Ten-man Leipzig held at home again


Julian Nagelsmann’s men drew 2-2 at home to an in-form Hertha Berlin side, who were well worthy of their point on Wednesday evening.

The visitors made it seven points in three games since the Bundesliga restarted, as they put in an impressive performance that forced Leipzig to accept a fourth draw in five matches at Red Bull Arena.

It denied the hosts the chance to go second in the table and continued the theme of disappointing results for home sides behind closed doors in Germany’s top flight – in the 23 matches since the shutdown, away teams have lost only three.

Grujic celebrates the opening goal (credit: Bundesliga)

Coming into the match off the back of thumping Mainz at the weekend, the Red Bulls started surprisingly slowly and fell behind after only nine minutes.

Marko Grujic, on loan from Liverpool, fired in the opening goal for Hertha when he exploited the hosts zonal marking on a corner.

The Serbian holding midfielder had a free run to meet Marvin Plattenhardt’s out-swinging delivery on the volley and turn the ball into the far corner with the outside of his right foot, from the six-yard line.

Assister Plattenhardt was then immediately substituted due to a knock to the head moments earlier, but Berlin boss Labbadia was probably glad his physios weren’t quite on the ball with concussion protocol.

Leipzig levelled the score after 24 minutes with their first meaningful effort, from a corner of their own.

Lukas Klostermann darted across the near post to meet Christopher Nkunku’s perfect delivery unchallenged and glanced a powerful header past a full-stretch Rune Jarstein and in off the base of the far post.

Klostermann equalises for the Red Bulls (credit: RB Leipzig)

The only other opportunity of note in an injury-plagued first half came after 41 minutes when veteran Vedad Ibisevic blazed over from Dodi Lukebakio’s pull back.

Hertha kept their defence deep and tightly packed as expected pre-match, allowing Leipzig possession in front of them but engaging well when the Red Bulls entered the final third.

Creativity remained an issue for Nagelsmann’s men in the second half and their problems went from bad to worse when centre back Marcel Halstenberg picked up a second yellow card just after the hour mark, for a late lunge on former Leipzig man Matheus Cunha.

The hosts nevertheless took a 2-1 lead in the 68th minute, thanks to a terrible mistake from Hertha goalkeeper Jarstein.

Czech striker Patrik Schick teed himself up for a drive from the edge of the box – it was fired straight at the Norwegian stopper and he appeared to have made a simple diving save.

But in the secondary action of trying to gather the ball into his body, he inexplicably batted the ball backwards and into the net with his outstretched right hand. The goal was credited to Schick, but it was essentially an own goal.

The Berliners upped the pressure on their numerically disadvantaged opponents in the final quarter though, with Brazilian winger Cunha their main threat.

He first had a good run stopped by Angelino, before drawing a penalty in the 81st minute when he was fouled by the outstretched leg of Ademola Lookman.

It was a silly tackle that the Everton loanee didn’t need to make and a straightforward decision for the referee.

Krzysztof Piatek, just off the bench, stepped up to convert the spot kick for 2-2; the Polish forward stuttered in his run up and slotted the ball into the corner, sending Peter Gulasci the wrong way.

It was a deserved equaliser for Hertha and the closest either side came to a winner was again through Cunha, as his long-range strike was well held in injury time.

Leipzig stay third after the draw – their tenth of the season – whilst a seventh away game unbeaten moved Hertha up to 10th at least temporarily.


About Author

Comments are closed.