RB Leipzig overcame the crisis of results in the Bundesliga and returned to the fight for places in the Champions League. The Saxons comfortably beat Union Berlin 2-0 (1-0) on Sunday after three defeats in a row to move up to fourth place with 36 points, ahead of Borussia Dortmund (37).
Lois Openda (11th) scored his 14th goal of the season and Benjamin Sesco (48th) scored in front of 44,032 spectators to win for coach Marco Rose’s team, which saw captain Willi Orban successfully return to the starting line-up after five-month break due to injury. . Javi Simons also failed to hit the crossbar (90+2).
Union, who once again had to cope without suspended coach Nenad Bjelica and lost captain Christopher Trimmel to a 73rd-minute red card, remain mired in a relegation battle. The buffer for a relegation spot is two points; the catch-up game against rivals FSV Mainz 05 will take place on Wednesday (18:30 ticker FAZ live for the Bundesliga and on DAZN).
After a scoreless start to the new year, Rose looked to provide fresh impetus with a change of goalkeeper, Peter Gulassi replacing Janis Blasvic and making his eleventh Bundesliga start since October 2022. But the Hungarian was initially unemployed because Leipzig played the initial phase of the attack forward – and they took the lead early: a free-kick went past Openda, who fired powerfully from a tight angle.
Sesco heads forward
The lead gave RB a tailwind. At Köpenikers, where Belgian Jorbe Vertessen made his debut in attack after the departure of Kevin Behrens, almost nothing happened in attack. Vertessen’s harmless header (31 minutes) was the first sign of life for the Berliners.
As a result, Union made the game a little more balanced, but initially there were no dangerous scenes in the penalty area on both sides. Berlin goalkeeper Alexander Shvolov, who replaced the ill Frederic Rönnow, parried Sesko’s header (45+1) shortly before the break.
Shortly after the break, Shvolov found himself powerless: Sesco easily headed David Raum’s free kick into the first post. Leipzig held out, and Shvolov brilliantly saved Dani Olmo’s shot (53 minutes). Another Cesco goal was disallowed a little later for offside (58th).
As a result, the Union woke up again and prepared for the impending defeat. After Trimmel’s red card for hitting Raum on the ankle with a tackle, hope for a comeback was gone.
Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine
I am a sports journalist with over 10 years of experience covering news, events and stories from around the world. I have written for several online news outlets and have also been published in print magazines. I am currently working as an author at the World Herald News, where I cover primarily sports-related stories.