Fine start for Leverkusen!
A winning start to the season for Leverkusen against one of the Bundesliga's big boys! Alonso punches the air in delight, with this win meaning a lot to him, while Rose looks forlorn with his side brought back down to earth after their Supercup win last weekend.
Keeping it in the corner
Leverkusen playing the clock down by keeping the ball in the corner. Seconds remaining...
Five more minutes
Into the five minutes allocated as additional time here, but both teams are looking pretty tired in this heat.
Final push for Leipzig
Heading into the final five minutes, Leipzig have upped the tempo and urgency to get an equaliser, with Leverkusen sitting back. Can the guests still find a way through?
That Openda miss has taken Leipzig's xG above Leverkusen's, though the only numbers which really matter are those which still have Leverkusen leading 3-2.
A costly miss
How did that not go in? Openda could not quite get the ball out from between his feet with the goal gaping, and when he finally sweeps in a shot from a matter of metres, he hits the post! He will not want to watch the replays...
Game on - again!
What a grandstand finish we have in store here! Openda heads Leipzig back to within a goal, turning in Simakan's header from point-blank range.
Both Frimpong and Wirtz were on target in the DFB Cup last weekend, scoring now on consecutive weekends.
Daylight for Leverkusen
Florian Wirtz restores Leverkusen's two-goal lead, dinking a shot over Blaswich from Frimpong's cut back. Perhaps not his intended finish, but it left the Leipzig keeper no chance!
Seiwald becomes the first name in the referee's book in what was ultimately his last involvement in the game, as Rose rings the changes and sends on Kampl, Poulsen and Lukeba in a triple change.
Touch too heavy
A promising break for Leipzig and Openda sends the ball through for Werner, but his first touch is a tad too heavy and he fails to get into position for a shot, though it was a good opportunity for the guests.
Leverkusen continue to lead as we head towards the final half-hour of the match. Can Leipzig turn this around still?
Tah preserves the lead
After Blaswich's great stop at one end, Tah provides an excellent block at the other end to ensure Henrichs' effort does not get as far as Hradecky's goal.
Blaswich keeps Leipzig in it!
A fantastic one-handed, instinctive save from Blaswich turns a Wirtz effort behind for a corner. A third goal for Leverkusen there would have left Leipzig with a mountain to climb.
The same 22 protagonists return to the field, no changes yet in terms of personnel, but what might Rose and Alonso have changed tactically?
The half-time whistle goes and Leverkusen have the edge. They just about deserve it, though they can thank some lapse Leipzig defending for giving them a leg-up. That reply from Olmo sets up a smashing second half, though, and now it's over to the two coaches to find the right words to get their teams in shape for the second half.
Hat-trick hero gives guests hope
Olmo struck a hat-trick to win the Supercup, and he has headed in Leipzig's first of the Bundesliga season, sneaking in at the near post to meet a corner before Tapsoba, and Hradecky cannot keep his header out.
Boniface near to the third
Leipzig's defence is struggling here and Boniface nearly adds a third, meeting Hofmann's cross with a header which goes too close to Blaswich to cause the last line of the Leipzig defence any problems.
Tah rises and shines
A second for Leverkusen! From the resulting corner, Jonathan Tah leaps and heads in, with not a Leipzig shirt in sight! Tah's first Leverkusen goal since last November.
Grimaldo has a go
Leverkusen close to doubling their lead with Grimaldo's shot taking a crucial deflection off Henrichs to go behind for a corner.
Straight after that goal, the two teams get a cooling break - an ideal opportunity for Marco Rose to tweak his team and seek an immediate response.
Plenty of credit to Boniface, who gets a bit lucky to keep the ball, but he spots Frimpong in space and cuts the ball back to provide his teammate with a simple tap-in from close range. The first goal of the season for Leverkusen falls to Frimpong!
Henrichs hammers it
A very sweet connection on the volley from former Leverkusen full-back Benjamin Henrichs, but Hradecky turns it behind for a corner.
Little between them
Repeat for Leverkusen?
Leverkusen's last win in the Bundesliga came against... Leipzig, way back in April. Can they repeat that 2-0 win today? They have looked the sharper so far, but no major openings at either end yet.
