This had the potential to be an exciting fixture before the weekend, a top half clash which saw Greuther Fürth in 9th hosting 8th place RB Leipzig. The first ever meeting between the two sides wasn’t as exhilarating as it could’ve been, however Leipzig will be pleased with a win on the road.
The visitors are three points ahead of their hosts before the clash, however it’s the home side that went into the game in better form. Both sides have won just once in their last five games, Fürth have earned three draws in a row, after beating Union Berlin 1-0 they suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of Karlsruher. Leipzig have been less consistent, they’ve drawn twice against Kaiserslautern and Sandhausen which both ended goalless, they’ve lost 1-0 to Darmstadt and Ingolstadt, while their only win in the five games was a 4-1 win over St. Pauli.
RB Leipzig were missing five players for this game, the latest of which is striker Terrence Boyd, the American started the season injured and in seven appearances he’s managed to grab himself two goals, unfortunately for him and Leipzig he picked up an injury last weekend against Ingolstadt. For the hosts they haven’t got any fresh injury concerns, however they do have three players out that won’t return till the new year.
The early stages of the game was less than exciting with plenty of long balls on show and no team attacking for long. One of the highlights of the opening fifteen minutes was seeing Leipzig keeper Fabio Coltorti do a Manuel Neuer as he charged out of goal and put the ball out of play with a diving header in order to stop Marco Stiepermann going through on goal.
Fürth thought they took the lead in the 20th minute, from a corner Slovenian Goran Šukalo leapt well to beat his marker to the ball and his header hit the top of the crossbar as Coltori was left rooted to the spot.
The visitors finally forced Wolfgang Hesl into action after twenty-minutes, Dominik Kaiser was brought down just outside the area by Marco Caligiuri and it Kaiser’s low curling freekick that forced Hesl to palm it away. The rebound did go in the direction of three Leipzig players, however play was stopped as Niko Gießelmann was fouled. A few minutes later Gießelmann was in the action once more, this time at the other end, a long freekick into the box from Stiepermann missed plenty of bodies and after it struck Gießelmann, he could only produce a disappointing effort straight at Coltorti.
The first half was largely disappointing, interesting because of the similar styles being played, however the predictable long balls and play lead to very few chances. This continued into the second half, only there was more tempo to the game.
Rani Khedira picked up a knock early in the half and he was forced off with the injury in the 56th minute after he hurt his leg more by bringing down Stiepermann just left of the area, surprisingly no freekick was given.
Just under twenty minutes left of the game Fürth had a great chance to take the lead. A cross into the area saw Stephan Schröck try his luck with an optimistic overhead kick, however he failed to make anything off it, luckily the ball fell nicely into the path of Robert Zulj, he was denied by some brave goal keeping from Coltorti.
In the 77th minute Leipzig grabbed the all important goal that would see them go on to win the match. A low corner in somehow went through to Marvin Compper and his effort saw a good save from Hesl, however the keeper couldn’t do anything when Niklas Hoheneder was left unmarked at the back post, the Austrian had an easy tap in for his first of the season.
Fürth applied some late pressure as they looked for an equaliser and they almost had it. once again from a corner this time it was Benedikt Röcker’s powerful header that clipped the top of the crossbar. The last chance of the game saw Zsolt Korcsmár head wide from a Tom Weilandt freekick.
It was a very tight match and a point would’ve been pair, however that’s not the case and RB Leipzig will be delighted with a hard fought three points. The win sees Leipzig on twenty-seven points and for now they occupy 4th place, as for Fürth that defeat sees them dropping to 10th place after failing to win for the fifth game in a row. The next set of games in the 2.Bundesliga are being played on Tuesday and Wednesday, Fürth are once again at home as they host Bochum on Tuesday. On Wednesday RB Leipzig find themselves away from home again as they travel to face Aalen.
Article for VAVEL.