During English week in the Bundesliga there was a first meeting between two team’s, RB Leipzig played the part of host’s as they welcomed Borussia Mönchengladbach to their home for the first time.
Leipzig have impressed early on in the season and went into the game in fifth place following a draw and two wins, one of those wins saw them defeat Borussia Dortmund. A win for the home side would see them into the top four.
For Gladbach they’ve had a mixed start to the season, after an opening day victory they found themselves losing 3-1 to Bundesliga newboy’s Freiburg. On the weekend however they bounced back with a 4-1 win over Werder Bremen which took them into seventh place. Tonight a win over newly promoted Leipzig could send them into the top four if results go their way.
The opening of the night came very early on as the hosts started brightly, Yussuf Poulsen produced a lovely drive forward before crossing from the right. Timo Werner was able to bring the ball down, despite a heavy touch the forward was fortunate as the ball came back to him thanks to a mix up between the two Gladbach centre backs, without hesitation Werner fired in across goal and past Yann Sommer.
After the goal Leipzig played with plenty of confidence and dominated the opening stages, the only thing that was lacking for the hosts was the chances to double their lead.
Just after the twenty minute mark the game started to even out and Gladbach looked more settled in Leipzig.
With twenty-seven minutes gone in the game Gladbach managed to create their first chance of the game. André Hahn picked up the ball inside the area and quickly played a high-looping ball across the box to the unmarked Fabian Johnson, the American then produced a delightful volley which struck the top of the crossbar thanks to the fingertips of Péter Gulácsi.
After the half hour mark Leipzig had an opportunity to score after a lightning quick counter attack saw Werner burst forward, Poulsen was too his right but the young forward played in Marcel Sabitzer and the Austrian’s shot from the edge of the area flew straight into Sommer’s arms.
Shortly after Gladbach had a chance themselves, Lars Stindl played an excellent ball forward through to Hahn and the forward’s shot was deflected wide for a corner after Leipzig defenders reacted quickly to close the danger.
In the last five minutes of the half Leipzig had a glorious chance to double their lead, a freekick was played out to the left and a delightful cross to switch play picked out full back Marcel Halstenberg. Despite having plenty of space and no pressure the defender wasted his opportunity after mishitting his volley into the ground and wide of Sommer’s goal.
Early in the second half Gladbach appealed for a penalty, Johnson managed to get round Willi Orban just inside the area and both player’s went to the ground. Despite the appeals match official Manuel Gräfe waved away the protests and awarded a goal kick.
Leipzig responded to that attack with one of their own, they managed to win themselves a freekick and the delivery found the head of Marvin Compper, who’s headed despite being on target was comfortably collected by Sommer.
Although the second half began with plenty of promise the game quickly shifted back into a tightly fought battlefield as both team’s struggled to come out on top of the play. This unfortunately meant a lack of chances for both sides.
As the game approached the end Leipzig troubled Sommer once more, Poulsen slipped the ball through to Werner and the goalscorer’s effort forced Sommer into a save, despite there being a rebound Gladbach were able to recover possession.
With five minutes left on the clock Gladbach were able to surprise the host’s to grab an equaliser. Hahn played the ball forward to Stindl and the Gladbach skipper found Johnson on the right and the American was able to cut inside sending Halstenberg past him before brilliantly curling the ball round Gulácsi and into the far bottom corner.
Instantly after conceding Leipzig came agonisingly close to regaining the lead, Poulsen broke down the right once more and played the ball inside to Oliver Burke, his first time finish looked to be heading past Sommer but the Swiss keeper was able to react to save.
Straight down the other end Johnson looked to inspire Gladbach to a late victory, once more he found space on the right hand side of the area and this time he decided to find a teammate, his cut back somehow found Hahn who was expecting the ball to find him and his touch let him down.
Both sides couldn’t be separated for large parts of the game and despite Leipzig looking slightly more dangerous going forward when the game came to an end, neither side went home hugely disappointed.
Up next for Leipzig is another surprise package as they travel to face in-form Köln, who’ve also yet to taste defeat in the Bundesliga this season and find themselves in second. For Die Fohlen they host an Ingolstadt side who are yet to win so far this season.