RB Leipzig landed a big point in the fight for the premier class. Coach Domenico Tedesco’s team won the direct duel at Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 (0-0) and overtook the Werkself (52) with 54 points in third place. Due to the defeat, Leverkusen is only one point ahead of SC Freiburg.
Domenico Tedesco jumped up and down the touchline several times before the RB Leipzig coach jumped into his player Tyler Adams’ arms. “It was a tough game. We wanted it more,” said goal scorer Dominik Szoboszlai (70th). DAZN.
The loser was very disappointed. “The game didn’t deserve a winner. It’s down to the little things,” said goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, but was combative: “We still have four games and are still in a Champions League place.”
Leipzig have been unbeaten in 14 competitive games and are confident going into the semi-finals of the DFB Cup on Wednesday (8.45 p.m.) against in-form league rivals Union Berlin. After losing all cup competitions, Leverkusen can concentrate fully on the final sprint in the Bundesliga.
Tedesco made seven changes to his starting XI compared to winning the Europa League in Bergamo. Christopher Nkunku, who has been outstanding for weeks, initially only sat on the bench.
Szoboszlai scores to win for RB Leipzig
Nevertheless, the guests started dominantly and had a lot of ball possession in the early stages. Goal scorer Andre Silva narrowly missed a cross from Nordi Mukiele in front of 26,119 spectators (4th).
Both teams showed respect for each other. The risk was avoided in order not to run into the opponent’s fast switching game. Gate closures therefore initially remained in short supply. The hosts created a few set pieces, but a header from Jonathan Tah posed no problems for Peter Gulacsi (26′). The RB goalkeeper was also three minutes later against Moussa Diaby (29th).
The injury-plagued Leverkusen took control, Leipzig seemed a bit tired in this phase and ran behind a lot. But Gulacsi was reliable. The captain also safely parried Exequiel Palacios’ long-range shot (38′), two minutes later Bayer’s top scorer Patrik Schick failed to get behind the ball with a free-standing header.
Christopher Nkunku came on as a second-half substitute
Tedesco responded to his team’s meager display and brought in Nkunku for Silva early in the second half. The Frenchman was also the center of attention. After a duel between Nkunku and Tah, Leipzig demanded penalties, the ball then came to Willi Orban, who hit the post (46th).
Overall, there was now more speed and fire in the game. Tedesco added personnel after a good hour with Dani Olmo and Konrad Laimer. Both teams acted braver now. Mukiele widened from an acute angle in front of Hradecky (68′), Szoboszlai did better. After winning the ball in midfield and passing Nkunku, Tah deflected the Hungary international’s shot into an untenable path.
Bayer Leverkusen – RB Leipzig: The data of the game
Gerardo Seoane (Leverkusen coach): “Both teams neutralized each other with and without the ball. Of course we imagined certain things differently, it wasn’t all perfect. But I can’t blame the team.”
Domenico Tedesco (Leipzig coach): “We expected Leverkusen to play in a different system. They were more compact and deeper. The lads did well in the second half. It was important that we got out of the counter-pressing and had possession of the ball.”