RB Leipzig booked their place in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League after drawing 1-1 away to Swedish side BK Häcken on Thursday to seal a 5-1 aggregate victory.
BK Häcken 1-1 RB Leipzig
Goals: 0-1 Bruno (47'), 1-1 Irandust (85')
With the groundwork laid in a convincing 4-0 home triumph in the first leg last week, Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick was able to rest a number of his key players, including Kevin Kampl and Peter Gulacsi, while Timo Werner was left out having only recently returned to training. However, Emil Forsberg did start in his homeland in his first game of the new season, and was involved in Leipzig's best chances in the first half, which the visitors dominated without being able to make their superiority count. Häcken had a couple of presentable opportunities of their own, but forward Alhassan Kamara was guilty of squandering the best of them.
Leipzig finally got the breakthrough they deserved early in the second half when Massimo Bruno's low strike from the edge of the penalty area snuck in at the near post. With the tie virtually over by that stage, Rangnick's charges could afford to ease off and although they continued to move the ball around well in midfield, they no longer pressed forward with any sense of urgency. That allowed their hosts back into the game and they equalised late on when Daleho Irandust swept home from close range. It mattered little in the scheme of things though, with Leipzig's place in the next round never in danger.
Watch: Timo Werner's turbo-charged race to the top!
Häcken: Rasheed – Andersson, Lindgren (c), Hammar, Arkivuo (Ekpolo 81') – Friberg (Ackermann 64'), Berggren – Mohammed (Irandust 64'), Lundberg, Celik - Kamara
Unused substitutes: Abrahamsson, Ekpolo, Wahlström, Faltsetas, Irandust, Ackermann, Paulinho
Coach: Andreas Alm
Leipzig: Müller – Klostermann, Orban (c), Konate (Bias (63'), Saracchi – Stierlin, Demme – Augustin, Bruno, Forsberg (Majetschak 63') - Cunha (Krüger 70')
Unused substitutes: Krahl, Poulsen, Hartmann, Winter
Absentees: Laimer (adductor), Halstenberg (cruciate ligament), Sabitzer (shoulder), Upamecano (leg)
Coach: Ralf Rangnick
- The first leg – won 4-0 by Leipzig – was Rangnick’s first match in the Red Bull Arena dugout since the final day of the 2015/16 Bundesliga promotion season, two years, two months and 12 days earlier.
- Cunha took 38 minutes to open his Leipzig account last Thursday. The Brazilian midfielder scored 10 goals for Sion in 2017/18.
- Leipzig got to the quarter-finals of the Europa League last season in what was their maiden European campaign.
- Leipzig’s Swedish winger Forsberg has faced Häcken seven times before, scoring four goals and assisting one more.
- Werner was Leipzig’s most potent attacking force last season with 21 goals, seven of which came in Europe.
- The Bundesliga’s youngest club will join forces with its youngest ever manager next year, when Julian Nagelsmann swaps Hoffenheim for Leipzig, with Rangnick moving back upstairs.