 15 goals in the Bundesliga has been scored by a player aged over 25 (Dominik Kaiser), with the likes of Emil Forsberg (25), Sabitzer (22), Yussuf Poulsen (22), Keita (21), Davie Selke (21), Timo Werner (20) and Oliver Burke (19) impressing on a weekly basis.
Leipzig's quick, exciting football has taken the Bundesliga by storm, and so far, their rivals haven't worked out what it takes to beat them. It may still be early days, but one thing's for sure – Hasenhüttl's talented young side look very much at home in the German top flight, and they're here to stay.
- RB Leipzig are only the second promoted side to be unbeaten after their first eight Bundesliga games, following MSV Duisburg in 1993/94.Having claimed their fifth win of the season, Leipzig have 18 points on the board, and are just two behind leaders Bayern.Leipzig opened the scoring for the seventh time this season against Bremen, a new record for a promoted team.