Roger Schmidt made three changes from the side that played Darmstadt for the visit of the unbeaten Bundesliga newcomers: Charles Aránguiz and Kevin Kampl returned from injury in place of Kai Havertz and Hakan Calhanoglu in midfield. The latter replaced Chicharito in attack as the Mexican had only just returned from international duty. Skipper Lars Bender was ruled out of the squad with a foot injury and Stefan Kießling and Tin Jedvaj were sidelined with muscle problems.
Kevin Kampl scores in first minute
The Bayer 04 fans had reason to celebrate soon after the kick-off: Calhanoglu picked out Julian Brandt on the left wing and he crossed to the far post for the unmarked Kampl to turn the ball in the back of the net to open the scoring for the hosts. Less than three minutes later elation turned into disappointment: A corner for the visitors ended up with the scores level at 1-1 as Julian Baumgartlinger was unfortunate to deflect the ball with his hip past the helpless Leno.
Anyone who thought the game might calm down after that was mistaken. Both teams refused to give any ground as a midfield battle ensued with the two sides looking to play on the break from a solid defence. There was end to end action for half an hour but the 27,752 crowd at the BayArena did not see any clear cut goalscoring opportunities. That was also due to the fact the game failed to flow as niggles and fouls again and again interrupted play.
Brandt put the Werkself back into the lead in added time at the end of the first half. Kampl picked out Calhanoglu on the left flank and his wonderful pass found Brandt on the edge of the opposition box. The fair-haired striker broke into the penalty area and coolly put the ball into the back of the net. Bayer 04 went into the half-time break with a 2-1 lead.
Gulasci saves Calhanoglu penalty
The Werkself had the upper hand after the restart and with 54 minutes on the clock they had a good chance to go 3-1 up. However, the RB keeper Peter Gulacsi saved the spot-kick from Calhanoglu to keep his side in the game. The penalty was awarded when a counter-attack ended with Brandt being brought down in the box by Leipzig full-back Stefan Ilsanker – referee Dr Felix Brych instantly pointed to the spot.
The Werkself were deflated in contrast to the surprise team from Leipzig who grew in strength and became more dominant. Bayer 04's bad luck continued on 67 minutes when the unfortunate Leno was unable to keep out a swirling shot from Leipzig's Emil Forsberg. At the other end, Bayer 04 missed the chance to take the lead again on 69 minutes when a volley from Baumgartlinger was saved by Gulacsi.
Orban's header seals Bayer 04 04 fate
Spurred on by the momentum, the visitors wanted more and they pressed forward with Naby Keita (66') and Timo Werner (72') having good chances that Leno was able to keep out. His luck then ran out. A cross from the right by Forsberg found the RB captain Willi Orban in exactly the right spot to head the ball back past Leno to make it 3-2 on 81 minutes.
The hosts pressed forward in search of a leveller but without success. The match ended in a disappointing 3-2 home defeat.
Schmidt's team are now mid-table with 16 points from 11 games. The next game is on Tuesday (18.00 CET) in the Champions League away to CSKA Moscow and that is followed on Saturday (18.30 CET) by the Bundesliga top match away to FC Bayern Munich.
Bayer 04: Leno - Henrichs, Tah, Toprak, Wendell - Baumgartlinger (Havertz 82’), Aránguiz - Brandt, Kampl - Calhanoglu (Volland 64’), Mehmedi (Chicharito 74’)
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi - Ilsanker, Orban, Compper (Schmitz 30’), Halstenberg - Demme, Keita - Sabitzer, Forsberg (Burke 90’) - Werner, Poulsen (Kaiser 64’)
Goals: 1-0 Kampl (1’), 1-1 Baumgartlinger (4’ o.g.), 2-1 Brandt (45’), 2-2 Forsberg (67’), 2-3 Orban (81’)
Key incident: Gulacsi saves penalty from Calhanoglu (54’)
Booked: Toprak - Orban, Ilsanker, Keita
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych (Munich)
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