Bayer 04 Women suffer late loss in Leipzig

Bayer 04 Women were beaten 1-0 away at RB Leipzig in the opening game of Matchday 19 in the Google Pixel Bundesliga on Friday evening. The loss leaves Robert de Pauw’s side on 28 points, while the winners move up to 20.

“We had the game under control for long periods and were the better team, but we didn’t create enough chances,” explained de Pauw. “Leipzig had one dangerous counter and took it. We weren’t alert enough in the middle.”

The Dutch coach made two changes to his team from last week’s 2-0 win against Eintracht Frankfurt. Loreen Bender, who scored her first Bundesliga goal three minutes after coming off the bench against Frankfurt, started on the right wing for Karolina Lea Vilhjálmsdóttir after she had to go off in that game. Nikola Karczewska, who got the second last week, got the nod up front over Estrella Merino Gonzalez.

Things were restrained to begin with in the drizzle as both teams focused on assured build-up. The visitors in their light grey change strip lacked a final ball at the start, and the 1,042 in attendance were still waiting for the first shot of the evening after a quarter of an hour.

Restrained opening phase

The Werkself looked to attack down the right but didn’t get any change out of the solid Leipzig back four. It was hardly a surprise, then, when the first opportunity came from a set piece, but Lilla Turanyi headed over Kristin Kögel’s corner.

Leverkusen improved after that, and Caroline Siems forced a save out of Elvira Herzog in the RB goal on the half-hour mark. At the other end, Friederike Repohl’s defence mostly kept Leipzig at arm’s length. A free-kick from captain Elisa Senß flew wide of the left post as it remained goalless at the break.

Sylwia Matysik

Leipzig introduced left-back Lara Marti at half-time, who had joined from Leverkusen in January. The second half continued in a similar vein to the first, with Bayer 04 the more active team as the hosts focused on their defensive shape.

With not much on offer going forward, de Pauw sent on Vilhjálmsdóttir for Bender. The Icelandic forward soon had a shot blocked inside the box. Cecilie Johansen and Verena Wieder were later introduced for Siems and Karczewska.

Larsson strikes late

Set pieces remained the major threat before the promoted side started to come forward, but without producing a final ball. The Werkself looked to attack with pace down the left through Janou Levels. However, it was the hosts who eventually struck as Mimmi Larsson dribbled her way through the Leverkusen defence and slotted past Repohl in the 83rd minute.

The Bayer 04 goalkeeper made a good save shortly after. De Pauw sent on Merino Gonzalez for Levels in one final roll of the dice, but to no avail as it remained 1-0 to Leipzig.

At home to Bayern

The Werkself are next in action in a fortnight with their penultimate home game of the season against league leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday, 4 May at 12pm CEST at the Ulrich-Haberland-Stadion. Tickets are available HERE.

Match stats:

RB Leipzig: Herzog - Müller, Krug, Landenberger, Pollak (Marti 46') - Graf, Starke - Fudalla, Larsson (Räcke 90'+1), Andrade (Rackow 46') - Brecht (Croatto 77')

Bayer 04: Repohl - Matysik, Bragstad, Turányi - Siems (Johansen 69'), Senß, Zdebel, Levels (Merino Gonzalez 88') - Bender (Vilhjálmsdóttir 63'), Kögel - Karczewska (Wieder 69')

Goal: 1-0 Larsson (83')

Yellow cards: Krug - Karczewska, Kögel

Referee: Naemi Breier

Attendance: 1,042 at the Cottaweg training centre

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