RB Leipzig moved back ahead of Schalke into second in the Bundesliga table after claiming a hard-fought win over Werder Bremen on Saturday.
RB Leipzig 2-0 Werder Bremen
Goals: 1-0 Keita (34'), 2-0 Bernardo (87')
Both sides came into this game on a high after impressive wins - Leipzig beat French champions Monaco 4-1 in midweek, while Bremen thrashed Hannover 4-0 last Sunday - but it was the hosts who made the brighter start, with Diego Demme forcing a good save from visiting keeper Jiri Pavlenka. Leipzig even had the ball in the net two minutes later, but Marcel Halstenberg's deflected shot was correctly ruled out for offside. Ralph Hasenhüttl's side continued to turn the screw and Naby Keita gave them a deserved lead on 34 minutes, the Guinean international steering a clever effort into the corner after Thomas Delaney had inadvertently teed him up. Halstenberg then headed an Emil Forsberg free-kick just wide as Leipzig went in a goal to the good at half-time.
Bremen weren't going to give up without a fight, though, and almost forced Dayot Upamecano into scoring an own goal early in the second half. Fin Bartels then attempted a bicycle kick from Delaney's cross, but his acrobatic effort was straight at Peter Gulacsi. The Hungarian keeper provided a number of smart saves for a well-deserved clean sheet, before the hosts pushed for a second in the closing stages. Yussuf Poulsen clipped an effort just wide after a lovely through-ball from Keita, before Bernardo slammed in a superb late half-volley - his first Bundesliga goal - to add some gloss to the scoreline. The win moves Leipzig temporarily three points behind leaders Bayern Munich before their game at Borussia Mönchengladbach later on Saturday.
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Klostermann, Orban (c), Upamecano, Halstenberg (Bernardo 46') – Kampl, Demme, Keita, Forsberg (Laimer 80') – Poulsen, Werner (Augustin 75')
Unused substitutes: Mvogo, Konate, Kaiser, Bruma
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Bremen: Pavlenka – Sane (Belfodil 79'), Veljkovic, Moisander – Gebre Selassie, M. Eggestein, Bargfrede (Kainz 66'), Delaney (c), Augustinsson – Bartels, Kruse
Unused substitutes: Drobny, Caldirola, Bauer, Gondorf, Hajrovic
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
- Keita also scored the opening goal in last year's home fixture against Bremen, going on to net twice in a 3-1 win.Leipzig have now won all seven of their Bundesliga games in which the Guinean international has scored.Bernardo scored his first Bundesliga goal with his 16th attempt in his 30th top-flight appearance. Leipzig scored two goals from outside the area in the same game for the first time in the Bundesliga. Timo Werner has played against Bremen nine times but has yet to score against them.Ralph Hasenhüttl's side have found the net 37 times in 20 outings in all competitions in 2017/18.