Hofmann to break a duck?
On his previous three Bundesliga debuts, Jonas Hofmann did not manage a goal. He has a go at breaking with that particular tradition, but he scuffs at his shot.
Leipzig's first shot of the game is a whipped effort from Werner which goes beyond Hradecky's outstretched glove, but also beyond the far post.
Granit effort tests Blaswich
A first shot on goal, though unlike his name, Granit Xhaka's shot does not pack much of a punch and Blaswich collects easily.
Hansi in the house
After taking in Bayern's 4-0 win at Bremen last night, Germany coach Hansi Flick is here to run the rule over some of his squad candidates.
The teams make their way out onto the BayArena turf, as Matchday 1 in the Bundesliga comes right at you! What a cracker of an opening game we have here in Leverkusen, with two very ambitious clubs looking to justify their lofty season targets.
Jonas Hofmann makes his Leverkusen debut, having previously appeared for Dortmund, Mainz and Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga.
Never change a winning team
Marco Rose has named the very same 11 players who beat Bayern Munich 3-0 in the Supercup last weekend. Can they get an equally impressive result today?
Granit's back in the Bundesliga!
Granit Xhaka makes his 109th Bundesliga appearance, 2653 days after his 108th in the short of Borussia Mönchengladbach on 14 May 2016.
Leverkusen starting XI
Hradecky (c) - Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba - Frimpong, Palacios, Xhaka, Grimaldo - Hofmann, Wirtz – Boniface
Kovar, Arthur, Fosu-Mensah, Münz, Andrich, Amiri, Mbamba, Puerta, Hlozek
Leipzig starting XI
Blaswich - Henrichs, Simakan, Orban (c), Raum - Schlager, Seiwald - Simons, Olmo, Werner – Openda
Zingerle, Klostermann, Lukeba, Forsberg, Baumgartner, Carvalho, Kampl, Poulsen, Novoa
A MD1 Bundesliga belter
The Bundesliga is back and, after Harry Kane stole the show in last night's opener, we have a cracker in store at the BayArena today. Leverkusen finished sixth thanks to the rejuvenating effects of Alonso last year, while the visitors closed the campaign in third and with a second successive DFB Cup trophy in their hands. Both sides will be aiming his this season and this is an opportunity to lay down an early marker for their rivals. It should be a cracker, with team news expected at 2.30pm CEST and kick-off an hour later at 3.30pm CEST.
Watch: The Bundesliga is back!
Watch: Oh, Dani boy!
Summer transfers - Leverkusen
© Imago Images
Summer transfers - Leipzig
© Imago Images
Watch: Previous meeting - Leverkusen 2-0 Leipzig
Leverkusen - probable line-up
Hradecky (c) - Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba - Frimpong, Palacios, Xhaka, Grimaldo - Hofmann, Wirtz - Boniface
Leverkusen - absentees
Adli (suspended), Azmoun (calf), Hincapie (suspended), Schick (groin)
Leipzig - probable line-up
Blaswich - Henrichs, Simakan, Orban (c), Raum - Simons, Schlager, Kampl, Olmo - Openda, Werner
Leipzig - absentees
Bitshiabu (knee), Gulacsi (knee), Haidara (calf)
Watch: How Xabi Alonso has improved Leverkusen
Expect a game of cat-and-mouse on Saturday as these two teams were the best at executing counter-attack last term: Leverkusen led the way with 10 goals from counters, Leipzig were in second place with nine.
Room for improvement
Leverkusen haven't scored a Bundesliga goal from a free-kick or a corner in the 2023 calendar year yet.
Leverkusen's home record against Leipzig is worse than it is against any other team, having taken just six points from seven encounters at the BayArena.
Watch: Supercup highlights
Watch: Get ready for Leverkusen vs. Leipzig!
RB Leipzig stormed back up the Bundesliga ladder under Marco Rose last season, ultimately finishing third whilst winning their second straight DFB Cup. Hopes are high they can mount a serious and sustained title challenge in 2023/24, but they face a huge hurdle on Matchday 1 in the form of Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen...