Bundesliga News

Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 1
(0 - 0)
RB Leipzig
W. Orban (87), D. Szoboszlai (90)
L. Bittencourt (70)

Nkunku brilliance guides Leipzig to victory over resolute Bremen

By Ultan Corcoran   @UltanCorcoran

The final game of Matchday 32 brought together the meeting of RB Leipzig and Werder Bremen. The hosts knew a win today would boost their aspirations of securing Champions League football next year. Meanwhile, Werder coach Ole Werner had selection headaches ahead of this afternoon. Veljkovic replaced the injured Pieper, while some late knee problems for Gross meant Gruev filled into midfield.
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Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0
Aside from an Amadou Haidara strike from range, the opening ten minutes passed without any real chances of note. Timo Werner came within inches from scoring a beautiful goal in the 20th minute – Laimer’s ball found the German who controlled and volleyed goalwards but the ball looped over the bar.

Despite no goals, Leipzig link up play was looking increasingly stronger. Henrichs, Forsberg, and Nkunku combined on multiple occasions as they tried to unlock the Bremen rear guard. Bremen remained resolute and compact and kept ‘Die Roten Bullen’ at bay to reach the interval on level terms.

Leipzig continued where they left off at the end of the first-half. Konrad Laimer brought the best out of Pavlenka who sprawled to his right to save the Austrian’s effort. At the other end, Bremen’s best chance of the game fell to Schmid who ultimately failed to hit the target. Rose’s side appeared to take the lead after the hour mark. Nkunku had the ball in the net, but the apoplectic Bremen players made their voices heard. A VAR review would chalk the goal off for a foul by Simakan in the build-up.

By chance the pantomime villain Bittencourt would make it 1-0 to the visitors. Some brilliant work from Ducksch kept the ball alive for Jens Stage as the Dane crossed for the Leipzig-born Bittencourt who tapped home. Leipzig pressure began to mount approaching the final minutes. There would be late heartbreak for ‘Die Werderaner’ as Orban latched onto Nkunku’s cross to power a header beyond Pavlenka for 1-1. Leipzig would take the points in the end as a 96th minute goal from Szoboszlai sealed Bremen’s fate. The mercurial Christopher Nkunku skipping past defenders to tee up the Hungarian.

A harsh result for the visitors but an all-important win for Leipzig who, once again, appear to have one foot in the Champions League places for next year.

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