RB Leipzig - Hoffenheim

Germany: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig
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Leipzig drop points after late disallowed goal leads to draw with Hoffenheim

By Peter Vice

A 0-0 draw between RB Leipzig and TSG 1899 once again gives Bayern the opportunity to go seven points clear at the top with a win against Wolfsburg in the 15:30 kickoffs tomorrow. 

A handball call, nearly identical to Emré Can's penalty in the Champions' League midweek, nullified a last-second Yussuf Poulsen goal to preserve the scoreline.

Yussuf Poulsen.
Yussuf Poulsen.

For all intents and purposes, the 2020/21 German Bundesliga title race has been called by most league-watchers. After some interesting twists and turns in the 29th round's Friday night fixture, it should be the case that nearest challengers RB Leipzig dropped points far too crucial to keep themselves arithmetically alive for much longer.


The match itself proved very much a tactical stalemate. Head-coaches Julian Nagelsmann and Sebastian Hoeneß both shifted their formations several times and employed plenty of substitution. Nagelsmann, commemorating the return of wingback Angelino after a long injury layoff, began in a 3-4-3. Hoeneß stuck with his newly restructured back-four, shuffling midfielders Florian Grillitsch and Diadie Samassekou around to make a 4-2-3-1.

Neither gaffer found themselves satisfied with first half during which neither side could create any chances. The xG stats told the full tale: RBL 0.4, TSG 0.0. In an effort to shake some life into his team, Nagelsmann brought on Amadou Haidara and Kevin Kampl for Angelino Nordi Mukiele. Tyler Adams moved to the right fullback position for a mirror 4-2-3-1 reformat. Hoeneß brought on Ihlas Bebou for a (possibly injured) Georgino Rutter and switched to a 4-4-2.

There would be more constellation changes, but few chances. Hoeneß switched to a back-five at one point whilst Nagelsmann moved Emil Forsberg out of his false-nine spot before bringing on Alexander Sørloth and Yussef Poulsen off the bench for a two striker set. A brief flurry of activity around the hour mark saw Adams, Christopher Nkunku, and Marcel Sabitzer all get chances. The American's was by far the best, but he directed a dipping header wide of an empty net from close range off a cross that might have been slightly defected.

Leipzig continued to press whilst Hoeneß ordered six men back behind his halfway line. Center backs Chris Richards did exceptionally well to hold off Poulsen, Sørloth, and his USMNT teammate Adams on several charges up the right flank. In the final minute off added injury time, Poulsen thought he had the match-winning goal at 90+5. In a scene oddly reminiscent of Wednesday's UCL fixture between Dortmund and ManCity, however, the Danish striker was adjudged to have headed the ball off his hand before it reached the back of the net.

Respected German referee Manuel Grätsche disallowed the goal after reviewing the play himself. Bayern now have the chance to go seven points ahead at the top with a win over Wolfsburg tomorrow.


RB Leipzig
(3-5-2)
1Péter Gulácsi
4Willi Orban
6Ibrahima Konaté ↩78
5Dayotchanculle Upamecano
22Nordi Mukiele ↩46
25Daniel Olmo ↩62
14Tyler Adams
7Marcel Sabitzer (C)
3Angeliño ↩46
10Emil Forsberg ↩72
18Christopher Nkunku
Bench
33Josep Martínez
9Yussuf Poulsen ↪72
11Hwang Hee-Chan
19Alexander Sørloth ↪62
16Lukas Klostermann
23Marcel Halstenberg ↪78
39Benjamin Henrichs
8Amadou Haidara ↪46
44Kevin Kampl ↪46
Hoffenheim
(4-2-3-1)
1Oliver Baumann (C)
3Pavel Kadeřábek
38Stefan Posch
28Chris Richards
17Ryan Sessegnon
18Diadie Samassekou
11Florian Grillitsch ↩56
29Robert Skov ↩62
27Andrej Kramarić ↩90
14Christoph Baumgartner
33Georginio Rutter ↩46
Bench
12Philipp Pentke
9Ihlas Bebou ↪46
10Moanes Dabour
19Ishak Belfodil
23Sargis Adamyan ↪90
35Maximilian Beier
6Håvard Nordtveit ↪62
32Melayro Bogarde
20Mijat Gaćinović ↪56

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