RB Leipzig booked their place in the UEFA Europa League group stage with a 3-2 win over Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk on Thursday thanks to a last-gasp penalty from Emil Forsberg.
RB Leipzig 3-2 Zorya Luhansk
Following a scoreless draw in the first leg, Ralf Rangnick’s side made the ideal start to the return match when Matheus Cunha put them in front inside 10 minutes with a long-range shot. Germany striker Timo Werner went close to doubling Leipzig’s advantage in a dominant opening 20 minutes, but the home team were left stunned by a rare Zorya counter. A well-worked move down the right ended with a deflected cross looping perfectly into the path of Rafael Ratao, who was free to head home from 10 yards. Werner crashed a looping strike off the underside off the bar shortly before the interval, but Leipzig went in at half-time trailing on away goals.
The task got even tougher soon after the break, when the Bundesliga outfit were cut open after losing possession on halfway. Visiting captain Oleksandr Karavaev’s effort from the right side of the area looked to be trundling into the corner, but Artem Gordienko slid home to make sure. Leipzig responded by sending on both Jean-Kevin Augustin and Forsberg, and from the Swedish star’s very first corner, skipper Willi Orban had a header diverted wide. French striker Augustin gave the home side belief again with a close-range finish from a glorious lofted ball through from Werner in what was a flowing Leipzig move. Rangnick's men pushed hard for the goal that would take them through, and Augustin had one disallowed before a handball in the area gifted Forsberg the chance to be the hero from the spot.
Leipzig: Mvogo - Laimer (Bruma 79'), Orban, Konate (Forsberg 58'), Klostermann - Cunha, Ilsanker, Kampl, Sabitzer - Werner, Poulsen (Augustin 58')
Unused subs: Müller, Upamecano, Mukiele, Demme
Absentees: Halstenberg (recovery), Saracchi (suspended)
Coach: Ralf Rangnick
Zorya: Luiz Felipe - Tymchyk, Vernydub, Svatok, Mykhaylychenko - Kharatin, Silas - Karavaev, Gordiyenko (Kochergin 68'), Kabayev (Cheberko 69') - Rafael Ratao (Priyma 79')
Unused subs: Makharadze, Lytvyn, Lazakov, Arveladze
Absentees: Lednev (suspended)
Coach: Yuri Vernydub
- Last Thursday's first leg was the first competitive meeting between these two sides.Timo Werner is Leipzig’s all-time top scorer in the Europa League with four goals in seven games.Leipzig have won five of their last six European home games.Zorya lost 2-0 in Berlin in last season’s group stage before beating Hertha 2-1 at home.Leipzig advanced to the Europa League quarter-finals last season, where they lost to Olympique Marseille 5-3 on aggregate.This season's group stage draw will take place on Friday.