In a match dominated by tactical considerations, both teams primarily looked to be solid at the back thereby producing few attacking moves but the hosts were more effective in terms of finishing. On 32 minutes, Christopher Nkunku put RB Leipzig ahead with a free header from a Dominik Szoboszlai free kick. The scoreline was 1-0 at half-time. Both sides also had few goalscoring opportunities in the second half. However, Timo Werner made it 2-0 for RB on 83 minutes with a low shot in to the right corner of the Werkself net from a pass by Amadou Haidara.
HERE is the match report.
Robert Andrich spoke to Werkself-TV after the game and he provided the following assessment: “We’re not happy. We tried again and again but didn’t get anything in the end. We have to keep going and create chances as if it was the last one ever. We’re missing that at the moment although we really need it now.” Jonathan Tah was also clear: “We have to move more, make ourselves available and thereby create more space. Those are details that aren’t good enough at the moment.”
Xabi Alonso stated the need to remain positive: “We have to be patient. We’re on the right track and ready to carry on and. above all, prepared to fight for our club. I trust every player. We have the quality and we have to stay strong.”
Xabi Alonso made four changes to his starting eleven: The Spaniard opted for Tah in place of Odilon Kossounou in defence, Timothy Fosu-Mensah came in for Jeremie Frimpong on the right side of midfield and Daley Sinkgraven for Mitchel Bakker on the left. Callum Hudson-Odoi made way for Amine Adli in attack.
Stats: More possession, less shots on goal
RB Leipzig clearly had the edge with a total of ten shots on goal compared with just four from the Werkself. It was different in terms of possession: Bayer 04 had 53 per cent, Leipzig 47 per cent. The two teams were equal in challenges and they were also neck-and-neck with completed passes: RBL had 87 per cent, the Alonso team one per cent less.
The Express described the RB Leipzig performance as “clinically efficient”: “The two goals from Christopher Nkunku (32’) and Timo Werner (83’) came from two out of three clear-cut chances” and further: “it was a game that could have ended 0-0. The after-effects of the Champions League in the week were clear to see with both sides.” The Rheinische Post called the attacking game of the Alonso team “too harmless” and came to the following conclusion: “Bayer had no notable moves in the opposition half but were organised at the back.”
The Werkself are back in action in two days time on Tuesday 1 November (kick-off: 18.45 CET) in the final group match in the UEFA Champions League: The Alonso team entertain leaders Club Brugge needing a win and at least a draw for Atlético Madrid in the other game against Porto to finish third in the group - and thereby qualify for the knockout rounds in the UEFA Europa League. Next weekend sees the current Bundesliga league leaders Union Berlin visit the BayArena. The match on Sunday 6 November kicks off at 15.30 CET.
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